I can’t believe this is my JOB!
When I was asked if I’d be interested in cooking for her husbands surprise 60th birthday party at her home in New Jersey for about 30 - 40 people. You can imagine my response like, “hellz yeah!!!!!” I love a party!
I mean, what’s better than family and friends gathering around having fun, and the birthday boy can enjoy the company of all his friends instead of being at a restaurant where you cant talk to everyone while stuck at the table.
I was given the 'warning', were Italians and my family and friends love to eat. I said "don't we all".
It was a tricky event to plan. How do you keep this a secret? Well we did, I won't bore you the details on how.
Overall the party was a success, everyone was fed and full. The hit of the evening was the sliders (Ill make another blog about those - but move over White Castle), Orzo salad and the tiramisu (Hubby's favorite dessert - used the wife's recipe )
I learned on how to make homemade limoncello (hint use Tito's vodka) from a couple that makes it all the time. It was soo good.
Beef and Turkey Sliders
Garlic Herb Roasted Salmon
Italian Sausages with Onion and Peppers
Tortellini Pesto Salad
Antipasto & Cheese Platter
Marinated Mozzarella Balls Cherry Tomatoes& Basil on Skewers
Chicken Salad on Cucumbers
Mozzarella Sticks with homemade marinara sauce
Orzo Tomato Artichoke Salad
Adapted from Proud Italian Cook
1. Roast sliced tomatoes at 400 degrees on parchment drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little oregano until moisture is mostly gone and the sides look wrinkled.
2. Cook orzo al ' dente and before draining reserve a cup of the pasta water.
3. While pasta is boiling take a large saute pan with sides, drizzle the bottom with olive oil.
4. Saute the onion and garlic then add the artichoke hearts, breaking some apart
5. Add half of the pasta water and cheese into the veggie mix, mixing well with a whisking motion to create a sauce.
6. Toss in the cooked orzo pasta and If you need more pasta water add it.
7. Pull pan off the heat and fold in the roasted tomatoes.
8. Toss on chopped herbs, parsley, basil or both and zest.
9. Adjust to your liking adding a drizzle more of olive oil, cheese, salt and pepper or pasta water.
10. Recipe can easily be doubled!