Wednesday, April 4, 2012

woo hoo, 62

 I recently had the pleasure of taking a break from work and normal life to spend a long weekend at home with a lot of my family for my dad's birthday. My mom and I arranged a sneaky feat and I was a surprise for my dad, as was a big party for him. The weekend was perfect. Red buds, vegetables, and flowers in bloom. Other out of town family in town. A long bike ride with my folks, aunts and uncles on our local rail- to- trail path with a pit stop at a brewery. Seeing friends (and their cute babies, and new houses.) Dinner at favorite cafes. And oh yeah- we threw a surprise party! I planned the menu and did the cooking for 60 people. It started with a long trip to my favorite ethnic grocery store, a few more stores, lies to my dad that I was cooking for a friend's engagement party (sorry dad- and sorry I didn't throw you a party, Courtney and Kevin) and eventually the food was prepped and ready to go. The final menu is below in photos!

Uncle Mike, best prep cook ever, assembling tarts.  puff pastry squares filled with caramelized onions, greek cheese and ricotta, and roasted vegetables 
The beautiful cake that my talented friend Lauren Casper made.  If you are in St.Louis check out her food art at  Colleen's Cookies . Not only are they beautiful, they taste great too. And all those flowers and hearts around the edge, yup they are cookies too! 

Dad came home and was surprised! And he loved the cake and baklava 

The spread: puff pastry tarts, chickpea salad, kale salad, pesto pasta salad with pesto from my folks garden, guac, shrimp, vegetable platter with homemade hummus, and yogurt dip, cheese plate (including a Vermont cheese- had to represent, and surprised I can find the grafton cheddar in STL.)  

Tarts in the oven! 

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