Sunday, June 21, 2009

party time

IMG_2989 I absolutely LOVE planning for events, especially events that involve food and friends!  I think I should be a caterer and go to culinary school (this is my dream someday).  While I don’t handle stress/anxiousness too well sometimes, I love the stress of the kitchen.  That rush you get when you prepare something that turns out so well you want to jump or giggle, or the sheer disappointment you feel after messing up a dish and the determination to tweak it and make it better the next time (or right at that moment!).  I love preparing great nibbles and seeing the joy on people’s faces when they are enjoying the company of great friends and food. 

Even with lots of planning, things just don’t always go as planned haha, and this is where I get a bit discombobulated :/  This week was pretty uneventful, but I did get in a small fender bender on Wednesday that put a ‘dent’ in things so to speak.  I was okay thank goodness, but my poor car got about $2,000 worth of damages.  The guy in front of me with the truck didn’t even get a scratch, go figure!  This is my first accident, so I hope that my insurance won’t go through the roof.  While I did get a moving violation for following too close, I don’t even remember being that close.  All I remember is coming to a slow stop, starting to go again and before I knew it I was smooshed in the car in front of me.  I didn’t have enough time to react, and the guy in front of me also hit the guy in front of him.  Not a pleasant experience, but not too bad.  I was just bummed because my gym plans were shot!  Crazy I was thinking about that, but I’m definitely glad it wasn’t more serious.  After filing a claim with my insurance and blah, blah, blah, I’m waiting for the body shop to finish the work . . . (big sigh).  Have you ever gotten in a car accident?  They scare me so much, and when I first started driving I about went into a panic attack every time I got into the car, especially on the freeway.  I didn’t get my license until the middle of my junior year of HS!  Now I’m not that bad, but they still give me serious chills.

On to something more fun . . . . PARTY TIME!

Once all the planning, prepping, making and cleaning was all done, it was so nice to have a cocktail (or two!) and enjoy the good company of family, friends and yummy nibbles celebrating our first home.

Oh and I have to fess up that I got myself a new toy!  I didn’t really ‘need’ it, but really believe that it will be a great investment for the future of my blog, business and tasty travels.  Drum roll please . . . .  it’s the Canon Rebel XSi  aahhh!  I’ve been dreaming about taking pictures like these for years.  Yea, I could have gotten a new road bike, a flat screen tv, a bedroom set, or fake grass in the backyard, but I decided to get an awesome camera.  What is wrong with my head?  I love learning about food styling, and while my pictures are not professional at all, I hope to start learning a lot more about photography, particularly with FOOD!  By the time I made my decision, (I swear I was contemplating all freaking day!) it was too late to get it here by the party date, so I decided to speed ship it for a little extra so I could have it for the pics.  Let’s see how I did for an amateur right out of the box . . . There is so much to learn with this thing!

And if you have ANY experience with food photography, lighting, etc, by all means please give me some ideas and feedback for what works best for you :) 

Here’s the spread:

For munchies to start:

Assorted cheeses – Colby, fontina, sharp cheddar, aged gouda, honey and grapes


Brie, herbed brie, and aged parmesan 


Bruschetta with fig compote, goat cheese and crispy prosciutto.  We also had caprese bites with balsamic reduction. 


Panzanella Salad


Chocolate Fountain!  This was a hit, who doesn’t love dipping things into falling chocolate?! 

IMG_2993 IMG_2995

Spinach artichoke dip with Hawaiian sweet bread, this is always a crowd pleaser.


Roasted Veggie Calzones with marinara dipping sauce (still have to work on the aperture and depth of focus)


And we got a new TV!!  I think I about died right then.  Buster likes watching TV haha



It was such a wonderful party, and while it took most of the week to prepare for it, it was so much fun.  I think we will have to have another party soon because we have a ton of liquor left!  I forgot to take pictures, but we opened up 3 bottles of wine, had that lemon champagne punch (It was so good!), and also made another cocktail, and some pyramid apricot ale beer.  We still have a giant thing of vodka, coconut rum, cranberry and pineapple juice left.  We’ll have to keep it for another time.  Now I have a ton of dishes in the kitchen and loads of wash I need to get cleaning (boo!) . . . and Happy Father’s Day!  Give those men in your lives a big hug!

What’s your most memorable party that you have hosted?




Thinspired said...

Oh my, can I come to your next party?! Seriously, everything looks perfect. I love that there are plenty of healthy options but also some treats for indulgence. The chocolate fountain is AWESOME! But really, I'd go for the cheese first ;)
I've never hosted anything at this level, but when I do I will look to this post for ideas!

Thinspired said...

P.S. I can't wait to see your food photo experiments! My hubby got a DSLR Nikon a while back and I shoot with it but I can't do anything fancy yet :(

Sweta said...

What a great party-loved the chocolate fountain and the Bruschetta with fig compote.
BTW,learnt a new word today and all thanks to you-discombobulated!!

Mo said...

Mmm, looks like a successful and yummy-rific party! Congrats on the camera and TV!

Astra Libris said...

Congratulations on your absolutely incredible, gorgeous party, and your new camera!! SO exciting! Your photos are amazing!

I'm so sorry about your car accident! How scary! I hope your car has a speedy recovery at the body shop soon... Car accidents are terrifying - someone ran a stop sign and slammed into my truck 6 years ago, and to this day I still flinch when I see a car coming up quickly in my peripheral vision. Sigh... Sending tons of sympathy!

P.S. As always, Buster is toooooo cute!!

Emily said...

I'm so glad you're ok, but I'm sorry about your car. :-( At least noone was hurt, though.

Sounds like a great party! Your new camera really works well! I usually don't use flash when I take pictures, and that seems to help them turn out better.

Anonymous said...

oh man!! I am SO envious of your new camera! I've been hunting for a new camera for ages. I've had my heart set on the Canon rebel Xsi or the Canon G10, but they're way above my price range :-(
But you pics look TERRIFIC. I heard to NEVER EVER use the flash. Use a higher ISO when in lower lighting, and also try to shoot by natural light if possible. Natural light is the best.
I also LOVE event planning, esp when it comes to the food. You did a terrific job! :D

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the car accident- Glad you're ok!

Looks like a fabulous housewarming party. Congratulations!!

And, yay for the new camera. Very exciting!

Have a great week!!

kristen :) said...

Thinspired - Of course you can come!! As long as I can come with you on your next trip to Italy! :P I'm still trying to get the hang of it, I need to take a class I think. There are so many things you can do, and I am clueless!

Sweta - Oh I love it! That is so great, I love that word :)

Mo - Thank you!

Astra Libris - Thank you for your kind words, I'm sorry about your accident. That is so scary.

Burpandslurp - thanks for your tips, I am still trying to get the hang of it (wasn't really in my price range either, but I will have to sacrifice in other areas)

Angie - thanks girl!

Anonymous said...

aw buster!!! What an AMAZING spread for that party! You are truly impressive as will be your photo experiments for sure!

I hope you are okay after that fender bender! yikes!

Sprouted Kitchen said...

looks great! what a lot of work! Yes, Italy was definitly a highlight of life. I think my favorite trick was slow roasting tomatoes with great olive oil, herbs and secret anchovies. Ppl think they don't like them, but the anchovies dissolve when they back and are totally a back flavor. So good.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Those photos are amazing, I'm totally jealous. :)

Michelle said...

Nice photos! You're gonna be a regular pro. Tonight I'm throwing a party, though at a restaurant/bar in Boston, not at my house! It's my husband's bday and it's going to be a surprise mustache party. Everyone's got to grow or make a mustache to wear all night! Should be fun :-)

Melissa said...

What a great display!! The fondue looks amazing!!!

Where do you get all your awesome dishes at??