Monday, August 31, 2015

40th Surprise Birthday Party and Italian Pasta Night - 2015

Our Annual Italian Pasta Night dinner was held this past Saturday, it was also a combined 40th surprise birthday party for my oldest daughter.  And what a surprise it was, she made all the pasta!  It was a cucina pazzo (crazy kitchen) for a couple of days, but was so worth the time and effort to see 34 people sit down and enjoy a meal that was all homemade.  I had a lot of help from my daughters, nieces and my sister making all this food, without them I could never have done it on my own.

So here it is, Benvenuto! (Welcome), to our Italian Pasta Night Dinner/Birthday Party.
 We were very busy making braciole, meatballs and sauce.
 The birthday girl and my niece Kristin made the Lasagna noodles.
Here comes the 3 pans of lasagna, cheese and sauce.
 The appetizers - Two very large platters of anti pasta, mussels cooked in a white wine and garlic broth with tomatoes done on the grill, and homemade artisan pizzas on the grill. 
Homemade bruschetta, gotta have that on the appetizer table.
 Table set up for the drink bar.
 Next up were the salads - Panzanella, which got eaten before I could take a picture, and a deconstructed Caprese salad with balsamic glaze and a little olive oil.
 The sauces - red for lasagna, vodka and alfredo for the fettuccine - all homemade!
And the birthday girl concocted quite a few bottles of homemade Limoncello.  We also had a huge variety of Italian wines on hand to go with our meal.  Me on the other hand, stayed with the Italian Cream Soda's.  They were delicious by the way, like dessert in a glass, refreshing and not too sweet.
  So the theme I picked was white, blue and yellow for the party.  We couldn't really decorate for a surprise party, because my daughter was here the whole time making pasta and other food.  I tried to keep it simple with a little bit of a Tuscan feel. I used blue delphinium, baby's breath and fresh herbs from my garden for small vases of flowers to use on the tables.  I also had black lanterns, votive cups with white candles, and ran lemon leaves and lemons, all the way down the center of 7 tables that were covered with white tablecloths.  The picture frames have Italian sayings with the English meanings that I set up going down the tables.  Italian torrone candies were also scattered throughout the tables.  I used white china plates and paper lemon decorated napkins with my everyday flatware.
 This is a photo from one end of the table to the other.  Lots of mixed up chairs, but that is all I had to use, so my goal is to have all matching chairs by next year.  Fortunately for me the weather cooperated, it was a beautiful day and a lovely evening.
 San Pellegrino Sparkling Water, plain and flavored.  I also used plunger type canning bottles with chalkboard labels for lemon water.  For dessert I purchased blue, white and lemon decorated paper plates and used yellow plastic forks.
 Oh No, The Big 40!  On the dessert menu for the birthday girl - Italian Rum Birthday Cake.....
Ricotta Cookies, made by my niece Tara, they were so good there are none left!  There were seven dozen, you can't eat just one.....
 and of course a delicious Tiramisu, it was fantastico!
So there is our party, hope you enjoyed all the pictures.  It was such a fun night and everyone had a wonderful time.  There is nothing better than sitting down to a meal with family and friends.  I am already planning for next year!


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