Party time

One of two charcuterie platters at our party. One of my son’s girlfriend’s sisters created this masterpiece.

Saturday afternoon the big day finally arrived. After shopping and trying out recipes and living on finger foods for a week, our violist and one of her sisters arrived.The guests came over in the early evening and I realized we had too much food: spanakopita, a Costco-sized shrimp platter to feed 20 (I’d say 60) and meatballs that turned out superb thanks to my fellow bloggers’ suggestions. Add to that two huge charcuteries with my favorite brie and Humboldt fog cheeses and my husband’s favorite stilton with mango and ginger.

We arranged chairs in the back yard for Alexandra Simpson to play. Here are a series of short videos from the concert. The evening was divine. After the guests left and I cleaned up, I sat and drank wine and chatted with Allie and her sister Brett. I think next to the concert, that was a highlight of the night.

As the sun began to set Allie’s ipad lit her in a soft glow. She uses the ipad for her music.

Here’s a music video that dropped Friday with Allie accompanying Chuck Prophet in “Meet Me at The Roundabout.”

That was the highlight of my weekend. What was your favorite thing about your weekend?

Living on appetizers

Charcuterie platters made by my son

I’m glad I found this photo from Christmas pre COVID, December 2019 to be exact. My son is a master at creating delicious and gorgeous charcuteries. (It only took my two years to pronounce that word). I will study how he put it together and try to make something similar.

Saturday we’re hosting his girlfriend’s sisters and one has offered to play viola for us. She suggested we could invite some friends. I immediately thought of our fellow California refugees who live a mile away. I then invited two couples I met working on the HOA newsletter.

I counted my RSVPs and my original thought of four to six people has turned into 16. My husband keeps asking me what we’re going to serve. I keep telling him charcuterie, veggies, chips, dips, shrimp platter, several hot appetizers.

“What about meatballs?”

“Okay. Meatballs, too.”

We went to Costco a week ago and they once again had samples after two years of not allowing them. Yay! We tried a number of different bites, and bought a couple for our upcoming party.

Here’s the stitch. My husband wants something with puff pastry. He doesn’t want me to cook. I had gotten some ideas from my Santa Barbara friend, who caters parties and makes her spanakopita and other delicious bites — using her own puff pastry. She gave me several ideas where I could buy puff pastry already made and cut it into rectangles or triangles, bake it, and fill it with savory or sweet fillings.

My husband said no. I know he’s trying to save me from wearing myself out and putting too much time and effort into this. He suggested it would be easier for me to pop things ready made into the oven and put them in a chaffing dish or platter and let it go.

For the past three or four days, we’ve been living on appetizers. Everything looks good on the box, but I wanted to know how quickly they cook and how they taste. By the way, Kroger’s makes a delicious spanakopita. Costco has really good spring rolls — and you can order a shrimp platter from them, too. We tried meatballs in the crockpot but didn’t like the sauce I found on Allrecipes. There are some things that I really like but don’t think will work for a party, like my favorite soup dumplings with pho.

Last night I was scouting for more appetizers and I swear my car took over and stopped at Burger King on the way home from the grocery store. I ended up with two Whoppers for dinner.

Any suggestions for easy appetizers? What are your favorite finger foods? Do you have a delicious sauce for meatballs in the crock pot?

Here’s the link to Alexandra Simpson’s website who will be playing viola for us. Her website has her bio and videos of her playing. She’s visiting Arizona to play with Kygo, who I never heard of before her upcoming visit. Have you heard of Kygo?