Party Food

I’ve been putting off posting the party recipes because I’ve been dreading writing them up. The reality is I don’t actually know what all went into the food, or more specifically, how much of it went in. I rarely use recipes except as beginning shopping lists or to confirm cooking techniques. Once I actually begin cooking, the neat steps and measured ingredients go completely out the window as I make adjustments based on available ingredients, commitment to exactness, and inspiration. I literally cook ‘to taste’ – seasoning as I see fit, and usually including something that makes no sense, until it does. Continue reading


2nd Annual St George’s Day Party

This week R and I are hosting our 2nd Annual St George’s Day party. St George is the patron saint of England, but also one of the more widely known and venerated saints.  In Catalonia, St George’s Day (April 23) is celebrated by exchanging books and red roses. As book lovers in constant need of cleaning off the shelves, throwing a springtime book-themed party naturally appeals to us, and thus the St George’s Day party was born (but apparently not written about… oops!)

Because of the timing of Passover and spring breaks, holding the party closer to the actual saint’s day didn’t make sense this year, but in reality the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Due to the repeated polar vortexes, the DC cherry blossoms have been delayed, so that they are expected to peak this week. We’ve already created a few flower cocktails, so adding a cherry blossom cocktail and presenting them together works. We’re also making a more concerted effort at menu planning meaning I’m attempting several new recipes and revamping a few old ones. More details to come!

Party Recipes, Post 1

Orange popovers – F&W

Confession – these popped beautifully, but then stuck in the tin, so all I was able to remove were the tops.  They were still a hit, but I’m not sure if the tins just didn’t get buttered enough or what.  They are incredibly easy to make, and absolutely delicious.

I doubled the recipe, and used orange extract instead of orange zest, but forgot to double the extract, so they were less brightly flavored than I would have liked.

Lavender honey Mascarpone cream – Bakewise

This didn’t actually get made, but if it had, it TOTALLY would have complimented the orange popovers.

  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbs honey (we were going to use lavender honey)

1. Freeze beaters and bowl.  Whip cream to medium firm peaks.

2. Whisk together mascarpone and honey in separate bowl.  Fold into whipped cream.

3. Serve chilled.

Chipotle-garlic edamame – F&W

I didn’t realize until afterwards that this recipe calls for the edamame in pods, not the unshelled beans.  I don’t think it made much of a difference to anyone, and this way there weren’t any discarded shells to clean up.  Also, this recipe calls for ONE chipotle in adobo, which is clearly not how they are packaged.  So, we now have THE REST OF THE CAN sitting in the fridge, waiting for R to use it in a stew or soup.  Something to think about if you’re frugal or not a huge fan of chipotle/adobo.

Garden Party

The party was last night, and we’re only just beginning to deal with the aftermath, but here is a final menu:


  • Jasmine rice spring rolls
  • Chipotle garlic edamame
  • Chipotle oil-roasted peach tarts (the peaches were roasted, not the tarts)
  • Orange popovers
  • Manchego and goat cheese, plus crackers
  • Veggie platter with homemade dip
  • Guac and chips
  • More herbs than you could possibly imagine
  • Mint ice cubes
  • Strawberry ice cubes
  • Lavender tea ice cubes (the surprise favorite)
  • Lemons and limes
  • Blueberries and strawberries


  • Vodka
  • Watermelon gin fizz
  • Bourbon
  • Benedictine
  • Triple Sec
  • Vermouth
  • Bitters
  • Sparkling water, lemonade, apple cider and grape juice (mixers and for the non-drinkers)
  • Ginger, rosemary, violet and rose simple syrups
  • Beer of various kinds
  • Woodchuck summer cider
  • Cab sauvingon
  • Malbec
  • Reisling and some other white I don’t remember

Party-goers were encouraged to mix their own drinks and experiment with the different combinations of herbs and fruits.  We of course forgot to get extra tumblers, so by the end of the night several people were drinking out of mugs.

Recipes to follow.  Many thanks to Kate, Erica, and Chris for herbs and food, and to everyone who brought alcohol and ice.