Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back To School & Bloody Mary's

The party starts early on the first day of school...

You might think the kids are excited to go back to school, but imagine how the parents feel! Ask my friend Amy, and she’ll tell you it’s an occasion to celebrate – so she threw a party on the first day of school, just like she has for the last several years. The event has become something in and of itself – it has grown from a small gathering to a huge, all-day affair, with elaborate menus and celebratory drinks shared!

The kids were dropped off just after 8am, and the party began around 8:30am, when each guest was handed a Bloody Mary or Mimosa…

Food was passed, souvenir cups were kept full, the guests were happy, and the host could relax knowing that everything was being taken care of!

The morning menu included:
Tomato Tea Sandwiches
Mini Omelets
Monkey Bread
Cucumber Sandwiches
Deviled Eggs

The tomatoes... they're an heirloom variety called Roman Candle, and I bought them from The Sippels. I made southern-style tomato sandwiches with them – soft white and wheat bread, cut into tea sandwich slices with a biscuit cutter (perfect size for the tomato slices), Duke’s Mayonaise (Amy’s insistence – she’s a southern gal, and it's the “secret of great southern cooks,”) and a thick slice of tomato. I prepped the ingredients the night before and kept them separate so the sandwiches didn’t get soggy. On party day, I assembled them quickly and neatly using a piping bag for the mayo. The Roman Candles were a perfect choice for this – bright red, not overly juicy, but packed with fresh tomato flavor.

For my own twist on finger food omelets, I adapted a recipe from a magazine. The size was perfect for a quick, light bite. They’re easy to make ahead of time, refrigerate, and then keep warm in the oven on party day.

Mini Ham & Cheddar Omelet

1-1.5 lbs. deli ham, sliced to medium thickness
6 whole eggs
½ cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Mini Turkey, Spinach, & Swiss Omelet

1-1.5 lbs. deli turkey, sliced to medium thickness
6 whole eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup frozen spinach, liquid squeezed out
¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper

Grease a mini muffin pan with butter.
Cut deli meat into 3” rounds using a biscuit cutter. Save the scraps for sandwiches!
Carefully press each round into muffin pan, taking care to prevent holes.
Beat eggs and add milk.
Gently stir in remaining ingredients. Fill each muffin cup with egg mixture.
Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

I left after breakfast was served and the kitchen had been cleaned, but I hear the party continued long into the day. I think I also heard the remark “what happens at Amy’s, stays at Amy’s…”

Names and identities have been concealed in order to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent…

If you would like assistance in planning or managing your next party, contact me!

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