The Dads’ EPIC Party!
Hey guys! Melissa here, again!
So, The Dads finally threw their epic outdoor BBQ party! Sure it was thrown on Memorial Day weekend, but really their party was also a launch of their extensive home additions!
Needless to say, it was amazing! Their phones and emails were flooded the following days with praise of how great of a job they did and how much fun everyone had!
First of all they added a new outdoor kitchen… Look at the Weber Summit grill with a Viking cooktop!
They added lots of new outdoor furniture… I love the green!
They added columns, fans and a new railing to the back porch…
And a new outdoor bar… Look at that stock!
(The tags on the chairs were cut of course, post photo.)
They had a special cocktail menu… My favorite was the Coconut Tree Martini! The Dads toasted the shredded coconut right before the party began, and it made it impossible to not want more! It was actually a cocktail designed by my step-sister, Casey (from my mother’s side). She made it for my 21st birthday and The Dads thought it would be a nice personal touch. They also hired their favorite bartender, Megan from City Cafe in Baltimore and her fiancé Tommy, who were super sweet!
They hired their contractor’s brother for the catering called N&M in Pennsylvania. The Dads hired the caters to cook for 70% of the party and The Dads took care of the remainder 30%. They had expected up to 80 guests, so this was not an easy feat!
The food needless to say was divinity. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the passed ahi tuna from the caters, but the highlight for me was their crab fondue! I’m making you salivate, right?
Their friend George was kind enough to bring in a huge amount of seasoned shrimp! I couldn’t stop eating them with my cousin, Stephanie!
The indoor table landscape was designed by their dear friend Leslie…
Of course, Dave’s sister Carol was a huge help!
Did I mention they had 300 pounds of ice?!!!
Well there’s a taste of what a party at The Dads is like!
Want tips on how to throw your next upcoming shindig? Leave your questions in our comments! Or email email@example.com!
The Dads’ Menu for an Intimate Dinner Party!
This week, we threw a dear friend’s very special birthday dinner!
Our friend, Xavier recently moved to the U.S. from Barcelona, Spain. So, this was his first birthday celebrated here in the U.S! We were delighted to be able to help make his night extra special!
Here was our menu plan for the evening:
· Bombay Sapphire Martinis
· Red Wine
· Antipasti Tray with Assorted Imported Meats, Cheeses, Olives, Peppers, etc. (See The Dads’ Antipasti Picture below!)
Dinner (Serving 6)
Fois Gras pate’
– Wine pairing: Ice Wine
Poached Pears in Port Wine (See The Dads’ Recipe in our “Recipe” Section!)
– Served on a bed of salad with Gorgonzola Cheese, Spanish Candied Walnuts. Dressing: Homemade Balsamic Vinegar infused with Pear and Cinnamon Vinaigrette.
Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Parmesan Pesto
– Served with Pewee Potatoes roasted with Pearl Onions and French Green Beans. (See The Dads’ Recipe in the previous post below!)
Wine pairing: French Bordeaux
Harris’ Yellow Cake with Decadent Chocolate Frosting (See The Dads’ Recipe in the previous post below!)
Needless to say, the evening was a success!
Be sure to look under our “Recipes” and “Videos” tab to find our Rack of Lamb and Poached Pears recipe! Also, we will be posting Harris’ recipe for Yellow Layer Cake very soon! Stay Tuned!
Ideas for a Romantic Dinner at Home!
Dave shows off his decorating skills with a romantic tablescape for two- just in time for Valentine’s Day! He decided to use the family room as his setting for his special dinner, rather than the kitchen or dining room. Dave also breaks out the best china, silver, and crystal to celebrate in style! Check out the transformation in the video below!
Changing up your setting just by changing the room in which you enjoy your meal can make for a surprisingly elegant and intimate evening. Try planning your Valentine’s dinner in a room that is filled with your own memories. Check out some of these cool details Dave adds to his Valentine’s Day table!
Dave’s Special Valentine’s Day Menu (Let us know if you want us to do one of these recipes!)
Here, he uses their special red tinted Waterford glasses and unique bottle opener!
And here are the name tents for dinner. Even if it’s just the two of you, name tents will make your dinner at home feel professionally catered! These elegant cherub-shaped name plate holders are from Germany and bring back lots of wonderful memories.
From our hearts to yours- Have a Beautiful and Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Dads: Harris & Dave
Celebrating Harris’ Mother’s 87th Birthday- Italian Style!
Mom’s birthday party turned out just a special as we anticipated. In our previous blog entry, Leah shared with you about how her Great-Grandparents were from Palermo, Italy. For our theme, we wanted to incorporate foods that Harris’ mother would have enjoyed growing up.
Antipasti, or the starters, are very important in Sicilian cooking. We made two. We had some hot crab dip, a Maryland favorite, to celebrate my mother’s love of Ocean City. To celebrate her Italian heritage, we also made a fresh pesto and cheese pizza which was topped with arugula, basil, and cherry tomatoes. It was like a little slice of Italy! Below is a picture of the tomato mix before we dressed the pizza!
Since saffron is such a staple in Sicilian cooking, we made a very light saffron soup that was packed with mussels. Our guests really seemed to enjoy it, especially with our homemade rosemary focaccia bread. The bread was delicious, but wow- that recipe is not for beginners! It took us about 2 days to make!
For our main course, we made Angel Hair pasta from scratch two ways. The first, was aglio e olio style – meaning with olive oil, fresh basil, and sundried tomatoes. The second was a red-sauce based pasta, which was pared with homemade meatballs. But these meatballs, mixed with beef, veal, pork, prosciutto, and parmesan cheese, were not for the faint of heart! We also made some hot Italian sausage and baby backed ribs, all cooked in Harris’ homemade tomato sauce. And although the food turned out great, the best part was that the family was together, and sharing stories from the past. It was very special.
For dessert, we made the Decadent Chocolate Cake- check our recipes tab to try this one out yourselves! After dessert, we all joined around the piano for songs and stories. It was the perfect way to celebrate and we think Mary had a great time!
There’s just something about Mary!
Leah, here, from the Dads: Harrris and Dave. My Grandmother, Mary, is turning 87 this week, and for her birthday, the Dads are planning a very special Italian dinner party. So when my Dad, Harris, called to tell me all about some of the dishes they have in mind, I thought I might take this opportunity to share with you a little about my Grandmother and what she has meant to me in my life. Fingers crossed, we will have a video featuring her next week!
My Grandmother was born in 1927. Her father, Vincenzio, was a barber who immigrated to the U.S. from Palermo, Italy. He married her mother, Concetta, in 1924. Concetta’s family owned what’s now known as the World Famous, Lexington Market. The couple moved to New York after they married, but after the birth of their first two children, Phyllis & Mary, they returned to Baltimore for good. Vincenzio and Concetta had two more children, Sadie and Rose.
Before I started writing this, I asked my husband, Sean, what makes my Grandmother different than other Grandmothers- he just laughed. You see, my Grandmother is a character- she swears in Italian, is full of colorful phrases, and will tell you exactly what’s on her mind. At family gatherings, sometimes she will surprise a newcomer with something off-the-wall, and Sean will just smile and say “Oh, you’re new!” She’s also an avid gambler. Below is a picture of her in Las Vegas!
As all good Italians do, my Grandmother loves to give advice. For instance, when it comes to clothing, more sequins and beading is always best; and no matter what your size, you are actually a small. She taught me how to dance, and was the first to teach me the Macarena- when it was actually cool. Scary, I know! And on my wedding day, it was her heart necklace, a gift from my Grandfather, that I wore close to my heart.
So now that I’ve told you a bit about Grandmother, I have to say that we are so excited to celebrate her birthday and enjoy the meal the Dads have planned. What are some of your favorite Italian dishes? And do you have any special memories of your own grandmother?
Jacques: A Poodle Christmas Video!
Melissa’s Story: Harris’ Hot Chocolate
One year, when my husband & I were visiting The Dads for the holidays, Harris made me the most delicious Hot Chocolate! My husband & I were sitting outside near The Dads’ koi pond with our dog, Princess who was happily playing in the fresh fallen snow. Sure, it was cold outside, but I wanted to bask in the sun while I wrote my Christmas cards.
Now, I’m not the type of girl that just signs her name with a “Happy Holidays” on my cards. If I’m going to give you a card with a present, I always add a little bit of sappy, mushy reflections of my thoughts and feelings of you to go along with it. Sure, it makes some people cringe, but it comes from my honest heart, and I know The Dads eat it up and will probably save it forever. So needless to say, these take me a while to write!
Well apparently, Harris had spotted me writing my Christmas cards outside in the 30 degree weather. So, he wanted to do something special for me. He quickly whisked up his own version of Hot Chocolate and put it in a holiday cup! It was delicious and the perfect holiday treat to keep my sappy inspiration going!
Leah & I have convinced him to give up his special Hot Chocolate recipe, but you will have to wait patiently for him to post it later this week! All I know is, that he actually melts a couple of chocolate bars (probably Ghirardelli, since he’s boasted about their chocolate so much in his past recipes) and tops it off with whipped cream and love!
With all of your loved ones getting together this season, what are you doing or serving up to warm their hearts? As a special food for thought from me to you (and trust me, I definitely get my sentimental side from my dad), don’t dismiss the opportunity that Holiday Cards give you. I’m sure your loved ones know how you feel, but the hand-written word is something that they can keep and read in the future. To me, that’s one of the greatest gifts of all!
~Dave’s Daughter, Melissa
(Yes, that’s me, wearing goofy reindeer “antlers”. I’m a kid at heart, what can I say?)
The Dads’ Thanksgiving Reflection
We hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a couple of days now, and we’re finally starting to recover from the holiday fun and exhaustion!
Here is a list that we put together last night, reflecting our Post-Thanksgiving thoughts:
1. Wow, we’re exhausted!
2. Having all the family together is so heartwarming and feels good right down to the bone.
3. Sheesh, you can never do enough advance planning and preparation. When everyone arrives, it’s difficult to get anything done! You want to stop and listen to every story and be in every room with everyone, but you can’t.
4. Everyone wants to be with you, which is great; your kitchen however isn’t large enough to work efficiently with everyone underfoot.
5. This was our first year trying to film while cooking and having guests; wow, was that difficult. You just have no idea how much time filming and editing eats up. Suddenly your perfectly timed schedule is blown out of the water!
6. How did our parents do it when they had so many to feed every day and not just holidays? It looked so simple!
7. In our dream-home, the kitchen would be the largest room in the house; We’d even have a large fireplace so everyone feels comfy and cozy.
8. What to do with all the leftovers?? Lots of ideas but no appetite as we’ve all cheated so much on our diets! The biggest challenge are the desserts as they are the most tempting!
Like many of you, we carry on the tradition of having all of our guests go around the table and say what we’re most thankful for this year. Did you and/or your family do the same? What are you most thankful for?
Have a great holiday weekend!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave