Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Party: Audrey's First Birthday

I can't believe we have celebrated Audrey's first birthday already! First birthdays are such an occassion worth celebrating! Hooray, this little girl was born a year ago! Hooray, I've kept her safe and well fed and loved for the year! Hooray, she is becoming her own little person. Fun to have her little cousin-twin, Kate, to share in the celebration too. I wonder how many years they will celebrate their birthdays together?

They wore their little matching pinafores and bloomers, and I'm glad I found some long-sleeved onesies for them to wear underneath because it wasn't really warm enough to go sleeveless. At least not in my opinion when it comes to baby attire (I'm all about snuggling and covering them).
Given the age of the birthday girls this party was really more about the adults. It was fun to have our families there to celebrate with us. I love backyard gatherings with family.
I mentioned before that I was inspired by the birthday dress fabric to go with the polka dot theme for the invitations and party, and so I continued it with an oilcloth tablecloth for the serving table. I have always loved oilcloth so it was so much fun to order yards of it. I used some different fruit and floral prints for the eating tables but this polka dot is my favorite.

I found some fun, bright red melamine lunch trays at Target and decided to use them for the party guests--mostly adults mind you. Thought it would be a fun through back and remind us that this gathering was really about children. But of course I also think these will be really fun to have and use in the future for the kids--easy for backyard BBQs.

We served my mother's recipe, "Kathy's Open House Salad," which is a spinach, chicken, pasta combination, breadsticks and fresh berries...

...and of course, birthday cake! I made this gumdrop mountain cake from an old issue of Martha Stewart Baby. I always have trouble with her recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream and yet I keep trying it. We had to keep sticking this cake in the fridge to get it to set up a bit while applying the gumdrops so they didn't just slide down the sides! But it finally worked and no one knew the difference.

Audrey seemed entertained by the singing and blowing out of her single candle, but she wasn't really a fan of the cake. That's what I get for keeping sugar away from her this first year!

The parents and our one-year olds:

Recipe: Kathy’s Open House Salad with Spinach, Pasta and Chicken

Equal Parts:

  • Fresh Spinach leaves (washed and stems removed)

  • Cooked Pasta—Penne or Bow-ties (cook and rinse; cool)

Add to Taste:

  • Poached, chopped chicken breast

  • Dried cherries (you can substitute dried cranberries or blueberries)

  • Toasted almonds, roughly chopped

  • “The Original Vinaigrette” from Le Parisien

    To poach chicken breasts, place chicken in pan and cover with cold water. Place on stove and bring water to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool in water. Remove chicken breasts and chop.

    To toast almonds: preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.

    Combine all salad ingredients and toss with vinaigrette.

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