the perfect party appetizer

These are my favorite appetizers for two reasons — they taste delicious and the presentation factor.  I haven’t taken these to a party yet where someone did literally say “Wow” and inevitably someone wants the recipe.  I would say they are the easiest to make since there is absolutely no cooking involved, but that’s not necessarily true.  It’s only if you have a second pair of hands to hold “the package” while tying them together that this rings true.  Doing them by yourself can prove to be a bit challenging if your chives are short and/or stiff.  After making these little guys for 10 years now, I have found that the key to success here is a long, flexible chive.  We were fortunate enough this last time to use some straight from our landlord’s garden (soft, strong, and flexible indeed).

Ingredients: The largest salami you can have sliced, Boursin Cheese (yum!), cherry tomatoes, & some sort of a chive/flexible green onion-esque thing-y.

Direction: Layer first three items then pick up sides and tie with a chive.  Simple as that.

And a note — I always tell our fellow party-goers that you eat it like sushi; that is, you pop the whole thing in your mouth at one time!

Boursin Poppers Ingredients

Boursin Poppers Ingredients

how to celebrate turning 60

The party for my pop wasn’t exactly something you would see in a spread for Martha Stewart, but rather somewhere in the pages of the free periodicals they give away at grocery stores where they don’t mind if you’re not wearing shoes!  The darn wind thwarted our efforts at more elaborate decorations, but I think we made Tim Gunn proud and “made it work!”  Besides it kept all those West Nile Mosquitoes at bay.

We had the original intention of setting up a backdrop for guests in the main area of the lower deck (mostly for lighting reasons), but the aforementioned wind made us change plans.  But it just so happened that the cabin we rented had an outdoor shower that transformed into the perfect photo booth. With lots of decorations, lights, props, and a heavy flash it made for some really funny shots.  I actually think it worked out better to be in the enclosed space because it allowed folks to feel a little more free to be silly.

Really, I guess you can’t go wrong with classic marble cake (with chocolate butter cream frosting), a delicious fish fry (with caught-and-cooked-by-my-pop-fish), live music, lots of alcohol, and a photo booth!  At this Texas-sized birthday bash we ate, drank, danced and laughed until we could no more — sounds like a success to me (apologies to the neighbors!)

party pooped

It was a long weekend.  I really can’t believe that only 48 hours have passed.  My sis was the chair-person, for the anticipated event, so inevitably I was put to work.  Finding the right dress really was the least of my worries.  This charity event is for a local non-profit and it is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year.  It includes a silent and live auction (along with dinner and dancing).  My specific duty was that of copywriter  for all 50+ items in the silent auction.  Oh, and did I fail to mention that I got the list of items on Thursday?!  Needless to say I was up very late Friday night trying to be witty and charming (and brief) on what amounts to a 3 x 5 index card.   By the time I got down to the fourth painting, I wasn’t sure just how else to say, “This original work of art is sure to add depth and character to any room!”  I also realized that I am a ridiculous fan of alliteration.  (See title of this post!)  Just about all my captions were proof of this.  For a hair care package donated from a local salon the title read: Maintain Your Mane, etc.

On Saturday I was also put on merchandising duty.  Although I may have been a little grumpy about it, I really enjoy doing it.  Trying to make things look nice, no matter what the object, is always something I enjoy.  It was one of my favorite and most challenging aspects of working in a store.  Ironically enough, the table I photographed (see below) was probably one of the least interesting tables on display.  Go figure.  But I enjoyed the challenge last year and again this year, so I’m sure I’ll be doing it again next fall — learning a little something new each time.  It was easy to make things look nice though with the colors my sis picked this year.  Regal purple, orange, pink and gold offered the illusion of fall despite the lack of cold weather.  And the flowers were beautiful even though the lily’s never opened.

Well despite my unoriginal captions (and quasi-professional merchandising) almost every item was purchased and several even went for over twice the retail value.  The live auction was also successful and included golf cars, sports tickets/package, autographed items, a trip to Cozumel, and a Cabo San Lucas vacation getaway for four.  Let’s just say that I’m hoping my parents want to have Spain 2.0!  Or maybe they’ll at least consider taking the sis and I in their dive bags?!  (I supposed they’ve been generous enough already and they’ll probably want to go on a vacation without us…or at least with their friends!)  It’s just the vacation my Dad deserves upon his return (just 28 more days now!)

All-in-all, I would say it was a success.  Over 200 people attended, donating time, money, and goods for a very worthy cause.