So the other part of my birthday was throwing an open house for my friends. I am loving the afternoon open house. It gives plenty of time to hang out and on a weekend afternoon it gives me, the host, a leisurely amount of time to prep day-of and allows for people to just drop in when they can. Our open house was Sunday from 12:30 pm – 5 pm. We had a bunch of people come around 2 and just two people come in the early part. Kind of like a wedding, when the bulk of the people are there, it’s hard for the host to actually spend too much time with everyone. But really it’s all about the food. Here’s the menu with a few links and recipes.
Ina Garten’s lemon yogurt poundcake – always a winner.
Cream puff stuffed with egg salad – the cream puff flattened out so they were more like finger sandwiches but cream puffs are easy to make. 1 stick of butter. 1 cup of milk. 1 cup of flour. Heat the milk and butter until simmering and add the flour all at once. Stir until it looks like a paste. Then add four eggs and stir some more. This is difficult because the stuff is THICK.
Gazpacho shooters – OMG. These were awesome. Made with San Marzanos I canned last summer with West Coast Rebecca. Here’s what I did. Soak about 2 slices of ciabatta or similar style rustic bread in 1/4 cup of either sherry or red wine vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then throw into a blender the bread, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of chopped cucumber, 1/2 a small red onion chopped, 1 roasted red bell peppers, and 4 cups of tomatoes (either canned or fresh). Puree until smooth and then add 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fava bean puree on crostini – an old spring standby.
Roasted pepper and goat cheese sandwiches – this kind of speaks for itself
Cookie sandwiches – Ina Garten’s shortbread with jam or chocolate ganache between them
Lemon mousse – The hit of the party!
vegetarian won tons
strawberries with chocolate sauce – SOOOO easy. Melt about 8 oz of chocolate over a double boiler. Add vanilla, a teaspoon of ground espresso or instant coffee, and about 1/2 a cup of almond milk and stiff until smooth. It should be the consistency of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
Drinks: iced tea, lemonade, champagne