Saturday, April 28, 2018

Italian Themed Birthday Party

Last night was a milestone birthday for one of our neighbors.  Using her Italian heritage as inspiration, an Italian feast was in order!   Local chefs prepared the food and I was in charge of décor!

Fresh vegetables were chosen for the   centerpieces, as they  remind me of the Italian countryside. And as a side benefit, the chef's that were catering the party, also prepare food for a local school and I thought the vegetables  could be used later in the meal preparations.  Hopefully, no waste here!

The party was held in our French Broad Crossing lodge.   It is decorated in traditional mountain leather, wood and dark pattern fabrics, so throwing in a bit of Italian checks was a bit tricky.  But you just have to go with it!

Using an antique pickle jar, I filled it with lemons and mandarins and then filled it with water.  Then a  vegetable arrangement  was assembled on a small plate to sit on top.  Wet flower foam was taped to the plate, then  picks  skewered the peppers, lettuce, swiss chard and grapes to the flower foam.  

 Eggplants were hollowed out and filled with wet flower foam and filled with curly parsley and roses.   Eggplant parmigiana- eat your heart out!  Less calories too!

Wine crates and cutting boards were stacked to create different heights for the food platters.
My mother in laws old ice cream maker was repurposed for flowers. 
Looks like we found it in Tuscany !

Galvanized containers were filled with hydrangeas, lettuces, rosemary and skewered vegetables. 

Every table had a centerpiece that featured a wine bottle that had been labeled with a picture of the guest of honor from 30 years ago!  Her husband wanted the words  " fine women and fine wine improve with age".  Sweet guy!  Cut lemons, kale, parsley, tomatoes on the vine and a vase of ranunculus competed the arrangement.

The guest of honor wearing her birthday crown-
a tiara embellished with gold painted pasta and Italian flags! 

A beautiful signature cocktail started the party off with a bang! 
The Aperol liqueur  gave it the pretty shade of orange.

Our great local chef's were part of the party!

 The table is ready for appetizers! 
Crab stuffed mushrooms, brie and fig bites, baguettes with dipping sauce, sausages and cheeses!

A feast of Italian delights was prepared  for dinner- 
lasagna with fresh mozzarella, seafood stew
Caesar salad, risotto.

The finale  of the dinner, a homemade Italian crème cake from the guest of honors family recipe!
The caterer's made it in wedding cake pans and topped it off with pansies- so pretty!

It was a  great memorable evening for all that attended.  The host made sure that there was plenty of good Italian wine for all to enjoy!   

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Memories

Looking back at Easter inspiration through the past 10 years ---- here are a few of my favorites!

                                                                             Happy Easter!