I had the idea for this party at the beginning of summer, and it actually happened some time in June I think. Yeah yeah, I know. But! It was such a lovely time and I have to say that parties are so great when they are structured around an activity. It makes me feel a little like a kid again, except that there's cocktails involved...
For the food, I made a vegan and non-vegan heirloom tomato tart with a Parmesan crust and fresh basil (out of focus above), an asparagus-Gruyere puff pastry tart (below left), rustic apple tart with Meyer lemon caramel (below right), and Lavash with marscapone, golden cherries, and honey (below right). Everything was delicious but I think the tomato tart was the crowd favorite. All of the recipes were gleamed off of some form of Pinterest inspiration, and you can check out my "Droolfest" board here to see them and way too many more delicious recipes.
For the drinks I made a raspberry-infused vodka the week before (above left), which is really easy - just put a pint of cleaned raspberries into a decanter filled with vodka and refrigerate it for a week. It will turn a beautiful color and will soak up all the flavor of the berries. Then I made a strawberry-basil iced tea (above right) and a raspberry pink lemon-limeade (below left) that guests could add the vodka to if they wanted. And I made a blueberry-mint-lemon iced tea (above back), a punch made of white Merlot, sparkling blood orange juice, and lemon slices (in the big yellow thing above), and the greatest cocktail of the day: a concoction of gin, grapefruit juice, bubbly water, and thyme simple syrup that I have dubbed the Carnelian, in honor of the beads we were using at the party (below right). The cocktails were also all inspired from Pinterest (lovely tool that), and my "Thirsty?" board is where it's at!
It ended up that the guests were divided right down the middle into two groups: those who had made jewelry before, and those who hadn't. We kind of naturally divided into two tables, this one being the "grown-ups" table, where people knew what they were doing:
And then there was me, with my huge pile of supplies for the taking, at the "kiddie table", teaching my friends how to make earrings and necklaces (though really I'm quite the novice myself). By the time we started in on the actual jewelry-making process we were all loopy from being stuffed with good food, if not slightly inebriated, so of course hilarity ensued. Everyone went home with at least one piece of jewelry and, I hope at least, some good stories and recipes.
Oh, and I whipped up a sorbet of sorts to serve at the end of the day, made by chopping fresh strawberries and ginger in my food processor until smooth-ish, adding a little agave nectar, and freezing overnight. I stole this idea from Shannon's boyfriend at her beer and cheese tasting party. I served it in tiny vintage Jell-O molds, too cute!
There's a couple more photos on my flickr if you like. Anywho, this was the start of a most epic summer, I can't wait to show you the rest! Stay tuned...