Tag: dessert tables

Today was HFR’s luau birthday party. It was kind of a trip.

She was not into the leis.

But she was dressed in her finest resort casual…

…despite the fact that it snowed today!

Read more on HFR’s First Birthday Party…

We had our first cookout of the year on Sunday, and another one today to celebrate July 4th. It’s been a great week for hanging out with friends and family; this time last year Adam and I were in Hawaii, and we’d just found out that H was on the way. It was such an incredible time, so I don’t know…I was feeling really festive this July. Several teachers from school came on Sunday, and they caught me up on everything I’d missed while on maternity leave. H loved just hanging out on the patio under an umbrella. We tried putting her in the crib for a nap, but she didn’t want to miss the party! So she took all her naps on me that day, lol. I’m not complaining.

This week was also the first time I’d really put out a coordinated spread since our 2010 Christmas party, and I tried to use a lot of tips from Amy Atlas’s Sweet Designs. I didn’t take photos of today’s table until the end of the day, and they aren’t anywhere near as great as the photos Adam shot of Sunday’s table. So I’m posting Adam’s photos from our Sunday cookout here. I had so much fun putting this together, and I love how it turned out.

I made strawberry pies-in-a-jar for Sunday. I actually made cherry pies-in-a-jar today, too. This is my new favorite party trick. I use my favorite pie recipes but cut out the dough to fill my mini Weck jars. The crust and filling for a regular pie are enough for 12 mini pies, and you bake them in the oven at 375 for 50-60 minutes. They are easy and so delicious. I love the gooey, exploded nature of these. Perfect summer cookout food!

I did kind of a strawberry color scheme (the berries of my obsession lately). Red berry colors and a little bit of green.

Read more on Holiday Weekend Cookout…

Let me preface this with a confession. Part of why I’m so excited to be a mom is to finally have an excuse to go crazy with the party planning. I think I do a pretty good job entertaining our grownup friends, but the options for kid parties are just neverending. This is not the sole reason I wanted to start a family, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Don’t get me started on the sewing options for homemade Halloween costumes. This Mommy business completely appeals to my inner home ec goddess.

Read more on Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas…

Monday was my Volunteer Day in the library. I prepared treats and invited the Library Moms to come in after our half day dismissal to help get the library shaped up for the end of the year. I had 4 lovely, focused, scary-fast moms come and whip that room into shape in under 2 hours. They were fabulous, their kids hung out and helped, and this was the only reward I could offer:

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christmas food tableI took a different approach to our Christmas party this year. I probably put out more goodies than last year, but I scaled back on the planning and cooking/baking from, say, our cookouts in June and August. The truth is, Adam and I have both been under the weather for the past couple of weeks. We hosted Thanksgiving, which was wonderful but also took some of our steam. I just didn’t feel as organized and on top of things for this party. And we were not blessed with good weather last night. It was kind of a gross, rainy, snowy, nasty night. So we had 10 people after some cancellations, and I finally decided mid-afternoon yesterday to not make myself crazy with the spread and the decorating. I put out what I had done by then and decided to just go with the flow (surprisingly, this is really hard for me to do). We had plenty of food for everyone, and I just wanted to enjoy the company of those who braved the weather to come celebrate us.

Read more on 2009 Holiday Party…

I’m completely exhausted after a full, busy Thanksgiving Day. I had a great time with my family, and it went off without a hitch. Here are some photos.

Thanksgiving place settings

The table set up for everyone.

Thanksgiving Dinner

The spread going out.

Thanksgiving dessert table

The Thanksgiving appetizer and dessert table.

Thanksgiving table closeup

More of the spread. From the left: crudites and cheese, then crackers with 3 kinds of dip (Scallion and Chive from WF, homemade Salmon Mousse, and Roasted Red Pepper from WF). The tray of crostini has an assortment of basil, prosciutto, and mozzarella then bruschetta, then mascarpone, bacon, and apples (a variation from #40 on this list). Chips, pumpkin pie, brownie bites, and down at the end the Thanksgiving fondant cake extravaganza. The layers were too short, so everyone thought it was a hat. It was not supposed to be a hat.

Crostini closeup

Crostini closeup. These went like wildfire.

And then finally, here are some photos of the cake coming together (I finished it around 1 this morning).

Read more on Happy Thanksgiving!…

prepping thanksgiving tableI’ve been battling migraines on and off for 5 days now. For a few hours I’ll be almost fine, then suddenly I have to go off to a dark room to wait out a wave of nausea and headaches. Lights, sounds, temperatures, computer screens, print, and voices are all causing me trouble for any length of time. I almost got physically ill in a craft store yesterday from the squeaky shopping carts being wheeled around. As a result I was home sick from work today so that I could go to the doctor, who declared that I’m in the midst of a Status Migraine. I get migraines a couple of times a year, but I’ve never had a Status Migraine (which just means it’s been happening for more than 3 days).  She’s started me on an intensive course of super-strength steroids to try and break up this migraine and keep it away for good, but in the meantime life is frustrating and decidedly boring since the usual things I do for entertainment and money are a little problematic.

Read more on Prepping for Thanksgiving…

Book Club SpreadMy sorority alumna group has a book club, and I’d volunteered ages ago to host in October. Today was the day. We read Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever, but actually only 2 of the 8 women at book club read the book. This was another example of me realizing that September is a bad month to expect to do things like read books for book club. I had a single-minded focus on school, so everything else just took a backseat.

Book Club CakeBut I have to say, I’m really happy with the spread I put out. Cake, apples and caramel, chips and sour cream salsa, cheese and pepperoni with crackers. And I absolutely stole Maggie’s Christmas in July idea of a decorate your own cookie station. I cheated on the cookies and used one of those Pillsbury ready-to-bake packages when I ran out of time, and they were a hit. I made the vanilla frosting but not the chocolate. I went with a blue/tan/brown color scheme, and I hung the card catalog fabric I had made from Spoonflower last fall.

book club cake pre-letteringMy handwriting on cakes is as bad as it is in real life, but I still like my book club cake. I made a chocolate cake in a loaf pan, trimmed it all around, then covered it with a layer of vanilla frosting. I put it in the fridge overnight, then I covered the “spine” and “front cover” with chocolate frosting (ready made) so it would look like a book. I piped more chocolate frosting all around the bottom edge to look like the back cover of the book. I put “BFF” on the spine since that’s the abbreviation for our book’s title. The lettering is sloppy, but the cake still went over really well.

I didn’t go with the Devil’s Food Cake today, since it takes kind of a while to make. Here are the cake recipes, with my changes:

Read more on Phi Mu Book Club…

Today was our end-of-summer (meaning back-to-school for me) cookout, and we had such a good time. You know, we’re truly lucky to be surrounded by such great people; I have to brag on the group of family and friends we’ve managed to surround ourselves with. Whether they were here today or just with us in spirit, I love our crew. Even when they disagree, I couldn’t ask for better.

Read more on August Cookout…