Sunday, August 23, 2009

Personal Celebrations - Family Reunion

The family reunion was held in Washington State last month. My cousin, my husband and I developed a cool series of events that culminated in the big reunion dinner held at a gorgeous retreat center on the water in Gig Harbor WA. Glorious setting and weather was the backdrop for a great spirited gathering. The center piece, a fantastic and fully self-catered spread of Northwest flavor for 50.

PNW Flavor
Smoked Salmon
Dungeness Crab
Burgers/Dogs/Veggie Burgers
Spinach and Strawberry Salad (vegan)
Pasta salad with organic veggies (vegan)
Rustic garlic bread
Assorted Fresh Fruit

Coconut Layer Cake
Double Chocolate bundt with a Ganache, Fresh Raspberry Garnish and a Raspberry Ribbon
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Fresh Peaches and Whipped Cream

Soft drinks/Water/Coffee/Tea

Quite a bit of cooking, but definitely a labor of love. That's what its all about, right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Personal Celebrations - Going Away Party

We had lots of changes in the cast of characters this summer.

First, my daughter has gone on study abroad and will be out of the country for a year. This is really changing how I think about holiday cooking already - don't have to make so many veggies.
Second, my oldest nephew has gone off to college. So two of the collective young'uns are launched for now. Well, these aren't your holidays, but their goodbye parties were ours.

Now the guest of honor gets to set the menu at their going away bash, usually, unless the cook is not their mother. For my daughter's event, we had pigs in blankets, deviled eggs and fruit, finished off with a baskin-robbins ice cream cake in her favorite combination (pink/white).

My nephew was at our (husband and my) mercy. I think he was satisfied with barbecue food -- burgers, dogs and elk steak. yes, you read correctly. There was also fruit and a nice creole cole
slaw. For dessert I made a lemon pound cake dressed with strawberries and whipped cream.
To the boy: Good luck in dorm food.
To the girl: Good luck with a new cuisine.