menu: a perfect spring cocktail party


white wine


windy's deviled eggs

fontina risotto balls

ahi poke on wonton crisps
wasabi creme fraiche

crispy chorizo
point reyes blue cheese & granny smith apples


chocolate eggs

french macarons
c/o abby & jason

David and I hosted a little pre-Easter cocktail party on Saturday night. It has been a long time since we threw a nice-sized party. We started slow, inviting friends with no-or-very-small children, to keep the chaos level to a minimum. It was just lovely. 

I cooked for two days, and didn't document the food that well. Trust this though, if you make the things on the menu above, even in double batches, you will have NO LEFTOVERS. The next day being Easter and all, we ended up making simple tacos, because there was no way I was going to cook again so soon. Did you know you can actually get sore and tired from intense stretches standing in the kitchen cooking?

A fun time was had by all. David and I are still talking about it and dreaming up our next get-together. 

Those Blood and Sand cocktails were a HUGE hit, highly recommended!

The day before the party I got as much done as I could. I had prepared the pickled vegetables a few days before, so they were all set. Highlights included:

Preparing the icebox crackers by making and chilling
the dough, then slicing and baking. Super fun.

Frying a lot of wonton strips to go with the ahi poke.

This was a tough one, preparing risotto but not being able to eat it,
instead chilling it to be made into little balls the next day!

I prepped the crudités and made the dip of all dips, Martha Stewart's
buttermilk peppercorn dip (cue choir of angels).

I baked two, count 'em, two batches of tres leches cake. I used three pans. One batch went into an 8" x 12" pan so the cake baked thicker than the recipe called for. I put those pieces in the bottom of the bowl. The second batch went into two smaller pans, and came out thinner. Those went on top. This makes a lot of sense. Think about it.

I am writing this three days later, and the leftover cake has still not broken
down and gotten too mushy. This is a fantastic cake recipe, Joy the Baker!

The morning of the party, David took the kids on a liquor run, and  I swung into action. It was super manageable due to the 4:00 party start time, and all my previous preparatin'.

I diced the ahi and made the poke. It was so good, an amalgamation of online recipes.
Next time, more soy sauce and a little heat.

I prepared the risotto balls for frying. I fried the balls and the cornichons
(pickles) right as guests arrived, keeping some warm in the oven.

I made the quatro leches concoction, later to be poured over the
layers of cake squares and left to sit for four or five hours.

I also stuffed the endive leaves with the parmesan-walnut salad I had made earlier
in the morning and fried the pre-sliced chorizo right before guests arrived.

Like I mentioned before, I didn't document the food that well, especially once the party got going. The light was falling dim, and I was having too much fun to take photographs of food. I'm also feeling more and more awkward about walking around tables of food and photographing them when other people are around. I was at a party in December where as soon as the food came out, four people whipped out their phones to start shooting. It's a sign of the times, I suppose!

Fontina risotto balls.

Fried pickles in the upper righthand corner, quick pickles in the foreground.

 I was refilling the ahi poke plate (upper left) every ten minutes!

A rainbow of macarons.

 Two of our favorite ladies right on trend with their neon nails. I need me some of that polish! The pink is from J. Crew, the tangerine-ish color is Essie. Gotta get it. Stuffed endives below their hands, by the way.

We relaxed our "no shoes in the house" policy for lady friends who wanted to stay fancy.
Fancy Windy on the left (on her way to a Mad Men party after ours!), fancy Annie on the right.

The giant menu on the wall!

Gemma and Oliver. 

We had planned on ending the party at 7:00, but were so happy to have guests stay much later. I spend the last half hour or so chit-chatting and washing dishes. We went to bed with a clean house, after all that! A perfect end to a perfect spring cocktail party!

I'm smiling on the inside, at least. Dishes are done, and the Easter bunny is on his way!


  1. Great Party! Love the menu!!!

    1. Thank you, Ann! I am creating "menu" posts so I can refer back to them in the future when I need a little kick start with meal planning. :)

  2. the food looks fabulous. my mouth is salivating!

    1. Thank you, Lola. It was pretty darn good! :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Alix! It was! Now that I've fried pickles, I'm confident I can batter and fry anything in the fridge! :)


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