Nothing like having friends over for cocktails and having them bring the food! Plus our local grocery store was selling primroses for $1.00, and flowers for $4 a bunch, so even the centerpieces were on the cheap side! Seriously - last night the Romancing the Home girls came over to review our spring strategy for the store and each were asked to bring an appetizer, worthy of being in a cookbook and I think they over achieved! I had little goody bags for them, filled with some of my favorite things, including the little gold boxes of chocolates from Le Chocolatier at the French Market in Chicago. My friend Lynda was in town and created the stunning berry charlottes for each to enjoy. Tied with ribbons, they were a delight to the eye. Candy, Amy and Penny created the fabulous portable French cheese, olive and tomato shooters in the wine box. Pureed fresh grape tomatoes, topped with minced black olives and goat cheese, was delectable, and the Camembert Butter concoction, rolled in pistachios, was to die for. How very clever those girls were. Julie's risotto with shrimp and lemon aloli was yummy and absolutely beautiful on the silver platter. Katha choose to delight us with a pear, pancetta, and goat cheese appetizer, drizzled with honey and topped off the presentation with the ribbon dazzled pear! Laurell made her mother in law's old standby recipe of a delicious crab mold and presented it beautifully on a black and white antique platter. It tasted so good! But perhaps the most complex presentation was the wooden chicken with the Ritz cracker and cheese whiz combination. Penney spent hours putting together the little mini pizzas with the cheese whiz, olives and pizza sauce. And how clever she was - disguising that cheese whiz container with the wrapping and kale! Seriously- really- someone has to be kidding me!!! We laughed and I wish we had caught Penny's presentation on tape- Saturday night live- here she comes!
I am a lucky girl to have such a talented and fun crew to work with me!