Menu and Party Ideas
Friday the 13th Dinner Party Menu
We had an absolute ball at this “lucky/unlucky” themed dinner party. Initially, I was going to have a total of 13 attendees. But one of my BFF’s, Anne, wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to make it until the day before. She brought the headcount up to fourteen. Luckily, that worked for the theme too. You see, there are French socialites called Quatorziens (fourteeners), who are available to fill in as a 14th dinner guest to rescue the other 13 attendees from bad luck. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt also believed in this superstition, and refused to have 13 guests at dinner parties.
Roasted Strawberry & Toasted Coconut Cream Pops
Spring Reunion Menu
This is a fun dinner party I hosted for six. Our dear friends and former neighbors, Jonathan and Lori, were in town for a visit. Lori and Johnathan met our other wonderful friends, Steve and Tram, at Marissa’s wedding, only 4 months earlier, and loved each other as much as we love all of them. So much so, that a couple of months after the wedding, Tram and I took a girls’ trip to Chicago to visit and stay with Lori and Jonathan and had the time of our lives. So, of course the dinner party was “a must” when they came to Arizona. Not only do you have the menu below but check out this LINK for the tablescape too.
Holiday Potluck Cocktail Party
As I explain in the post about this party, for years I hosted a fun holiday party that all my friends loved and looked forward to. These recipes are from my resurrection of the theme when I hosted the party again in 2015. All of the recipes below are linked to my post about the party …. read about it and then scroll down the post to be linked to each individual recipe. Trust me, it’ll all make perfect sense when you get there.
Book Page Bridal Shower
Two of my dear friends, Barb and Kim, along with my sister, Sloane, hosted a bridal shower for my darling daughter, Marissa. Marissa has always been an avid reader and has a long and ever growing list of “must read” books. So, book pages was the theme. I worked on the theme and the decor, while the hostesses put on a scrumptious spread and provided us with a stunning venue. Here are the details from Marissa’s May Bridal Shower.
“Cocktails & Cupcakes” Bridal Shower
This menu is from Megan’s Bridal Shower. Megan loves cupcakes and what goes better with cupcakes, lovely young women and a beautiful Arizona February after than cocktails? Yes, it was perfection!
Wedding Day Bridal Party Lunch
My beautiful niece, Maureen, was married on New Year’s Eve 2014 in Chicago. I prepared a lite lunch for the bride and her bridal party to enjoy while they were getting their hair and make-up done for the wedding. What an honor and a joy!
“Mad Men” Cocktail Party
These are my top five “go to” hor d’oeuvres which I use over and over again, along with an easy “group cocktail”. Coincidentally, each is a sort of updated old-school cocktail favorite, hence, the “Man Men” reference. For the actual cocktails; a full bar is a must, plus a Signature Cocktail to get the party started. Have it ready to hand your guests, at the door, as they arrive. Say something like, “This first drink is on me, after that- you’re on your own, the bar is right here, please help yourself!” I raise my martini to Don Draper and friends.
European Dinner Party
This lovely dinner party was for just four of us. Since I don’t enjoy or excel at baking, I didn’t make a dessert. Instead, I bought a few little bite of sweets from Trader Joe’s. If you’d like to add a dessert of your own, I’d suggest this very easy crème brûlée.
4th of July Pot-Luck Pool Party Menu
Here are a few fun, festive and fantastic menus for not only the 4th of July, but any summer outdoor gathering!
Lazy Sunday Morning
If only every morning could be a Sunday morning, how sweet life would be! The big newspaper delivered to the driveway; complete with colored funnies pages. The relaxed attitude and laziness of the day. Are you old enough to remember when all businesses were closed on Sundays? It feels like 10 lifetimes ago, but it’s true all the same. As a tribute to those “good old days” be sure to buy everything needed for this late morning breakfast a day or two beforehand, so you don’t need to run out to the grocery store. Stay home, get the family to take part in the cooking, serving, and clean up. Then lounge around and read a book, play a card game, or watch the football on the tube.
Juice, Coffee, and Mimosas
When I think back on what pizza was to me when I was a kid… so much different than now! It wasn’t until I was in 8th or 9th grade that we knew about “delivery” pizza. We never had homemade pizza; didn’t even think about it and wouldn’t have known where to begin even if we had. My only exposure to pizza when I was young, was every once in a while, after my brother’s Little League baseball games. The whole team and their families would gather at a pizza parlor in Scottsdale on Hayden Road near Thomas or McDowell. This happened maybe once or twice a year, that was it for pizza in my life. How things have changed… during college and my own kids’ younger lives, pizza was a mainstay, especially delivery pizza. Now, we forego the chain delivery and make our own. So much so, in fact, that the third post of this very blog was a full pizza menu, CLICK HERE to check that out! Here are some of our family favorites.
Romantic Dinner for Two
Honestly, a romantic dinner can consist of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti with meatballs, it all depends on the couple, the day, and the mood. But for a special occasion- plan ahead dinner, this one will fit the bill nicely. Beginning with a cool and calming martini, followed by a leisurely salad/tart combo. You could easily stop right there and go directly to the smooth, creamy, scrumptious chocolate dessert; or forge on with the full menu… you decide!
Pomegranate Molasses Lamb Chops atop buttery mashed potoatoes
This is such a fun “girl’s night out” party idea. If you don’t want to have to do all the cooking immediately after the big feast, dole out the recipe to some of your BFF’s and ask them to be your co-hosts. It’s a great way to get together with friends before the “holiday crunch time” really kicks in. Click on the party title above to get some cute decorating ideas too.
Splits of Freixenet
Red and White Wine
This is a birthday party menu for a sit-down dinner for 30. “Over the Top” because of the rich menu and because you’re going to need to have some deep pockets to pull it off.
Avocado-Mandarin Orange Salad (x4)
Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-Brandy Sauce (x3) and Brandied Mushrooms (x6)
Parmesan Roasted Asparagus (x5)
Balsamic Roasted Red Onions (x6)
Green Onion Parmesan Mashed Potatoes (x6)
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