Party, Party, Party

Continuing on about the 65th Birthday Party for the love of my life!

First, we needed a theme.  Tossed around a few ideas when suddenly our daughter said something about Paris.  We adopted: A SUMMER EVENING IN PARIS! In an instant the first pieces of decor were purchased: boxes from Michael’s with Paris themes printed on them and an amazing French inspired framed menu chalkboard!

Sepia toned boxes and poster

Sepia toned boxes and poster

Dinner Table w/Chalkboard Menu above.

Dinner Table w/Chalkboard Menu above.

On a second trip to Michael’s the whole “chalkboard” theme became inspiration to go Black and White for the remaining decor.  The sepia-toned boxes already purchased would be enhanced with a very oversized poster in the same colorations and adorned the wall unit surrounding our large living room window.

Black & White Eiffel Tower Photo

Black & White Eiffel Tower Photo

But everything else was Black and White!  Some of the highlights: Black framed black and white photo of the Eiffel Tower; Black metal Eiffel Tower tea light candle holders; Black and White small suitcase that says: “Paris is always a good Idea”;  Black and White Paris themed desk organizer that held dessert plates, forks and napkins!

Eiffel Tower Tealight holder

Eiffel Tower Tealight holder

Black and White Invitations were bought and printed @home—B & W printed coasters, Flocked damask taffeta runner, printed cardboard cupcake stands, Fluer de Lis printed ribbon, damask printed cocktail & dessert napkins, this list could go on forever.  Suffice it to say that if it wasn’t black and white it didn’t get used in the dining room, bar, dessert bar or bathroom!!

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The Mantle was given Black and White treatment and Paris Postcards were added to the Mirror above.  White orchids and damask balloons added for fun.

Chandelier and B & W Paris Photos

Chandelier and B & W Paris Photos

Black Cardboard Chandelier above framed Black and White Photos of Paris.  This hung above a chest that was wrapped in white with a black corrugated Eiffel Tower Banner.

Covered Chest to hold dishes & flatware!

Covered Chest to hold dishes & flatware!

Sign 1

Sign 1

Sign 2

Sign 2

Sign 3

Sign 3

 

Signs were printed, creatively hung and entertained all who read them.

 

 

 

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Eiffel Towers were everywhere!

No pics available for a few other projects, hallway signs with arrows to direct guests coming off the elevator to A SUMMER EVENING IN PARIS!

Also a black frame strung with black cord with black and white photos of the honored lady from wedding day to various vacations and with family members hung with black and white clothes pins!

Black and White Favor Bags contained Eiffel Tower Key Chains; Fleur de Lis glass coasters, Wine charms with the Eiffel Tower, and Chocolate Truffles.

It was truly a immersion into the Parisian theme with a menu to match the festive decor.  If you missed the menu it can be seen here!

The guests were truly into the spirit of the evening and were fashionably dressed in Black, White and Black & White!  Everyone raised their glasses of Champagne Naturale to toast Kathy in celebration of her 65th!

Thanx again to all those who participated in this great party!

 

Eat Well…Be Well!

 

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A SUMMER EVENING IN PARIS (Briarwood Style)

The Cake

The Cake

To celebrate my wife’s 65th Birthday she finally decided it was time for a birthday party in her favor.  For the last two years she’s wavered between a destination style family get together; a sit-down restaurant experience, party room or not; and several formal style dinners at home inviting small groups of family or friends each time.  We finally convinced her to just go with the flow and plan a night for people to remember at home, even if that meant cramming tons of people into our apartment.  It was also actually going to be on her real birthday 7/25/2015!

We selected the theme: A SUMMER EVENING IN PARIS!

Be on the lookout, I’m planning a separate picturesque post describing the decor, awaiting more pictures to come my way!

The Color Scheme: Black and White started with the Black and White postcards sent for save the date with a Parisian Skyline Graphic to the Black and White Invites and request that our guests dress casually in Black or White or Black and White!  Happy to report everyone was in very fashionable compliance!

The Look: Lots of white china, real flatware, glassware, and linens were deriguer.

The Playlist: Jazz, a pleasant mix of vocals and instrumentals.

On the TV: Black and White Slideshow of Paris pictures.

The Mood: Festive with plenty of laughter, good stories and catching up with old and new friends, and minimal tears (mostly during heartfelt Champagne Toasts to the lady of honor)!

The Menu:

DRINK BAR

Signature Cocktail: White Wine Kir

French Chardonnay (unoaked); Cotes du Rhone; Pinot Noir; French Rose

Assorted Belgian Beers

Perrier; Perrier Lime; Evian

CHARCUTERIE TABLE

Cheese board: Comte, P’tit Basque, Brie, Goat Cheese covered with Fig Jam, Champagne Grapes

Meats board: Saucisson Sec; Rosette de Lyon (Busseto Salami);  Moutarde a l’Ancienne; Cornichons, Pickled Onions, Picholine Olives

Pates: Pate de Campagne; Mousse de Canard au Foie Gras; Mousse Truffee; Truffle Butter

Breads: Sliced Baguette; Garlic & Herbed Crostini; Mini Whole Wheat Toasts; Water Crackers; Peppered Water Crackers; Sea Salt Bread Sticks

CRUDITES TRAY

Carrots, Celery, Mini Cucumbers, Endive Petals; Lemony Artichoke Dip

Honey Roasted Peanuts

Champagne Grapes

THE DINNER BUFFET

Boeuf Bourguignon

Cold Poached Salmon w/Cucumber Sauce

Croissants w/Chicken Salad Veronique

Roasted Baby Potatoes & Radishes

Ratatouille

Haricots Verts w/Caramelized Shallots & Lemon

Spinach & Strawberry Salad w/Shallot & Champagne Vinegar Dressing

DESSERT BAR

Birthday Cake

Black and White Cupcakes

Macarons

Cocoa Batons

Champagne Naturale

Coffee &  Tea

 

Kathleen's 65th

Kathleen’s 65th

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black & White Cupcakes

Black & White Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an amazing evening, all three grandsons were in attendance and we both enjoyed showing them off! Along with their parents of course!

The Lady of Honor

The Lady of Honor

Toast with Tiffany

Toast with Tiffany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toast with Burke

Toast with Burke

Many comments included how smoothly the chef and his two sous chefs and capable kitchen assistant delivered an amazing meal!  The sous chefs, of course, were our Son Burke and Daughter Tiffany and special shout out to the best all round kitchen assistant and bartender Vanessa, officially adopted into the Huff Cooking Clan!

Sous Chefs and Chef

Sous Chefs and Chef

 

Vanessa: The Best French Bartender Evah!

The Best French Bartender Evah!

 

Guests included family that traveled from Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and a surprise cousin from Hanson, Ma! Also in attendance were new friends, old friends and neighbors who only had to traverse the elevator to our simulated Summer Evening in Paris!

The Lady of Honor was heard saying it was everything she had hoped for and more!

Thank you to those of you who participated in making this Kathy/Kathleen’s best birthday ever!  Truly a night filled with amazing memories!

Eat Well…Be Well!

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Tip to avoid Stupid Chef Trick!

Here’s the tip in a few words: Don’t leave the Whisk in the Bowl of just beaten Eggs!

Here’s what happened:

Slept late—no early morning run to fetch Charlie needed today.

Spent 1 1/2 hours on finalizing details for large event on Saturday coming!

Looked up to realize it’s 11:15 and I haven’t had breakfast.

Analyzing my choices I decided it would be brunch.

Pantry produced roasted red peppers, scallions, avocado, eggs, rye bread, pepper jelly.

The Plan:  Scramble of peppers, scallions, avocado with rye toast and pepper jelly.

The Prep:  chop small mound of scallions, small mound of peppers, dice avocado, set each on cutting board next to stove; whisk eggs in a bowl with some dried fines herbs place on cutting board next to veggie mounds; place bread in toaster.

The Cook: Preheat saute pan on stove, reach for the jar of Ghee…………..

Now here’s where the tip would have come in handy…..

Catch sleeve of oversized t-shirt on whisk in egg bowl tipping it over spilling eggs over the cutting board, countertop, under the blender around the bottle of olive oil and down the front of dishwasher.

EXPLETIVES HEARD ON QUEENS BLVD! (three blocks away)!

Any questions?

Eat Well….Be Well!

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