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Pre-Spring Party

Saturday, 14 Mar 2009
 

sunset

Or is it Spring Pre-Party?  We decided to have a little party to celebrate the impending arrival of spring (we hope)!  It was a fun chance to see friends, try out some new recipes, and figure out how to fit a group of people into our highrise apartment.  We even got a nice sunset to boot.

I was perusing Secrets from a Caterer’s Kitchen by Nicole Aloni, one of my favorite party planning books, and learned a key tip for entertaining in a small space.  Whenever possible, it’s great to move serving tables out from the walls so people can circulate around them.  It’s a great way to use a small space and prevent traffic jams.  That’s what I did with both the wine bar below (which is my desk during the day) and the dinner table used as a buffet.  It worked well and gave people the chance to circulate.

winebar

As far as wine, I picked two reds and two whites to serve and attempted to make them different enough from each other to provide a variety.  For reds, I picked Bogle’s Old Vine Zinfandel, an old favorite for me, and a Pinot Noir from Burgundy to provide something a little lighter (Bouchard Aine & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005).  For whites, we had Edna Valley Chardonnay and Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc.  The Fume Blanc had almost the tiniest hint of bubbles — very enjoyable.

table

As for the food, I’ve been writing posts on some of the recipes I tried out before the party, but here are links to what I ended up making:

Butternut Squash and Shiitake Turnovers

Three Cheese Mini Macs

Guacamole

Parmesan Cookies

Yellow Squash and Zucchini Cakes

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Chile con Queso

Texas Chocolate Cake

Margaret’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

appetizers

For the items I’d made in advance such as butternut squash turnovers, zucchini cakes and mini mac and cheeses, I threw them on cookie sheets and heated them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350.  I also rediscovered the warming drawer in the bottom of the oven!

hummusredpeppers

Because most of this food is pretty substantial, I also put out some hummus with red peppers and carrot sticks for dipping and some strawberries for dessert, just to have something fresh.

spinachandartichokedip

I also had fun with and maybe went a little overboard with these little ceramic placetiles from Crate and Barrel.  You can write on them with a dry erase marker.  Lots of fun.  Like getting set free with a label machine.  The party was fun and I wish I’d taken more pictures when everyone was there, but I got too busy talking!



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