party eats + drinks.

Oh, do I love a party. I took some major shortcuts with Mari's baptism, which absolutely made planning so much easier. 'Twas a different experience, party planning in mom mode, and if I thought I was a list-maker before, I reached a new dimension this time around. But, boy, the lists really helped get me through. As did my family (and Trader Joe's). We had so much help!
I've got details on the 100% make-ahead menu for you, complete with a few recipes, serveware and some sophistocated and totally-worth-it shortcuts.

Let's start with appetizers: one brought (and store-bought) and one made. We served a big, beautiful cheese, cracker and fruit plate on my Boos block - my favorite way to serve a variety of cheeses - courtesy of my mother-in-law. And I made deviled eggs, topped with paprika and chopped chives, from my garden.
Shortcut (provided by deviled eggs-pert Erin): Trader Joe's sells hardboiled eggs, de-shelled, in bags of six. It's a little more money, but it saves time, warped eggs and headache. You will have perfectly cooked, peeled eggs. It's pretty awesome. // Serveware: Egg Platter from Crate & Barrel.

We served the main course buffet style, and we all ate on our knees... or standing up... or chasing after kids. It was very casual, food included.

+ Sliders sandwiched in hawaiian rolls with sharp cheddar cheese and assorted toppings: carmelized onions, tomato slices, ketchup and hot chipotle mayo
+ Lobster and Shells pasta salad
+ Melon ball skewers
 Shortcut: Trader Joe's sells sliders pre-formed and ready to grill. All you need to add is salt and pepper. And they grill up fantastically. Major time savor. // Serveware: Sliders served on tiered galvanized stand from Home Goods; toppings in C&B's 3-Part Server; Lobster and shells served in Target's Home Basic White Serving Bowl (possibly my favorite bowl in my whole house).

Drinks were also serve-yourself and included a big pitcher of red orange margaritas, subbing red navals for blood oranges; a pitcher of citrus water with lemons and limes; blood orange soda (a Whole Foods Italian soda); and assorted beers and wines.

Shortcut: Have you seen the selection of Italian sodas at Whole Foods? Me thinks a bottle (or two) is a great mocktail addition to the beverage tub.

Dessert was particularly special; Mari's baptism day was also her grandmother's birthday, so we topped these angel food cupcakes with whipped cream - garnished with candied oranges - with a candle and sang to her, with all her grandkids on her lap.
So much goodness shared. Thanks for reliving it all with me, and for your sweet notes all week long. End scene.

Cupakes Serveware: PB's Great White 3-Tier Stand.

1 comment:

Karen said...

All looks fabulous and as a huge fan of Trader Joe's and the amazing time cutting deliciousness you can buy, I think you did a great job. Thanks for the tips.