Shhhhhhhh! My friend Holly is turning 40 (I hope this is not a secret) and her husband, Jeff, is throwing her a surprise party (this is the secret). He asked me to make a few things for the party and although I’ve been Tweeting pics all day, I haven’t indicated why I am cooking.
The house smells amazing as hundreds of meatballs cook. Today I am making two types of meatballs and tomorrow I will be skewering hundreds of grape/cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil leaves.
My contributions to the party include:
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dressing
- Greek Meatballs with Eggplant & Feta with Tzatziki Sauce
As for the Caprese Skewers – they’re easy. In fact, you’re only limited by your imagination. Classic Caprese Salad includes sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella and basil leaves drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. The skewers I’m making for the party are a portable version of the classic salad with homemade basil pesto for dipping. But you can change things up and include artichoke hearts, salami, provolone, cooked tortellini, olives, etc. Anything you’d put on an antipasto platter would be good skewered. Of course, then you’d probably name them Antipasto Skewers instead of Caprese Skewers, but you get the idea……
I think meatballs are great for a crowd. If you make them cocktail size, then they’re portable on picks, easily eaten in one or two bites and don’t fill people up too much (unless they decide to eat a lot of them). You can also offer more than one flavor for variety.
Don’t get boxed in when thinking about meatballs…..although classic Italian meatballs in tomato sauce are fantastic, think outside the box like the two varieties I’m making for the party or others such as Spicy Asian Beef Meatballs, Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Orange Sauce, Cheese & Prosciutto Stuffed Meatballs, an old entertaining standby Swedish Meatballs, and on and on and on……..
If you aren’t feeling particularly creative and don’t have time to pore through cookbooks, a quick trip to Pinterest and a search of ‘meatballs’ will return more recipes with more flavor combinations than you thought possible.
The following are some pics of my prep:
By the time you read this, the party will be over. You didn’t really think I was going to spoil the surprise by posting about the party before it happened, did you?
The pre-party party (to throw off the birthday girl) was at Sapporo East for sushi. Then we moved onto the home of one of the birthday girl’s brothers, which was the perfect venue for a party – a beautiful private property with an inground pool and party pavillion. Holly arrived blindfolded so she couldn’t see where she was going. She told me she was truly surprised!!! Way to go, Jeff!
Although my post is being published after the party and after Holly’s birthday, my sentiments are no less sincere.
Holly, I hope you had a terrific birthday and that your year is filled with everything God knows is right for you. You are wonderful friend and a great mom. You are funny (ok, really you’re hilarious) and kind and beautiful and wise. You never fail to make me laugh and you “get” me. You love me for who I am, even though who I am is less than perfect and sometimes grouchy, forgetful, and self-absorbed. You encourage me and are one of my greatest cheerleaders. YOU COMPLETE ME!!!!! I less-than-3 you!!! Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I no longer have to shhhhhhh!
Take a look at some pics from the party: