We celebrated my hubby’s birthday a week after we got home from our annual spring break beach vacation. FYI it is crazy to plan and execute on a party for 45 people a week after you get home from vacation. It is madness!
In any case, as always I had both moms and my cousin to help. We have thrown many parties together if the years. They are awesome support.
Hubby had a fabulous 50th celebration. It started Mid-week with a Bo Saam dinner. Then Friday, his actual birthday we had an impromptu brunch at Trois Familia with his sisters, the moms and us. It was a fun way to start his actual bday. Then we had dinner for 17 at a favorite Mexican restaurant. But really this was a lead up to his party. Saturday afternoon pool party which lead to a very late and celebratory night.
Over the next week I will share pictures of his cake, party favors, decorations, wall art, and menu. It was a great time. Happy Birthday (again) honey!
Happy Valentine’s Day Eve! Here is a vertical Valentine’s banner (say that ten times fast!). I designed and created it a few years ago for a book club Sweatheart’s dinner party. If you need to make a quick banner for Valentine’s Day look no further than old book paper, glitter, embellishments and some old keys. Easy and cute without being cutsey.
Not the best images but you get the idea.
Share the Love–Celebrate someone you love with a token of affection and a little party.
I was just baking Red Velvet Cupcakes for various Valentines’ activities. See recipe below.
It is a cool California-winter day and the oven made my kitchen feel all warm and cozy. It feels like a day to enjoy your home. Anyway, since I was feeling cozy and wanted to share my pleasant mood I decided to give my neighbor a call; I invited her over for a homemade Red Velvet Cupcake and fresh brewed coffee. We had a nice visit without the kids running in and out and I got to spoil someone I love with a surprise treat.
If you are baking cupcakes or cookies for your kids classes or for your family why not make a little extra and invite your mom, sister, neighbor, dear friend over to share–that’s a special Valentine just waiting to happen!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 3 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1 oz bottle red food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt. Add lightly beaten eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and red food coloring to dry ingredients. Mix ingredients until combined. Place cupcake liners into muffin/cupcake pan. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted near center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with additional crumb, if desired. (Recipe doubles)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups cream-cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 pound package confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in vanilla extract. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Add pinch of salt. If frosting is too stiff (is too stiff possible?), add warm water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
This post is a throwback to a blog post form Valentine’s week 2009. It’s a great party idea but also a bit nostalgic for the 2009s (in case you are feeling nostalgic). I hope you enjoy the dark humor of this celebration.
This is a fabulous, really fun party for the foodies in your life or for the singles or the long married because it is all about strong full flavored foods. Think garlic, onions, peppers, coffee, red wine, booze, and all those other ingredients you can’t enjoy if you have to worry about your breath.
Invitations: Send a dark red rose invitation. Nothing says special like an invitation received in the mail (if this is a last minute feast you may call or send an electronic invitation). On the invitation ask your guests to dress in attire befitting a sophisticated dinner party-for some that may be black tie, for others cocktail dresses and if your crowd is a jeans crowd then ask them to wear some red and black with their jeans (I am thinking red heels).
Set the Scene/Tablescape: When designing this Celebration Royal Tart was inspired by the fabulous dinner party scenes a la Lipstick Jungle or Sex in the City. This Celebration is wonderful as a sophisticated gathering of dark smoky colors and pretty china. You can use your existing dishes or purchase a pretty set from Royal Tart. We chose black and parchment dishes in different patterns mixed with a beautiful dinner plate rimmed in red with delicate black roses. Set the table with red cloth napkins, a red table runner, lush, open red roses and candles and you have the makings for a stylish, sophisticated Valentine’s Feast without placing a single heart anywhere. Of course you should light the fire, turn down the lights, chill a bottle of bubbly and turn on some crooners like Nat King Cole or Harry Connick. For a more rock-n-roll vibe put on a little Bruce Springsteen-he sings about a pink Cadillac and a tunnel of love-now that’s hot; again while setting the scene keep in mind sophisticated beautiful people.
Dirty Vodka Martini
Garlic Cheddar Cheese Bread
Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
Oven Finished Filet
Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlic 2 Ways
Mocha Chocolate Fondue
Biscotti or other Italian Cookies
Hot Passion Coffee Drink
Party Favors: Give your guests a Valentine of mints-Altoids would be appropriate for a strong flavored meal. Plus the tins are red and white—again Valentine’s like without the heart.
Have a great Valentines Party!