14 recipes, 3 grocery trips, too many ingredients to count, several post-it notes, sore feet, 3 days of cooking/baking, much mental math, and 50 hungry mouths. That was my weekend.
The day of the party was so incredibly surreal. I was going bonkers, but in a very calm and efficient sort of way. I was ordering my parents and sister around like any typically crazed head chef, and was actually the last one to arrive (45 minutes late...) at the party, bearing still warm mini quiches.
I could not have done this without my family. I could not.
My dad grated 4 big blocks of cheese in under 10 minutes, my mother contributed 4 favorite recipes that were gushed over, my little sister let me order her around for a few hours, my parents together took care of all arranging and transportation while I was across the field whipping things up with what felt like half a brain.
But we did it. And, much to my embarrassment, I was pulled to the front of the crowd by the hostess (who should really go into PR) and had my young age and still ripening experience exposed to all. I shuffled back to a corner as quickly as possible while the birthday man gave his speech and we all sang.
So many compliments, so so so many compliments. I didn't know what to do, and hiding behind the kitchen counter, as desirable as that seemed, wasn't an option. I put on my business lady pants and accepted compliments and potential catering offers with little creativity, but with what I hope resembled grace.
In the midst of all this, I forgot my camera. I guess the food had priority over that, but goshdangit, there was a lot of stuff there. So I pulled out my handy-dandy phone, tackling the hungry, swarming party-goers, low lighting, and grainy quality.
It really pains me to put up such ugly things, truly. But I had to share this experience. I took as many pictures as I could, but some dishes were gobbled up or forgotten. I apologize.
So, here's my menu and less-than-desirable pictures *shudder*.
Obviously I wasn't buying vegetable dip, no way. Homemade ranch with fresh herbs, it's the way to go.
Mini Quiches, these are what made me 45 minutes late. But they were also one of the most popular dishes there, obviously worth it.
Marinated Mozzarella. Oh yes.
Chevre and Roasted Bell Pepper Crostini, I heard much of these beauties.
Tortilla Pinwheels, my olive-hating sister couldn't get enough of these.
What happens when you mix avocado, cream cheese, and pesto, and stick it in hollowed-out cherry tomatoes? Tomato Pesto Bites. That's what.
Cucumber Canapes, we're all over the stuffed vegetables.
Tiramisu, in cupcake form. Who could ask for anything more?
Brie and Honey Puffs! Booyah.
In addition to all these wonderful things, we had chocolate-covered strawberries, Italian-stuffed mushrooms, chocolate cake, cream puffs, spinach balls, peanut butter fudge, cappuccino fudge, and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.
All from scratch, it's the only way to go.
Pretty much all of these recipes I found online and tweaked. I will share what I'm able, but the lack of pictures is a problem. But I'll do what I can! So stay tuned :)