Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's 1:30 am and I'm in the throes of party prep mania! Tomorrow we're having a birthday party for Girlette who is turning 6 on tuesday. It'll be a manicure receiving/jewellery-making/pink lemonade sipping/ cupcake decorating tea party.

T-25 minutes. I think I have everything under control. Made the tea sandwiches (cucumber, egg-lox, and brie fuji pear). I made this dreamy caramel dip at the last minute, it will be perfect with the tart crisp green grannies I just bought. The table is set, my odds and ends are finally being put to use. The cupcakes are a little too golden for my liking- but oh well, nothing is perfect.

4:10 Party Over. I think it went well. The kitchen/dining area looks like a huge pink bubble burst and left behind a sticky, sweet, pink mess . Girlette's favorite color isn't even pink (it's gold- but of course) but nothing says tea party like 21 shades of pink. Does it mean we're Tea Party people, if we had an actual Tea Party? It's true the crowd was pretty homogenous- young girls, all with common themes: sparkles, beads, and sugar.

Now that the party is behind me, I have time to be exhausted. The TP, closely followed a very fun, very late Saturday night in the city. We met up with our friend Zelig and his friend, and our fellow chow hound, Noemi- and did it up.

Sleep is like a drug with no side effects. I got a nice fix last night- 9 hours! Everything is clear and sharp today. And I can think without it hurting. Girlette's party was a success, from the personalized manicures that I hired our supercool teenaged neighbor to give each girl, to the jewellery station- where they made friendship bracelets. After a while we gathered around the dining room table which was laid out with all my mismatching tea-time tschochkes. I baked a batch of cupcakes and made 3 different types of frostings (chocolate, raspberry, and caramel) and bought a whole bunch of decorative type candies and embellishments (pink crystal sugar, pearl dragees, gold glitter dust...). They each expressed themselves in sweet and colorful ways. After we sang a couple of rounds of Happy Birthday in a couple of different languages- the pink lemonade was flowing, and the tea sandwiches were nibbled. At Girlette's request I made her favorite chocolate truffles (creme brulee and cookies 'n cream), and chocolate covered strawberries.
The Moms were as into it as their girls- duh, why wouldn't they be? Tea and delicious snacks enjoyed with your girlfriends in the middle of a wet and gray day, a time and place to express your inner girlishness. Three curtsies for the Tea Party! I am a proud member. As a finishing touch I ordereded a bunch of precious little tea cups and saucers as a party favors. Most importantly Girlette had a grand time, she even mentioned gratefully how she's glad that we always have birthday parties at home "because you can do whatever you want in your house".

So now that we're done with the hearts, flowers, cupcakes, and tea portion of this post- onto our night in the City. The only thing it had in common with the tea party, was the color of the drinks. I served pink lemonade in tea cups at Girlette's party, and drank pink concoctions in martini glasses throughout our night in the City. We started out at Flutes where I ordered an Elderberry Kir Royale and a beer for Hub (beer at a champagne lounge?), their french fries were thick cut but good. Once the City Slickers arrived we decided to cut out and try somewhere else. Zelig always knows the hippest, most au courant spots- and he took us somewhere so full of cheeky New York charm that I feel heady just thinking about it. He took us to a speakeasy called Raines Law Room. To begin with, it was so New York cool, it didn't even have a sign. You had to go down a few steps to a heavy bolted door with a small window and pretty much beg the door man to let you in. There were a few rings of hipness we had to jump through. He told us there was an hour wait time, but he'd call us when he was ready for us (Don't call us-we'll call you). We diverted our attention to Rye and waited it out over cocktails. After an hour we returned, the door gendarme was still pretty noncommittal. But there was no way I wasn't getting into this place- I was wearing a new dress that was the requisite black, but velvet and asymetrical and just slightly avant garde. My dress needed to be inside that exclusive little joint. After a little chit chat with the man at the door, and a subtle bribe in the form of a homemade truffle (new flavor: bourbon shortbread- a keeper I'm told), we got in.
It was dark in there, and it was swanky. It was like being in someone's living room, if that someone had great taste, lots of books, and an appreciation for dark wood. We proceeded to the bar area, which was kind of like the kitchen annex to this fantastic apartment. I knew right away that the woman behind the bar was a mixologist and not a bartender. The menu was extensive and leather bound. The juices and syrups were all housemade. The drinks were well considered, balanced and different. I had a few Lion's Tails which were so easy, that I was downing them like Shirley Temples. They were more like Lindsey Lohans. We eventually had to concede that the evening was over due to our real life which was just a few hours away. The night ended ceremoniously in a hot pink mess- but enough about that. It was a night so resplendent with New York-iness that I think I'm good for a while.

Caramel Dip

1/2 stick of butter
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. reg sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 container mascarpone
2 tbsp. bourbon (optional)

In a heavy saucepan over med. high heat melt butter, mix in sugars and vanilla until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat, mix mascarpone into caramel. Add bourbon, if you desire. Serve with sliced apples, pears, vanilla biscuits.

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