Remember the birthday party I was gathering inspiration for? Well, it was a huge success! The best thing about planning this dinner was that I got to spend the whole day in the kitchen with my favorite cousin. We had so much fun arranging the flowers, figuring out the timing of the meal, and cooking the lamb. It also ended up being one of those perfectly sunny January days, so we were able to enjoy the appetizers on the deck. Bonus!
With one vegan and one vegetarian and the rest of the guests meat lovers, coming up with a suitable menu was challenging, but in the end, everything came together wonderfully. To start we served a selection of cheese, oysters two ways: on the half shell and barbecued with prosciutto butter, garlic shrimp, and white bean dip with lavash crisps.
The second course was a dish inspired by something my cousin had on her honeymoon. It was a composed salad with thinly shaved fennel, apple and parmesan cheese, a bed of baby arugula, and lots of truffle oil. Don’t worry, I’m working on the recipe!
The main course was rosemary and garlic leg of lamb, roasted broccolini, and creamy polenta with mushrooms and balsamic reduction. I also made a vegan main, roasted squash with lemon tahini sauce, for those who avoid meat. To drink we had tons of beer and wine. The surprise dessert was a spectacular baked Alaska with chocolate cake and Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream. It was heavenly.
A special thanks to my sister and Auntie Kathy for taking all of these gorgeous photos!