Monday, September 3, 2012

Double Birthday Party

When we found out we were moving into an apartment with a yard, we instantly started to get excited about hosting Evan's upcoming birthday party at home. Originally we hoped to have an afternoon outdoor affair, but our bizarre daytime mosquitos dashed that dream (more on that later) so it turned into a nighttime inside-outside party. It was good motivation to get all unpacked and settled both inside and out within the month of moving, even if it did mean I was throwing up a few posters just before the first guests arrived.

Because we expected a large attendance, we went with a handful of appetizers rather than serving a full dinner. I made my white bean herb dip, which is versatile enough to use whatever herbs you have on hand. In the past I've mostly used rosemary, sage and thyme, but this time it was heavy on the parsley and marjoram because that's what's flourishing in my yard. The dip went out with a bowl of bruschetta topping (diced tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil) alongside vegetable crudite, sliced baguette, crackers and a cheese plate. The other birthday boy's wife made lemon ricotta sage butternut squash crostini and delicious mini tarts with feta, tomato, and cucumber (I think).

Like our party back in February, I like to put up a sign next to the bar suggesting cocktail options to make it readily apparent what's available. At this party, in addition to standard bar fare, we had a couple punches that could be enjoyed with or without the addition of alcohol - a cucumber limeade that a friend brought, and a watermelon-lime-mint punch (will share that recipe soon).

For dessert, I made mini flourless chocolate cupcakes - as expected, the miniature size is perfect because they are so rich that even the regular cupcake size is a bit much. I also made peach oatmeal crumble squares (pictured above) by adapting a Smitten Kitchen recipe for blueberry crumb bars. Since I don't have the requisite 9x13 inch pan, I did some math to determine that my 12 inch cast iron pan covers about the same area. I didn't believe that Deb was able to cut hers into 36 squares, until I started cutting mine and realized a little square will go a long way because they are tall and dense, especially so with my addition of a cup of oatmeal to the dough. And then, of course, there was the ice cream cake...


  1. Very nice party pics! It seems there was good fun.

  2. What a spread! That peach crumble looks really, really yummy. Actually, it all looks pretty awesome.

  3. Awwww, you got a yard! I'm so happy for you :) Living the dream!

  4. meag, i'm living a mosquito infested dream...that post is coming.

  5. Wow, this double birthday party was so fun. I am in love with these photos. My mom’s birthday lies on Christmas day so we also host grand party to celebrate this day. This year we hosted a vintage themed bash at one of her favorite seaside private party Seattle venues. Enjoyed a lot on this day.