One of the side effects of gaining more confidence in the kitchen is that you may want to share your new passion for cooking with others. This past weekend, my wife and I invited thirty of our friends, family and neighbors over for a garden party celebration of my birthday. With the help of my family and friends (and our local party rental place) we created quite an amazing evening.
We started the evening off with Campari and Sodas, rose, and a phenomenal appetizer prepared by my very talented chef of a brother-in-law. The appetizer consisted of a “gastronomy” version of a caprese salad — there was a small plate squiggled with arugula and basil “spaghetti”. Centered is a disc of whole mozzarella, topped with a perfectly cut slice of heirloom tomato, Lumped on top of that is a healthy dollop of balsamic vinegar “caviar”. Of course, this is served with the concoction called a “parmesan cloud” which would make any high school chemistry teacher blush. Essentially, it’s a bunch of parmesan and water that gets frothed, frozen, and then enjoyed. It started the evening on a high note. We joke that If my brother-in-law had a blog, it would be called something along the lines of tedious & inaccessible, but his cooking is always amazing, if not simple, and it is always so much fun to cook with your friends and family.
After enjoying an appetizer, our guests went outside to enjoy their beverages and a charcuterie plate. My mom always said that the secret to a good party is a great cheese plate. It’s a great gathering place for your guests to chat. Plus, it’s delicious.
For the main course, we decided on a simple arugula, melon, and prosciutto salad. You can find that recipe right here on this blog: https://hungryandtired.net/2014/06/22/melon-prosciutto-arugula-fusilli-pasta/
On the side, we served a salad with baby lettuces, quartered figs, pistachios, and feta, topped with a light balsamic. It was such a summery, delightful and delicious evening.
We finished the night off with a fantastic birthday cake, made by the oh-so-talented/wonderful baking team of my mom and sister.
I could not have had a better night, with better food, or more wonderful people. Get bit by the cooking bug, and throw a garden party of your own!
p.s. it may have all been an excuse for me to buy and have an occasion to wear this dress…