Good morning readers,
I got a chance to do an interview for Praew Magazine (April 2011 issue) which led me to think about my passion and my future. My hopes and dreams are as widespread and in contrast as my taste in food. Just as much as I enjoy eating my num-prik noom (roasted green chili paste) with brussel sprouts, I enjoy baking just as much as I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people. At the same time I have a passion for painting and love arranging flowers. My parents always tease me that what I want to be is Martha Stewart (minus the criminal record.)
Given this combination of things that I enjoy, what I love doing most is hosting parties – anything from engagement reception to holiday dinner to game night, I made it a point to be the mini organizer of every single one of them. Not many things give me more thrill than researching for suitable recipes, sketching out the flower arrangements, and wrecking havoc at Villa or Paragon Gourmet Market. (For this party that I’m about to talk about, I managed to get two shopping carts of food and, literally, a 2-3 ft-long receipt for 14 people! Supermarket owners must (and should) love me.)
So here are some pictures from my most recent dinner party. In the hopes of prolonging the holiday spirits for as long as possible and to, logically, avoid schedule clashes during the last week of the year: I chose to throw a holiday dinner in the middle of January instead. And it worked out perfectly! Something about hearing jazzy X’mas tunes and the glistening tree lights in the middle of the most boring month of the year, in my opinion, provide a very nice escape and kinda transport you back to the mindset of the recent past that seemed like such a long time ago.
I chose to do a party buffet-style since it’s the easiest and most relaxed. However, I could not resist having a nicely decorated dinner table since I think it adds a nice touch to the atmosphere of the party. I cut out the place cards myself and write each guest’s name down by hand. I believe making your guests feel relaxed yet special is one of the keys to a successful party and it’s all in the little details! I could have easily printed their names out on a square card instead of cutting each and everyone of them by hand and threading a ribbon through it. However, what’s the fun in that, right? Nothing makes me happier than seeing their faces light up when they see their names on the plates and how they take their place cards home with them as a little souvenir. =)
For drinks, I chose to set up a small champagne bar where I have little fun additions laid out for the guests to make their own bubbly cocktails such as berries, passion fruit puree, and sugar cubes. For food, I started off with a little station for cheeses and cold cuts with assorted condiments to greet the guests as they arrive. With the main buffet, I kept it hearty and homey with cranberry salad with sesame vinaigrette, mixed vegetable soup, slow-cooked pot roast, chicken and cauliflower casserole, lasagna, with a side of roasted vegetables and mashed potato. All yummy fatty goodness! (I was actually going to make roast chicken to avoid everything being so creamy but with a little technical problems and not enough time, I ended up with the casserole instead. But everyone seemed to agree that more cheese can’t hurt.) Lastly, for dessert, I made individual-sized coconut cakes that was a big hit for everyone. No need to say how full everyone was at this point.
I realize that I am no party expert. I’m just someone who thoroughly enjoys entertaining people. I hope that this post may inspire some of you to get up and host your own dinner parties as well since you’ll realize that he smiling faces of your friends and family are worth every single effort you put in!