Monday, March 04, 2013

Welcome to California ~ Sip and See

So the thing with having a blog, no matter how infrequently one posts (ahem), occasionally one feels the need to go overboard.

Would I have hosted a Sip and See (sip some wine, see the baby) for Everett if I didn't have a blog? Erm - probably not. But, I do have a blog, one that is horribly neglected, so I sent out the invites for a group get together disguised as a Sip and See for blog purposes and hoped for the best.

I wrapped one fork with washi tape, and Hank said he wanted to do the rest -- and he did!
The original weekend we had planned for the party, we were expecting 8 adults and 4 kids. The guest of honor had pneumonia (fingers crossed that he is doing better now), so we rescheduled for a week later. Well, this must have been the magic weekend, and EVERYBODY was available. We had 16 adults and 16 kids crammed into our tiny casa. Almost everybody had already seen the baby, lol. Lots of fun, and appreciative of the laid back attitudes of our friends who allowed their kids to play in our dirt heap of a back yard without batting an eyelash.

I would never serve soda to kids -- unless the can colors matched my theme (sorry parents!)
The theme of the party was Welcome to California. It was prompted by the I heart California wine sold at my favorite grocery store, Fresh & Easy. I still even now can't tell you what the wine tastes like, as we didn't open the two bottles shown, but they made for cute decor.

Another inspiring image was this sample favor from Jelly Belly (made in Fairfield, CA, btw). This set up the color theme - coincidentally the same colors in our house - and reinforced the heart theme. I used square containers for berry blue and tangerine (not shown -- forgot to take picture the day of, and only blue was left the next) jelly beans. BT's cousin designed and cut the vinyl for us -- they were perfect!

Coming up with the menu was so much fun! I'm sure this could be replicated for any state, but California was particularly easy. Here is what we had with the CA origin in parentheses:

- California Pizza Kitchen pizzas (Beverly Hills)
- Taquitos (contested origin -- Los Angeles or San Diego. Both of these Mexican food locations are awesomesauce, for the record)
- California Rolls (Los Angeles)
- Guacamole featuring California avocados (San Diego County)
- Citrus salad featuring California Cuties (Central Valley)
- Strawberries (Ventura County)
- O Olive Oil Champagne Vinegar (Petaluma)
- Goat Cheese Log with Dried Cranberries featuring CA Pistachios (Central Valley)
- La Brea Bakery sourdough bread (Los Angeles. Also for the record, I missed an opportunity years ago to be introduced to Nancy Silverton by somebody who thought I was a good baker. I am lame.)
- Blue Diamond Smoked Almonds (Sacramento)
- Brownies made with Ghiradelli Chocolate (San Francisco). Hank also requested s'mores, which worked out perfect to keep people out of the house longer. Also used Ghiradelli chocolate for those.
- southern California beer selection (Stone Brewing Co., Port Brewing, Bootleggers Brewery, etc.)

We also came up with a kickass playlist with at least 40 songs that mention California by name or a city in the Golden State.

For decor, I just made the sign above for the front door, some hearts to hang from the dining room light fixture, and the little food signs with the place of origin indicated.

We also used Mason jars for sipping to celebrate little Everett Mason :)

Unfortunately the guest of honor was a little fussy that day, which is unusual for him. I ended up nursing him a lot, and therefore didn't get to spend as much time with guests or take too many pictures. I did get this gem -- all of the kids 2 and up watching Cars 2, furtively eating their jelly beans.

Love all these California kids so much :)


Least and Most recent favorites: One of our favorite tiki restaurants is closing down. Boo. The only bright side was that I finally got to meet Barb who made a trip up to see the place before it closed. We fell into talking like old friends, which we were, despite never having met in person.

Working on: Sorta feel back on track -- maybe I'll tackle a couple of sewing projects next week.


Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage said...

Your food table is making me DROOL! Oh my goodness. If I did a CO themed table we'd be eating Rocky Mountain Oysters and elk jerky or something. Blech. Cute party!

April said...

I loved the decor and along with looking great- everything tasted so yummy. We had a great time.

wendy said...

What a cute idea! I just found your blog and enjoyed reading it!

sweet little sister said...

I so enjoy your attention to every detail! Good work on those forks Hank :) the party looks darling & well attended because you're well loved <3 hooray for Everett Mason!