Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Autumn Birthday Party

The cake and tea station.

I had an autumn party this afternoon for a friend's birthday with about fifteen family friends. My friend likes spicy food and cheese, so we had a cheese, soup, and cake party--buffet-style.

I was inspired to give the party by the recipe for Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup, a recipe I found through Chez Loulou. Thank you! Everyone loved it.
I also served Pumpkin Soup with the recipe from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, which is just about my all-time favorite cookbook. Everything I have cooked from it has been perfect. The third soup was Red Lentil Soup from Weightwatchers and here is the recipe:

Red Lentil Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium carrots, chopped
29 oz of chicken broth
8 oz dry red lentils, washed
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
Cream to smooth it out

1. In a medium nonstick pot heat oil; add cumin, coriander, red pepper, and cinammon, stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and carrots. Cook until just tender, 8 minutes.
2. Add broth, lentils, and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer until lentils are tender about 20 minutes. Puree in batches in the blender.
3. Smooth out with cream.

The biggest hit of the afternoon though was Phyllo-Wrapped Brie with Apricot and Rosemary Chutney from Epicurious. My talented sister-in-law served this last Christmas, and it was out of this world, and I knew my friend would love it. Everyone did and it was scarfed down in minutes flat.

Dishes were stacked on the dining room table, and the soups in crock pots and salad were served from the kitchen counter directly opposite.

We had also assorted cheeses, bread, crackers, salad, a little bit of smoked salmon and proscuitto, and wine. For dessert we had Aunt Polly's Apple Cake compliments of Gracious Hospitality. Thank you! and lastly Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Fanny Farmer. Mmmm good. I am a very big fan of Marion Cunningham.

I love the fall, and I had a great time preparing this autumn fare over the course of the last three weeks. Everything could be prepared in advance. I think everyone was happy to sit around and eat good, kind of unexpected food on this blustery November day and just relax after the elections--which had everyone, no matter whom they voted for, a bit tense.


willow said...

What a lovely party! It's dangerous reading blogs this late at night. I am starved now! :P

Paz said...

I'm sure everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks for the recipe.


Bailey said...

Hello -
I am a filmmaker in Atlanta. I read your blog with the mention of Edna Lewis and her recipes.

I just wanted to let you know I produced a 21 minute documentary about Miss Edna Lewis and its viewable in its entirety on Internet at a Gourmet Magazine website:

and at a Georgia Public Broadcasting website:

My documentary is called Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie.

My website, has more information about the film and the story of Miss Lewis.

Bailey Barash