Friday, August 31, 2007
A Summer Book Party
This past week my 16th novel came out. Quite a milestone for someone who never planned to be a writer and didn't start writing until after she was forty. (Before you make me Methuselah, bear in mind that I write really, really quickly!) I had a booksigning, but that didn't really seem like a big enough celebration, so I threw myself a "Sweet Sixteen."
I sent out e-vites, telling people that there'd be Books and Booze, and the acceptances came rolling in.
This is our friend Kate and some of the food. It vanished quickly!
Since I'd be at the bookstore until just before the party, I needed to come up with things I could prepare in advance. And prepare, I did! For two days I diced, chopped, combined and cooked. Everything was a hit.
We started off with Pineapple Martinis. In order to make them you need to first make pineapple vodka by coring, skinning and cutting up a whole pineapple. The piece of pineapple go in a large pitcher and you pour an entire bottle of vodka over them, cover it and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain out the pineapple (don't even taste it, just throw it out. Yuck, right? I knew you'd taste it!). Combine 3 parts pineapple vodka with one part apricot nectar and shake with crushed ice in a shaker. Strain out into a martini glass decorated with a slice of pineapple. Yum!!
I also made baked brie, which is really simple. Just cut the rind off the top of a round brie, cover it with apricot preserves and then cover that with chopped pistachios you've roasted for a while on the top of the store in a little butter. Then bake for 20 minutes at 350. It can't miss.
I did this incredible thing with figs-- cut off the bottoms so that they stand tall, then make an X in the top. Make a mixture of ricotta cheese, toasted chopped pistachio nuts (that you have left over from the brie) and some maple syrup to taste. Top with a honeyed almond and watch them disappear.
I made four different kinds of sandwiches: mini lobster rolls, roast beef and roasted garlic cream cheese on French bread with basil leaves and sundried tomatoes, brie and nectarine sandwiches and "mad hatter" sandwiches, which I found on the net and modified.
Then I made carrot cake cupcakes, zucchini cupcakes (both frosted with cream cheese frosting) chocolate chiffon cupcakes and golden buttermilk cupcakes.
As if that wasn't enough, my dear friend Lynette brought a chocolate fountain and we had fruit and pound cake which everyone enjoyed dipping.
Everyone had a great time, especially me!