I've been home from Seattle for over a week and I can still barely believe it all happened. I didn't even know Kristan and Annie three months ago and suddenly there we were, planning the biggest event of our careers so far together.
There were countless emails and phone calls and weekly video chats where we went over our never-ending to-do list, and somehow it never even felt like work. I grew up in a house where entertaining and feeding people was the norm, so something about planning a big lunch party just felt really natural. And it was even better to be teaming up with La Crema to make it happen--can you believe I've been working with them for two years? So wonderful.
The table was just dreamy. Annie did such an amazing job styling it and setting up all the place settings. We originally wanted to get a ton of flowers but ended up only needing a few little ones, so we picked them from Kristan's backyard. Like I said, dreamy.
Look at that space! We rented Cannelle et Vanille's new studio space as the venue and it was absolutely perfect.
I think this is the most beautiful charcuterie board I've ever put together. We had so much fun deciding which meats and cheeses and other snacks to include, and it ended up looking totally gorgeous on the table with La Crema's Russian River Valley Rosé. (Hi mom if you're reading this then you probably can assume that we had way more food than we needed on this table. Thanks for that.)
But the soup might have been my favorite course--I loved it so much that I actually just bought all the ingredients yesterday so I can make it again this week. I don't think I've ever made quinoa before but I loved toasting it up on a really hot griddle and using it as a garnish! Kristan got that idea from Dolly and Oatmeal and it went so well with our soup.
Roasted Leek and Cauliflower Soup (adapted from Love and Lemons)
- 4-5 large leeks, washed and sliced thinly (only the white a light green parts)
- 2 heads cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 4-5 small waxy potatoes, quartered
- 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
- About 1/3 cup olive oil (plus some for drizzling)
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- The juice of one large lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crispy toasted quinoa, for garnish (recipe included below)
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
For the crispy quinoa garnish:
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (we used tricolor)
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium high heat.
- Pour in the quinoa and stir until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Season leeks, cauliflower, and potatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil and then divide between two baking sheets and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned. Rotate pans halfway through cooking time.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a blender (allow to cool slightly). Add half of the vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Add more broth if necessary.
- Transfer to a pot and simmer on low. Drop fresh thyme and lemon juice in and stir well. Add more vegetable broth if it gets too thick. Season again, remove the thyme sprigs, and serve hot; topped with crispy quinoa, green onions, and a drizzle of olive oil.
The salad was lovely too. The day before the party, Kristan and I went out for breakfast and I asked for some greens on the side of my baked eggs instead of bread, and they gave me this lovely lettuce that wasn't chopped at all, and it was simply dressed with really beautiful olive oil, so we were kind of inspired by that and didn't cut up our lettuce before dressing it with nice oil, a spritz of fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of coarse sea salt. Delicious. And how pretty are watermelon radishes?
Mixed Greens Salad with Shaved Fennel and Radishes
- 5-6 cups washed and dried mixed greens--we used a combination of frisee and butter lettuce
- 1 large bulb of fennel, washed and thinly sliced (it's easier to slice first and then wash since the bulbs can collect dirt)
- 2-3 watermelon radishes, sliced thinly
- Juice of 2 lemons
- About 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- Assemble salad plates with mixed greens, then top with a small pinch of sliced fennel and three or four radish slices.
- Lightly drizzle olive oil over the salad and squeeze lemon over each plate. Season with salt and serve immediately.
The main course was delicious and we were lucky enough to get salmon courtesy of Drifters Fish, a small business local to Seattle. We marinated the fish in a homemade honey mustard glaze and baked it. Visit Annie's blog for the recipe! You'll love it. I never make fish at home but this was really easy and it ends up looking quite impressive so I may need to make it the next time I have some friends over for dinner.
Kristan made the most delicious dessert I've ever had--it was a strawberry rhubarb galette topped with pistachios and served with homemade vanilla bean + orange blossom ice cream. Hello. We paired it with La Crema's Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, which might be my favorite of their wines--it just feels so special.
What a day! It felt like a dream. We were so exhausted the next morning but couldn't believe how smoothly everything went and how lovely our guests were. Brunch on Sunday felt like the night after a wedding--recapping our favorite moments and how beautiful everything looked. Everyone had such a great time and I left Seattle feeling pretty lucky, and with the biggest smile on my face.
This event (and blog post) was sponsored by La Crema.
Invitations, Menus, and Place Cards c/o Minted | Plates c/o Hayneedle | Salmon c/o Drifters Fish | Glasses and Flatware c/o Vintage Ambiance | Additional sponsors who donated supplies for our kitchen and goodie bags: Le Creuset, Wolf Gourmet, Kristas Baking Co., Mustard and Co.
Photos by Oguz Uygur.