Tag Archives: Dinner Party

Titonic Dinner Party

Okay, here’s another throwback. I thought I had exhausted all my old food photos but then I remembered about an amazing dinner party I hosted with a couple friends this fall. The genius of the party was its inspiration: I was at Peppercorn in Boulder www.peppercorn.comshopping for a birthday present for my grandmother when I came across this “Gin and Titonic” ice cube tray from Fred & Friends:

I fell in love with the ice cube tray so I decided to throw a nautical themed party serving gin and tonics with the ice titanics and bergs in them. I ended up having almost twenty guests show up for dinner, but thankfully my heroes, Grant and Dre, stepped in to help me chef it up. Our surf-and-turf menu was as follows: Olives, crostinni with tapenade, and smoked mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto for appetizers. Lamb kebabs, bacon-wrapped shrimp, salad with goat cheese, cheddar and chipotle biscuits from the BAKED cookbook, and parmesan mashed potatoes for the main course, and a “White-Out” cake from the BAKED cookbook for dessert. (Baked is an amazing bakery in Brooklyn, NYC. bakednyc.com I had their chocolate malt cake at a baby shower in NYC once and was immediately addicted. See photo from the shower below.)

I handled the baking, while the boys did most of the grilling. I got the cake out of the way early in the day, although it was a challenge and took forever. I picked the “White-Out” cake because I thought it resembled an iceberg. For some crazy reason I decided to be fancy and whip the egg whites for the frosting by hand instead of using an electric beater. Worst decision of my life (or of that day). It took me almost an hour and my forearms were sore for weeks.  Another difficulty was stacking the layers of the cake.  My mother taught me to always shave cake flat, but I hate wasting cake so I stacked it without alterations.  The cake had two layers and turned out magnificently. The chipotle cheddar biscuits had a wonderful kick and were pretty easy to make.

Now for the alcohol. Usually gin and tonics are my nightcap, but for this party I drank them all night long. I bought my favorite gin, Hendricks, to start the night off right, and ended up breaking out the Tangueray by the end (and sadly running out of it). I only had one ice cube tray so I had the foresight to start making the cubes the day before, and it worked out really well.  Of course we also had plenty of wine on hand as well.

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Dinner Party! -with Lavender Cake!

In September I was privileged to host my friends who were travelling through Boulder at my house. We took advantage of the wonderful kitchen and made many delicious meals. One of the most daring baking adventures I embarked on was making a lavender cake with fresh lavender that I discretely picked from my next-door-neighbor’s front yard. I used a mortal and pestle to grind the lavender to go in the cake, and used extra sprigs to decorate the plate. The icing was just a simple white glaze. I couldn’t find a regular bunt pan so I used a fancy molded one, and fortunately the cake came out in one piece. I was quite pleased.

Sam, my fabulous guest who is a far superior chef than myself, made pasta a la vodka that knocked everyone’s socks off (but unfortunately it went unphotographed) and crostini appetizers with slices of peaches and blue cheese. I made brussel sprouts with bacon for a side, and of course there was plenty of wine to go around.

The previous night, after a long day of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, we threw together the easiest, yet tastiest combination for dessert: two-bite brownies from Whole Foods, Haagen Dazs cinnamon ice cream, and home-made espresso. I can’t figure out how to work the espresso machine at my house to save my life, but fortunately we had an ex-barrista around to work some magic.

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