June 04, 2009

Mum's the Word Wrap Up

Wow! We had a great time at mom's party. Our turnout was a bit lower than I expected. But that was perfectly alright because we had a great time. Shelly at Shadee's Inspire and Fire was great. I would highly recommend her location for a party. Super easy to find location, friendly, bright. You get the picture. We went on ladies night, which meant half price studio fees, those my sister and I picked up the tab on. From there everyone was allowed to pick whatever they wanted to paint from the plethora of bisque around the shop. Items we painted included a fairy (mine), a square plate, a tea light, a welcome sign, a pot, a photo frame of a bustier, and so on. After I was a good ways into painting I saw a beautiful butterfly, and very nearly selected a sea serpent for DH. It's well worth walking around the store several times, as there are many bisque items around on the walls, and the samples are great for getting ideas.

The Food:

I made a revised version of the 40 Garlic Chicken I found on For the Love of Cooking in my case I changed up the cream sauce and made way more to cover my penne pasta. I was cornered for the recipe, which was nice. I kept it hot by cooking the noodles al dente and then keeping them warm in the crockpot. Leftovers DH ate with relish after adding a bit of butter.

My fruit salad in the carved watermelon basket received rave reviews from everyone, but of course I forgot my camera. Trick: Pineapple Juice will prevent your apples from turning brown, so after you cut the apples bag them up with your cut pineapple and they will stay beautiful. Four days after the party the apples in the leftover fruit salad still look freshly cut. My ratio of pineapples to apples was one "cut and cored" pineapple from the grocery store to five or six apples and I did add the tiny bit of juice from the bottom of the pineapple container in with the apples.

Which leads me to the Sangria. I spend nearly a month trying to track down a good Sangria recipe, and now I have made two different ones - two different ways and I can say the way to make a Sangria is to get the general idea of what's in it and then improvise! A bottle of wine, my favorite was the one we made with Blackberry Wine as it took less orange juice to make it fruity. Half a cup of OJ more to taste if needed (I think we put in about 3 cups to the two bottles of Rene Barbier for the party, which certainly took the alcohol level down). Then add whatever fruit you'd like. For the party the strawberries, the watermelon, and the Mandarin oranges all were gushed over as they absorb the wine nicely. I also had added pineapple and apples. No need to worry about those turning brown, the wine puts a stop to that.

The "grown up fruit" in the punch bowl was much preferred to the regular fruit salad, but I did see my sister cutting her Sangria down with fruit from the watermelon bowl. We also had someone who could not consume red wine (if only I'd known...) she enjoyed the plain fruit salad as well.

I made fresh steamed broccoli on site in my steamer. I didn't start that quite early enough, as it takes 12 minutes or so and most people had started loading their plates about 7 or 8 minutes after I turned the steamer on.

I also made mozzarella caprice, but instead of traditional add ins, I used fresh cut Sage (I would have preferred Basil, but I thought fresh Sage would be better than dried Basil), and sprinkled just a touch of salt and pepper. No more, no less. I did buy the high dollar mozzarella from the deli. One pound was around $10, but it was so worth it. With 4 tomatoes it filled my serving dish up and tasted as good as it looked. While I didn't hear any raves about that, both my husband and my sister reported they'd heard the raves. Personally I'd have been happy to just sit down and eat the caprice. Which is exactly what I did with the tiny bit of leftovers.

I topped the whole shebang off with a fresh loaf of tomato garlic bread from Publix and the Land O Lakes Canola Spreadable Butter, which is always just the right size for butter and taste for butter at parties.

Oh I nearly forgot. As some of you may know I don't eat seafood so it flies right out of my head. My sister and I sprung for a Shrimp Cocktail. Amazingly the medium ring was buy one get one free at Publix. Both rings were devoured, and there were more compliments on the shrimp sauce. I was personally just glad everyone liked it, and I didn't have to make it. Both rings were frozen. I bought them Wednesday and spoke at the counter about it. The gentleman assured me that if I put my shrimp in the fridge it would be perfect for the party Saturday and he was right. As a bonus for me no shrimp smells invaded my fridge.

The ceramics need a week at the studio before they are ready to pick up which will be this Saturday, so I'll have photos of at least mine next week.


Shelly said...

That sounds like such a great time!!! Congrats on doing a perfect party.

Heather said...

Oh Wow Liz it all sounds awesome! I wish I could've gone. The food sounds fantatstic. I can't wait to see photos of your finished ceramics.