So as previously mentioned in my last post, I threw mom a party for her 60th birthday.
I found a gorgeous tablescape photo utilizing eucalyptus as the table runner and I fell in love with it. I wanted to re-create it for this party, but with a few additional enhancements. Considering it's October, eucalyptus was a good choice because it is in season and really, does not depend on the freshness of any full blossoms.
Now I tend to go overboard with these type things and this party was no exception. Even though it was a luncheon, I wanted to create a full fall menu, really capitalizing on all the scrumptious fall flavors. By far the most challenging aspect of this was timing. Timing grocery shopping so the items I needed fresh remained that way, timing what dishes to make ahead of time, timing my oven space, all so everything was hot and ready promptly at 12:15.
In case you wanna pull off something similar and feel ill-equipped, here are my most useful OCD tips. Warning: If you are not organized and hate operating in a scheduled manner, avoid taking on this task and cater your event. :)
1. The grocery shopping. I made a spreadsheet outlining each dish, listing all the ingredients needed for each one. I then color-coded it based on items I already had, items I could buy in advance, and items I needed to buy fresh the day before. (I told you this was OCD, so you were warned.) Doing the bulk of it ahead of time relieves a lot of stress when you are trying to find various specialty items such as sparkling apple cider and pomegranate arils. Since I was working late Friday and we were going out to dinner for mom's actual birthday night, I did not have time to mess around hunting for ingredients. Also, at the bottom of each recipe I listed out the oven temp and cook time so I could create my baking plan of attack. This was super critical in pulling everything off in the time frame I needed to. I literally listed out the time in 15 min increments and wrote exactly what I needed to be doing, what needed to be in the oven, and the expected time it would be done.
2. The menu. I did two appetizers, four dishes for the main lunch, one bread, and three desserts. I made everything except for two of the desserts - the cowboy bark (mom's favorite from Trader Joe's) and the official birthday cake. I really debated making the cake myself, but I am SO glad I had Highland Bakery do it instead because it was one less thing I had to worry about the night before.
The menu turned out quite lovely, so if you are interested in making any of the dishes, here's where you can find the recipes.
Smoked Gouda Pumpkin Dip
Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostinis
Butternut Cheese Pie
Sweet Potato Stacks
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Mini Caramel Apple Trifles
Cowboy bark and cake were bought.
1. The mocktail.
2. Flower crown.
All in all, a great time was had by all and mom felt truly celebrated. The best part for me was coming downstairs after a hot bath and finding my house completely clean and back to pre-party status! Thanks mom, Al, and Cindy for serving me in this way so I could re-coop after my hostessing duties. I really appreciated it cause it's way more fun to make the mess than it is to clean it up! haha