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fun birthday party

Last night’s “Blog 2-Year Celebration Cookbook Happy Hour” was a great success and so much fun. Thank you to all the lovely ladies who attended, a few of them are shown here.

One of the many people missing in the photos is Chef Gwen Walters. Unfortunately, in the one photo she was in, she was nearly unrecognizable… looking very incognito in a baseball cap and with a fan in front of her face. Kind of like a restaurant critic or something…. well that makes sense, she is a restaurant critic, so maybe it was intentional… hmmm?

I’ve mentioned here before that Gwen is the queen of smoothies; she is also the queen of Tweets. So generous with her promotion of others. Last night she tweeted out a picture of the party. Even pictures from her iPhone are better than the ones I take with an actual camera… check this out.

When the guests arrived, this is what greeted them at the front door.

From there, guests could roam throughout the house and find cookbooks for sale on just about every flat surface available. Ranging in price from $5…

to $3…

$1 and $2…

all the way down to .50 and .25 cents.

And, of course, we had food and drink! Today’s Italian Guacamole recipe is just one of many; the rest will be posted each day for the rest of the week.  Once again, thanks to everyone who came, now go enjoy those cookbooks!

I found a version of this recipe in Bon Appétit more than a year ago and have meant to post it here ever since. I love the Italian twist on this Mexican classic. 

Italian Guacamole with Cibatta Chips

6 medium avocados, halved and pitted
Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup peeled and finely minced shallots
Salt, to taste
Ciabatta bread thinly sliced and toasted crisp in a 400 degree oven

Assorted crudités (such as blanched and salted fingerlings, cherry tomatoes, celery, fennel, sugar snap peas, and carrots)

Use a large spoon to scoop avocado flesh from peel and place into a large bowl; add lemon zest and  juice. Using fork, mash avocados coarsely. Mix in  basil and shallots. Season to taste with salt. (May be made 1 hour ahead. Place plastic wrap directly onto guacamole to cover and chill.)

Transfer guacamole to serving bowl. Place on platter. Arrange toasts and crudités around bowl.


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7 comments

1 Ronnie Jaap { 08.17.11 at 3:42 PM }

What fun was had by all! Thank you Linda.
Ronnie

2 Karen Mock { 08.17.11 at 4:07 PM }

Just as I expected it looks like it was so much fun! I’m really bummed I couldn’t make it…looking forward to year 3!

3 Debbie Elder { 08.17.11 at 4:26 PM }

Linda, this looked so fun. Were you cleaning out your bookshelves? What a great idea. I see several cookbooks in these pictures I either have, or would like to have. I am out of town, but hope to join you another year!

4 Linda Hopkins { 08.17.11 at 4:43 PM }

Debbie, there are books leftover. Let me know which ones you were looking at and I’ll see if they are still here.

5 Linda Hopkins { 08.17.11 at 4:51 PM }

Thank you, Ronnie! And, Karen, we’ll do something even more fun next year… mark your calendar now for August 16, 2012! oxoxo

6 barbara { 08.17.11 at 5:03 PM }

Looks like it was great fun! So sorry I missed it.

Love,Barb

7 Ruthie { 08.18.11 at 7:37 PM }

It was such a lovely evening! Thanks Linda

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