We all wear many hats when it comes to the things we do/juggle in our lives. A few of the hats I wear are mom, wife, DogVacay host, Grandma-sitter, gardener, blogger, chicken-wrangler…. ok, maybe more than a few. From time to time I get to put on a few more hats, event-planner, cake-baker and caterer. This month, in the same weekend, I had two fantastic projects to add to my mini portfolio. I had such fun with both events that I really want to share the story with you and introduce you to the me who wears the caterer/cake-baker/party-planner hat.
The first was a dinner that consisted of a first course with a salad of tender greens, orange supremes, toasted walnuts, red onion and gorgonzola cheese, dressed in a fresh orange juice vinaigrette and served with fresh-baked baguette. Dinner was grilled rack of lamb, roasted red potatoes and grilled zucchini (my homegrown) and yellow squash. Dessert was a simple dessert the hostess remembers from her childhood with fresh whipped cream and chocolate wafers, I added some fresh berries for a pop of color and bright flavor. This dinner was for 14 people at the studio, really a nice home in the local foothills, of the hostess. The living and dining rooms are one large area with a high ceiling that has hardly a free space on any of the walls. It is just filled to the max with the beautiful paintings and sculptures of the evening’s hostess. It was a last-minute booking for me, and smack in the midst of party preparations for a surprise party for my friend of 25 years.
I wasn’t able to snap even a single image of the first dinner as it was just myself running the kitchen, slicing, plating, serving, clearing and cleaning. That was Saturday night. It was a fast paced few hours that will go down as one of my favorite catering memories. Later in the week when I ran back for the one item I inevitably forget every time I cater an event, I received the best gift, the hostess had not been expecting the lamb to be seasoned and prepared like it was. See, she’s not the best listener, though she is one of the best clients. She is fun to work with, a little quirky but we manage to work rather well together. Any who, she asked for lamb, I immediately went to my favorite marinade and the best cut. Rack of lamb with a marinade of lemon, garlic, rosemary and mustard. She thought, roasted leg of lamb, even after we agreed to my version, I still found mint jelly waiting to be served alongside the lamb. I assured the hostess we would not be needing mint jelly (I really am not a fan). So when we met up later in the week and were chatting about how well received the dinner was and how she was still getting compliments on the food, she told me that the lamb I served was now her FAVORITE way to eat lamb!!!! That is a compliment that will stick with a girl.
No time to rest, I still had a surprise 40th birthday party to put the finishing touches on. My mantra “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. There is just too much life to be lived. Many a late night was had the week prior to this party. It was so much fun putting all the details together and really a dream gig. The Bestie’s mom wanted to throw a big bash for her daughter so she funded the shindig and green-lighted every idea I offered for the event. So to say I got carried away would be an understatement. But I really couldn’t help myself. This friend is SO worth every last bit of hard work and late night. The party was a Bastille Day themed bash. Pretty easy to put together since the French flag is blue, white and red. Here is a little peek into the event
(Click on the picture to enlarge)
I will post more pictures on my catering Facebook page Your Family Affair Cakes & Catering
I cooked up Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin, green beans, mashed Yukon gold potatoes and baked more baguettes. There was a dessert table with assorted chocolates, candies, gourmet popcorn and French macarons. I am obsessed with the macarons now. I made raspberry with dark chocolate ganache filling and lemon with vanilla butter cream filling. The lemon ones were divine, like a lemon meringue pie in two bites.
The cake? Oh just a simple 5 layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate butter cream icing.
Midge and I made tissue paper blooms that we strung from the open beams on the patio cover. We also made coffee filter flowers by dying individual coffee filters in yellow food color and then dipped the centers in green after the yellow dried. I glued those onto twine to make a garland. The colors of the day were red, white and blue with pops of yellow to brighten it all up. If only the day hadn’t been the hottest day of our summer thus far, the day would have been absolutely perfect. The smartest thing I did was bring in 2 staff to run the kitchen, set up food and clear dishes. The guys have worked with me on several other events in the past and are my go to helpers. Having them in the kitchen freed me up to be a properly involved hostess and unchained me from the kitchen duties, absolute genius I tell you.
I couldn’t have pulled this all off without the help of Midge and my Handsome Hubs. Midge is my right hand, when I have an over-flowing plate I know I can depend on this kid to pick up the extra workload and handle whatever I put on her to-do list. The Hubs too, he put in his full-time work hours, picked up an electrical emergency side job and still managed to get his party to-do list accomplished on time. I am a lucky girl to have a family that allows me to continually bite off more than I can chew and help me get everything accomplished all while smiling. (at least to my face).
How many hats do you wear?