To celebrate Pretty Boy’s 25th birthday, we threw a BBQ and bonfire party last weekend. We invited Cher (the woman we live with) and her daughter, and then some of my colleagues from school. It turned out to be 10 of us for dinner and the bonfire.
I got really excited about planning and cooking for Pretty Boy’s first birthday outside of Minnesota ever, and I may have gone a little overboard on the desserts. But Pretty Boy will always say that there’s no such thing as too many desserts. For the food, I cooked, Pretty Boy cooked a little, Cher cooked some too, and everyone who came brought a little food or beer. It ended up being a great spread, and we had more food than we knew what to do with! Five days later and we are still eating leftovers, but luckily I’m a bit of a leftover magician, and it has been a huge blessing not having to cook at all this week!
So here was the menu:
For dinner, Pretty Boy and I contributed:
- Brie, gouda, and cheddar cheese with crackers
- Carrot, feta, and olive salad from simply bill
- Lamb sausage kebabs
- Yellow dhal from Smitten Kitchen and basmati rice
- Zucchini, green bell pepper, and mushroom kebabs
- Dinner rolls
- Pears and mandarins
For dessert, we made:
- Apple pie from Pretty Pies by Lindsey
- Chocolate cherry cake from C Sweets
- Graham crackers from Smitten Kitchen
- Homemade marshmallows from Smitten Kitchen
- Chocolate chip cookies from Nestle Toll House
- Rocket (also know as arugula), fennel, and roasted capsicum salad with balsamic vinegar, pistachios, and sunflower seeds adapted from Jamie’s Italy
- German sausage
- Miso marinated firm tofu steaks
- Potato bake with onion, cream, and paprika
- 2 kinds of Australian beer
And then our guests brought:
- Camembert, wasabi, and blue cheeses and crackers
- Lime chili tortilla chips
- Kangaroo kebabs
- Turkish bread
- Chili potato chips
- Lindt truffles
- Apple juice
- A few different kinds of beer
It was awesome! Doesn’t that sound awesome!? We had dinner out on Cher’s huge deck, with Pretty Boy running the grill and bonfire. We got so wrapped up in the people and food and hosting, that we didn’t remember to take ANY pictures. I tried. I really did, and I reminded myself repeated leading up to the bonfire to take pictures, but alas, we were caught up in the moment, and pictures did not happen.
After dinner, Pretty Boy and I were so excited to get to dessert, we also forgot about the sparklers we got to use as candles and singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ Oh well, dessert was just more important. Pretty Boy made the chocolate chip cookies himself and provided a lot of sous-chef kitchen support. Everyone was really impressed that I made marshmallows, and the Americans where even more impressed that I made graham crackers. Grahams are hard to get just right and even harder to accurately describe both the taste and the cultural place they hold to anyone not familiar with them. We taught everyone about S’mores and then made pretty authentic tasting S’mores over the bonfire, though the marshmallows didn’t hold up to roasting that well. (I think I undercooked the sugar, but that’s what happens without a candy thermometer. They still tasted great!)
So Happy Birthday, Pretty Boy! It was a great way to celebrate, and we both felt really good about hosting and how well everything went. Good enough that we are now thinking ahead to our next party: a Sunday morning brunch where we live stream a Saturday U.S. pro outdoor motocross race.
I love brunch! It’ll be awesome.