Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wedding Shower & Recipes

Well this has nothing to do with kids or babies, but I wanted to share some photos with you of a bridal shower I threw with a few friends in Palos Verdes, California (and no this is not my house, I wish!). My mother and I made all of the flower arrangements ourselves (well really she did most of the work, I did more of the bossing around). And made all of the food except for the quiches which came from Joan's on 3rd. (Delicious I might say). Menu is as follows:

Appetizer Table:

Crudites of Assorted Baby Vegetables with Chive Cilantro Dip

Meat & Cheese Platter featuring:
Pesto Baguette Crips, Organic Grapes, Ferrari Prosciutto, Humboldt Fog & Petite Basque Cheese, Rosemary Marcona Almonds & Sorrentino Olives

Lemon & Cucumber Water

Mary Mac's Famous Champagne Punch
(Recipe below, our go-to baby or wedding shower drink)

Assorted White Wines

Champagne Punch

1 cup triple sec
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup chambord
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1 quart chilled ginger ale
2 chilled 750 ml bottles dry champagne

Combine the 1st 4 ingredients and chill (covered) for at least 4 hours, or overnight (this allows the flavors to blend). When ready to serve, in a large punch bowl combine the mixture, ginger ale and champagne. Add ice, frozen ice ring or frozen fruit ice cubes.

The recipe yields 16 cups, serving 12. We usually double it.

Having an amazing family heirloom crystal punch bowl to serve it in helps too!
Thanks mum for letting us use yours!

Helpful Hint:

When throwing a shower and serving crudities, please take the time and cut and peel all your vegetables yourself. They taste and look much better. And if serving asparagus, snap peas or green beans, please blanche them instead of putting them out raw. They are much tastier and more vibrant in color.

We dined alfresco in the back yard on the porch overlooking Los Angeles. Thankfully the morning fog cleared and we had a breezy cloudless day. The centerpieces consisted of an array of flowers and fruits purchased from Trader Joes and Whole Foods (no time to run to the flower mart downtown). We had at least one tall and one short arrangement per table paired with a bowl full of other Washington cherries or apricots. As a last touch, my mom threw in lemons and oranges to scatter on the table that she found around my mother-in-laws house. Yes we are spoiled to live in California where citrus and avocado trees grow so plentifully.

To save money we used china, silver, linens and stemware from all of the hosts. I loved our tables but think we were missing that extra punch of color. If I had the extra cash flow, I would have purchased 30 of the glasses below from Anthropologie. I love the goblet shape for water glasses.

I forgot to take a complete table shot but here is a sampling of the rest of our meal:
Assorted Quiches, Tower Caprese Salads with Burrata Mozzarella, Arugula and Artichoke Lemon Salad, Homemade Focaccia.

Caprese Salad
(to serve 8 as a starter, or side salad)

4 Heirloom Tomatoes
1 bunch of Organic Basil Leaves
2 packages of Burrata Mozzarella
good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
good Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt & fresh Ground Pepper
Kalamata Olives for garnish (& to eat)

Cut Heirlooms to 1/2 inch thickness
(they must all be even and around the same size), and arrange on a plate
- sprinkle salt on the scraps and snack as hunger strikes

Cut Burrata in 1/2 inch slices and stack on tomatoes
(this can get a little messy)

Top each tower with a clean Basil Leaf

Spinkle with Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper

Drizzle Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar on Top
(use more oil than vinegar)

sprinkle Kalamata Olives around the plate for garnish and for those olive lovers


Now onto desserts...

Since we had less than thirty people, we did not want to make a huge dessert table. So instead we served an assortment of mini red velvet and lemon cupcakes, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla macaroons, chocolate and almond lace cookies, and a berry medley. Simple yet delicious. (Yes I should have made those cute signs but my friend who usually does them for our parties was the guest of honor! She usually takes care of the invites, paper products and flowers and I take care of the food and decor.)

A fabulous afternoon and a wonderful excuse for a girl's day out!

Some of the hostesses and the guest of honor in the center.

Yup that is me on the right in the tunic, I'm a sucker for a linen one! For a cold day or more conservative party this looks great with tailored white pants.


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