Last Friday, I had the honor of hosting a dinner party (with lots of help) for some very special folks. In attendance were my mom, my Nana, my mom's cousin Teresa who came all the way from Californ-I-A, my two older sisters, Amy (longtime friend of my two older sisters), and Julie and Krystal who were my two extra special guests. :) The party was inspired by the opening of the movie Julie and Julia and my obsession with Julia Child. We went to see the movie afterward and it was quite good, though not nearly as good as the before -the -movie part-ay. A little info about the party, I planned the menu meticulously with recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia's cookbook). This was a four course meal and it was a lot of work, but sooooo worth it! Onto the party, see the menu below:
Is it hard to read? Well, take a look at these pics....first off, as an appetizer we had a blue cheese ball with Carr's crackers (my ma's fave) and pineapple. Delirsh. Even non-blue cheese lovers said it was fantab.
Then we had french onion soup, topped with homemade croutons and swiss cheese. Julia's recipe for onion soup was quite a bit more time-consuming than I expected. My sister, ASA, who despises onions, ate her bowl of soup gladly claiming that it was "really good, and I don't like onions." I lurved it. I heart onions. And croutons. And cheese.
The main course was a mound of crepes filled alternately with a spinach and mushroom sauces and covered in a buttery, scrumptous bechamel. The crepes were paper thin and made by my sweet, sweet pal, Julie. I made three different sauces for this dish. It was insane. The sauces were a spinach cream, mushroom cream, and a bechamel. It took a loooooooong time to make the sauces. I made them ahead of time and just heated them back up the day of the party. Each mound had about 22 crepes. The mounds were cut into wedges and served with an extra dollop of bechamel and a garnish of fresh, minced parsley. We also had glazed carrots (super easy) and herb bread. The carrots took, you know, like five seconds to put together and they were fabulous. The bread is not a Julia recipe. Gasp. It's from The Pioneer Woman's site and it is some of the best bread I've ever made. Ever. In my life. And, it contained fresh basil from my garden which makes me feel so domestic.
And, dessert was a cream cheese tart topped with some lovely fruit. The crust was made from some lard I rendered a while ago and it was delish. The tart was prepared by my lovely sister, ASA, and it was a huge hit! The perfect end to a great meal.
I am so blessed to have such a fun mom who jumped right on board with my crazy plan. She graciously volunteered to have the party at her house. My nana was my right hand woman and helped me plate the food and serve all our guests among other things. I had a blast feeding people I love. Granted, throwing a dinner party for 10 people when you have three small kiddos is not a walk in the park, but I had a blast and learned a lot in the process. One of the biggest things I learned is this: If I am going to labor for a week over a meal, I should really invite my husband to the party or make sure he gets a plate the night of the event. I really love to cook for him and to not see his face at the table or hear what he thought of the meal made me realize how much I value his thoughts on what I cook. I really think my love language is food. :) Oh, and did I mention that I even dressed like Julia?
Me and two of my faves...Krystal on left, Julie on right.
I do have a few leftovers. Come over and raid my fridge. :)