I love celebratory dinners for people. There is something about creating a meal for someone that says ‘I care about you – a lot.’ Food is personal and I jump for joy at the chance to create that for someone.
We recently had close friends over to celebrate my good friend Heidi’s birthday – woohoo! That also means 5 kids age 4 and under, 1 of which pretty much hadn’t slept in 7 days. Which of course translates to mommy not sleeping for 7 days. More wine, Kelly?
The menu was set – the table was set – the food was almost complete – the kitchen sink faucet? Leaking all over the kitchen. Yikes! Good thing I keep ol ‘blue eyes’ around. Entertaining a group while not being able to run the water in the kitchen sink seemed daunting, but, we made it work. Late night dishwashing in the laundry room in the basement? A little eerie yet effective. I strongly dislike basements. And dishes.
The crew arrived with beautiful flowers (thank you Heidi), yummy appetizers (thank you Kelly), a complex palate (mangos…right Chris?) and ice cold beer (thank you, Daddie!). The kids enjoyed pizza around the fire pit while we enjoyed the refreshments and jammed out some Kanye West.
Click here for the Tuscan chicken recipe – it was beautiful! I followed Ina’s directions to a tee and like (almost) always, she was spot on. This will be a new ‘go to’ for easy summer entertaining. Impressive for your guests, yet relaxed. Great balance.
So a great summer meal was enjoyed at a table with good friends and French wine. Not bad for a Sunday night – especially with L in charge of ‘babysitting’ (dear Lord). He managed to make $2, stuff ice down one of the toddler’s pants, as well as focus on caging (as he called it) everyone in the back yard by making this trap:
Dinner was followed by none other than a classic birthday cake! I am obsessive about this cake story article from Real Simple, which I have mentioned here before. I used it to create Heidi’s chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries. Everyone sing along now…Happy Birthday to you….Happy Birthday to you….
To close the evening, M provided us with some late night entertainment. Gas + wood + a match? Never a brilliant idea. Great public service announcement for the children: stop, drop and roll LIVE is a much more effective learning tool. I don’t think Olivia will ever be the same…
Happy Birthday to my ‘Lisa!’