When your little brother and his fiancée ask you and your dad to make their wedding cake, you say “of course”, but when they ask if you can make THREE, you choke a little, then smile and still say “of course”. They insisted that they wanted something simple and rustic, but when you have to make cake for 150 people in a rented home kitchen, things will always get a little interesting. We had made three cakes for our wedding as well with only a few hitches, but we rented an industrial refrigerator for them and bought vanilla buttercream instead of making it ourselves (a huge time and money saver!). These two crazy kooks wanted flavored buttercreams and one carrot cake, so everything was made from scratch in many, many batches. Continue reading
Tag Archives: party
I don’t know about you, but I love Pinterest. LOVE IT. But for a while there, I think I was just creating an internet-only beautiful life that I wasn’t fully living. Virtual life no longer! I’m cooking the recipes, crafting the crafts and using the inspiration boards for my own decor. Here’s what I tried out for my latest party! Continue reading
Just before Thanksgiving, I co-hosted a high tea baby shower at Hotel Bel Aire and the holidays got in the way of me sharing how lovely it was! This was a small shower for a second baby, so the mother-to-be wanted something intimate at a restaurant…which was a strange new world for a DIY party gal like myself! I was put in charge of invitations, favors, and simply making the table more personal. It has been a long time since I threw a small party, so being able to spend a little more money and time on these things was a nice change. Here’s the intimate tea shower round-up: Continue reading
By: Jeff Hinchee
As someone who reads Delia’s blog, you no doubt spend your free moments thinking about how lucky her friends are to regularly indulge in her epic and well conceived parties. We ARE very lucky. Delia and (husband) Jeff are really amazing friends, so I wanted to throw them the baby shower they deserve. Actually, when Delia and I were in California last year throwing baby showers she pulled me aside, looked me in my eyes and said— totally deadpan— “Take notes. This is your job when I’m pregnant.”
Throwing a party for such a seasoned party planner is a daunting task. Even though I knew she would be happy with anything, you would never invite the Queen of England to stay in your railroad apartment and sleep on the Ikea mattress on the floor that you call a bed. And so I enlisted the help of some other devoted friends, referenced Martha Stalwart frequently, and proved that you, reader, CAN throw these parties too!
We figured it was time to find a new place to decorate, cozy up and entertain in since we aren’t quite edgy enough to raise a baby in a garage loft. For now, enjoy this holiday party post, use the recipes (everything was delicious!) and next year, get ready for new-apartment posts and baby nesting!
Our party had a much looser theme than last year, but we encouraged people to wear “vintage holiday” attire….any decade would do. Jeff and I channeled the 60’s, mostly because it was the only vintage maternity dress I could find! Here’s what we served:
- Hot Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Toasted Baguette Slices (Martha Stewart)
- Cheese and Meat Plate (Trader Joe’s cheeses, salamis, fig butter and hot pepper jelly)
- Dill Dip With Veggies (recipe below)
- Marcona Almonds (Trader Joe’s)
- Glazed Ham with Mustard (Trader Joe’s)
- Roasted Winter Vegetables (recipe below)
- Butternut Squash and Turnip Gratin (Wine Garage)
- Classic Stuffing (recipe below)
- Touch-of-Grace Biscuits (from The Bread Bible, but these are similar)
- Yule Log (Cake, Filling, Icing (whip this until light and fluffy once it is thickened at room temp), Mushrooms)
- Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake (Martha Stewart I also added a simple orange juice and 10x glaze)
- Hot Chocolate with Gingerbread Snowflakes (Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Snowflakes)
We served this with raw veggies at the party, but traditionally, my family serves it in a rye or pumpernickel bread bowl with rye and pumpernickel bread cubes (it’s the best!).
- 16 oz. mayonnaise
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.
- 5 cups whole cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 6 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into hunks
- 1 large acorn squash, seeds removed, cut in wedges along grooves, peeled and cut into hunks
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and put the mushrooms on one and the sprouts on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Roast both for 15 minutes, stir and flip and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Dump both into a serving dish or casserole and toss to combine flavors. Lower the heat to 400 and repeat the process for the parsnips and acorn squash. These will take longer than the mushrooms and sprouts. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed.
I made this vegetarian this year with veggie stock, but I recommend using chicken stock if you have meat eaters around…it’s a lot tastier that way!
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup butter
- 9 cups soft bread cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread cubes, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a large bowl. In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter over medium heat until onion is tender. Pour over the bread cubes and toss until coated. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, drizzle with stock and bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 375 and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 10 minutes.
As I started to plan my third baby shower of this year, I realized that I should share a bit of my process with the world since I have party-throwing down to an art form! If you don’t know this already, soirees of all sorts are kinda my thing, from my own wedding to showers to our annual Easter and Christmas parties. They all get the same attention to detail and I use the same paperwork for every single one. My famous (within these 4 walls) party charts are after the jump! Continue reading