It’s coming…

I realized my earlier post was… really boring. And I feel bad. The truth is my mind wasn’t on Sesame Soy Chicken and Salad. It wasn’t really even on the botched prosciutto ravioli. Ever since my bff started planning her 30th birthday bash yesterday, I’ve been contemplating my own 3-0 celebration.

Image from Annie Eats

I feel like I should tell you up front that I’m not dreading it. A quick search on Pinterst revealed a lot of “30 Sucks” sucker bouquets… so maybe I’m outside the norm.

I just feel like it’s something that should be recognized and Hubster and I aren’t always good about that. I blame it on the timing of our birthdays: January. By the time they roll around everyone is partied out from the holidays and new years resolutions are in full gear. Plus you can’t do anything outside, which is no fun. If I could move my birthday I’ve move it to May… maybe that’s why we got married that month…

But I digress, I feel like I need plans. It’s only 79 days away.

What I’d love to do is host an intimate dinner and go all Martha Stewart on the decor and tablescape (I attribute this burning desire to the fact that a good part of my weekend is spent staring at the beautiful wedding details our clients put together). Ideally, we’d hire a fabulous private chef, but in reality I’d probably cook and bake and make something fabulous that can be served family style. Plus cake… or pies… really just sweets. There has to be sweets.

So I’m taking suggestions. What do you make for your birthday ? Or what would you make if you were treating yourself and few of your closest friends? I have a cookbook of layer cakes saved in my Amazon wish list, so I’m thinking a layer cake may be in order. Any you love? I think Annie’s Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer cake is a safe fall back :)

renee - October 29, 2011 - 10:36 am

I love the idea of hosting a fancy dinner party! I think for a lot of people the idea of hosting/cooking/etc on or for their birthday would be a downer. But for a select group of individuals, it would be the opposite. I’m guessing you’re in that second group (as am I-although my pipe dream is to go to Ireland for my 30th). Think of how fun it would be to get out all your pretty white dishes and have a centerpiece and maybe even table cards, or little ‘thanks for coming’ favors for the guests to take home. It’d be a lot of work I’m sure, but seems like a great way to celebrate!

hhawes - October 30, 2011 - 6:32 pm

Yes! You’re totally seeing my vision :) I guess I need to work on a guest list and start testing recipes!

Annie - November 8, 2011 - 9:04 am

Imagining your 30th birthday party makes me think of the dinner party Julie threw on the rooftop at the end of Julie/Julia (or I suppose that could just be me, projecting my own desires).. :) Y’know, when she comes out and presents the duck, the pièce de résistance. Something with close friends, stylish and chic on a rooftop overlooking the city. White table setting with pops of color. Matching but not identical pieces. Lights strung up. And you’d look adorable in that crisp white ’50’s dress she wore, too!

If it were me, I’d take on WAY too much, cook much too much food, and go ridiculously overboard on dessert. :) Maybe make 30 small desserts or something– combination of cakes/pies/tarts– to represent the occasion.

Enjoying your blog, by the way! So happy you and Aaron are doing well in StL. And I’m LOVING your pins on pinterest. I adore yellow/gray combinations, and seeing that all over your boards makes me happy.

hhawes - November 8, 2011 - 1:53 pm

Hi Annie! Ooh! Now I want to watch Julie and Julia to see that scene again. I’m definitely imagining something stylish with gray and yellow as the colors. I saw the rosette backdrop and was sold. Love it! I don’t think I have a spot for that, but I’m hoping to incorporate rosettes somehow.

I’m definitely worried that I’ll cook way to much. I figure I’ll draft a menu and let Hubster review it before I make any purchases. I’m also trying to be conscious of the fact that I’ll need to do some make ahead items. Any thoughts on a signature drink? I’m thinking something yellow, maybe with lemonade, but that seems really summery for January.

I really want to do a layer cake of some sort for dessert, but haven’t found the right recipe yet. I’ve actually had “Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes” in my Amazon wish list for a few weeks, but can’t seem to pull the trigger. Are there any layer cake books you’d suggest? I’m considering making my New Year’s challenge to make one layer cake per month :)

Thanks so much for the comments! And congratulations on your little one! He look adorable and I’m so happy for you guys :)

Annie - November 8, 2011 - 4:22 pm

Her table style isn’t quite what I’d have in mind, but the feel of it all is spot on. :) That rosette backdrop is *amazing*! Actually, that whole setup was gorgeous. I love the banner across the front. And the tablecloth was great, too! They have it online at Target, but it looks like just a round one is available. Love the pattern/colors, though. Instead of a big backdrop, you could string them up across the room or around the table or something. Use them to garnish napkin rings or around vases (or make paper rosettes to go IN some of the vases instead of or mixed in with fresh flowers).

Signature drink! The only thing immediately came to mind was something mimosa-ish. So. I went looking for yellow signature drinks. :) (don’t mean to come across as overbearing, I just *really* love planning party details :))

I REALLY loved this one: Apple-Ginger Sparkler
http://www.marthastewart.com/318331/apple-ginger-sparklers
The color looks like a muted yellow, and the apple and ginger would be a great flavor pallet for winter.

Other yellow-hued beverages:
http://www.marthastewart.com/335626/frizzante-mojito
http://www.marthastewart.com/314373/lemon-shandies
http://www.marthastewart.com/314112/lillet-basil-cocktail
http://www.marthastewart.com/314939/menning-mimosa
http://www.marthastewart.com/355427/lemon-drop-champagne-punch

And lots of suggestions on Absolut’s site:
http://www.absolutdrinks.com/en/search_result/?query=yellow

Definitely prep ahead of time! When I do a large meal for a get-together, I do as much as I can before the day of. Bake your cake layers and stash them in the freezer. You can do that at least a week before. Make your frosting/filling a day or two in advance. It’s SO much easier to assemble a cake when everything’s ready to go, especially if you have an entire meal to cook as well.

I’ve actually had that layer cake book on my Amazon wish list since the summer before Bryan + Amanda’s wedding! :) Of course, my wish list consists of like, 15 pages (1/3 of which are just books, the majority of THAT being cooking/baking/cake decorating books)! I love food books. The funny thing is, I tend to automatically turn to the internet for inspiration instead of dragging out my pile of books. So while I can’t speak personally for that particular book’s reputation, most of the reviews looked promising. And looking over the index, there seem to be a ton of tasty sounding recipes for cake and frosting. I say go for it! With over 200 pages, you’re bound to find something in there that strikes your fancy!

Thanks a bunch for the congrats. :) Being a parent is SO ridiculously hard, yet incredibly rewarding. We’re loving it.

hhawes - November 8, 2011 - 4:57 pm

Yeah, I think the rosettes are a must. I was already thinking about using them on the napkin rings (note to self: Need to buy new napkins). I like some of your other thoughts too!
LoL! You’re not overbearing at all. I love party planning too. I seriously think I missed my calling sometimes… if only there was more money in it!
I’ll check out the drinks… so expect to see them on Pinterest soon :)
I’ve started looking at cakes and read that it’s much easier to work with them if you freeze the layers. That’s a cool trick and such a good thing to do ahead of time.
Actually, I’m the same way. I tend to look on the Internet for inspiration (also because I can get to it at work and I can’t lug my cookbooks back and forth). But I do love paging through new cookbooks! We’ll see if I pull the trigger on the Sky High book. I really want to make one layer cake a month in 2012 so that may be a good excuse to purchase the book :)

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