Hello everyone! Long time no see! I’ve been in the process of doing a lot of exciting yet stressful things this week. Not to worry, it won’t be a mystery for long. ;)
This past weekend was filled with my favorite things: friends, family, cooking, baking and entertaining! What more could I ask for? It is after weekends like these that I sit back and feel truly blessed for the experiences I have and the people with which I can share them.
L’s (pre)birthday (his real birthday is this coming weekend) brunch was a great success! I couldn’t have asked for it to go more smoothly. Since this was the largest party I have hostessed/ cooked for, thus far, I was very pleased. I feel that slowly, with practice, I am improving at cooking, baking, hostessing and the like, and I feel truly accomplished. Below is a bit of a ‘play by play’ of the preparations. Feel free to skip ahead to pictures :)
Saturday morning, 10:00 am: L’s mother, Sally, and I headed to the grocery store bright and early Saturday morning to get all of the required ingredients for the variety of menu items I had attempted. Following, I spent the better part of Saturday preparing all of the items. I stuck to the menu I created earlier in the week aside from a last minute addition of Giada’s Pasta Primavera.
After shopping,I made a ‘rough outline’ of the order in which I would complete certain tasks.
* I washed, peeled and prepared all of the vegetables that needed preparing. This took the most time by far! I only wish I would have brought my knife to L’s parents’ house.Oh, well, it got done and then on to preparation of the quiches.
*Quiches: These were surprisingly easy and I was very, very pleased with the results. I used pie crusts from Trader Joe’s (o.k., but I would either make my own or by others next time) and a recipe (base) from Martha. (Note: I added 2 eggs to this recipe. It yields 2 quiches so don’t be alarmed when you see 10 eggs and 3 c. heavy cream. I also substituted equal parts whole milk and half and half for heavy cream).
-Spinach and Swiss and Maple Sausage, Apple, and Cheddar.
*Next, on to the frosting for the cupcakes I pre-made Friday night (and stored in airtight containers). I used a recipe from Wilton– I figured, they are the experts and all. The frosting was to.die.for. I may or may not have eaten a couple spoonfuls as my dinner Saturday night. :-D I used dark cocoa powder in this recipe.
*I also planned the ‘logistics’ for the ‘day of’– I made a time line of ‘day of’ preps, designated serving dishes, and also sketched out where I wanted to serve everything the next day.
Sunday morning: I got up bright at early at 7:00 to do the final prep work, including:
*Slicing muffins and bread
*Choosing serving dishes
*Setting up sundae bar and dessert table
*Setting up beverage corner
*Make pasta for pasta salad & mix
*Table decor (i.e.: throwing confetti everywhere :) )
When the guest arrived, all of the food that needed reheating was completed, and we were ready to go. Aside from some refills of the salad bowls, and 1 quiche, I was free to enjoy the party with my guests. This, in my opinion, is the most important part!
I specifically chose a menu that would allow a lot of flexibility. Typically, I make myself crazy, stressing over the tardiness of my guests. Although I’ll never learn to appreciate tardiness for dinner parties or holidays (7:00 pm means 7:00 pm, my friends, not 7:30), a casual menu that included items made for ‘resting’ was perfect for the ‘open house’ quality of the party. I know, I know, I must learn to except that fact that people are typically late, but I have a hard time doing so!
I’m so happy my guests had a nice time- and most importantly, that I was able to give L such a memorable day.
Simple cheese plate: Brie, Swiss, and Cambert
Heather & some of the boys
From right to left: My mom, L’s mom (back), and our good friend Janice.
Me & Heather (creator of the glorious White Chocolate Macadamia cookies below (bottom left))
Dessert Table (my favorite part)
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my first large scale hostessing experience! :)
Shall we do it again next weekend? ;)