Monday, August 31, 2015

Birthday For Two - End of Summer Party Menu

Party Perfect Specialty Cocktail - The Seabreeze 
This weekend was all about two very special people in my life (one big and one little), and the joint birthday we threw to celebrate them. Because we would be holding the event at my mom's weekend house on Long Island, a barbecue made perfect sense. 

For the main course, the general consensus was, resoundingly, Filet Mignon - who am I to argue? To make it extra special, I decided to prepare some make-ahead  Bearnaise Butter to melt over the Steaks as we served them.

For the Appetizers, I opted to keep it simple, reverting to a few of my old standbys - a great Shrimp Ceviche Dip that's always a big hit plus a few Cheese & Meat Plates and my favorite summer Caprese-style salad of rich Burrata Cheese, Tomato and Stone Fruit (this time using Heirloom Tomatoes, Plums and Peaches + a garnish of Micro Arugula). 

Dessert was easy (and store-bought, just as I like it) - a stupendous Vanilla Buttercream Birthday Cake from Southampton's Famous Tate's Bakeshop

Favors & Decor
Of course, it's not a party without favors. This was a fun challenge because our guests were to be adults and kids. I also had the urge to give out healthier treats (could I be growing up?), yet I needed to make sure they weren't disappointing (remember the lady that would give out raisins back when you trick-or-treated?).  

Favor Bags With Whale Bath Squirt Toys, Photo: NK

That''s why I was thrilled when I found these AMAZING Yummy Earth Organics Lollipops on Amazon (seriously, so good). The pops were perfect wrapped up along with my favorite Fruit Leather, in cute yellow and blue themed bags from Outside The Box Papers. I sealed the favor pouches with anchor stickers (we had a nautical theme) found on In fact, much of our coordinated party decor came from Minted. I also really loved the easy-to-assemble and affordable paper lanterns from Oriental Trading, which is a another great place for all your party needs (thanks to my sister-in-law for the tip). Oriental Trading was also the source of these cute Whale Bathtub Squirt Toys for the kiddies.  

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - Adult beverages!

I don't have to tell you that this is a must. The easiest way to serve a festive, seasonal cocktail is to serve just one kind - in our case, it was my husband's expertly mixed Seabreeze (as delicious as it is easy). And it's on-theme too! With the drinks mixed, I needed only to put out my and my Caprese Salad, Cheese Plate and Salumi Board, it was officially party time. Scroll down for the How To on our Cheese & Meat Plates and here is hoping your end of summer parties are filled with fun, family and great food too!  

The Appetizer Spread: Burrata, Tomato & Stone Fruit Salad, Salumi (Saucisson Sec + Prosciutto + Figs)
alongside a simple Cheese Plate, Photo: NK
French Inspired Cheese Plate, the How-To is below, Photo: NK 

How-To: French Inspired Cheese Plate 
Firm and Soft Cheeses - Cantal (firm) and St. Andre (soft, brie-like cheese)
Tiger Figs
Castelvetrano Olives (Ok- not French but Sicilian, and they're so amazingly good)
Sweet Surrender Black Grapes, or similar  
Carr's Water Crackers 
Italian Parsley Garnish

How-To: Simple Salumi Board
Sauccison Sec, dry French Sausage
Imported Aged Prosciutto Slices, cut into thirds
Tiger Figs

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