Sunday, August 28, 2011

prep-thank you Aunt Lisa for my creme brulee torch!

walking through the city with all our stuff

meeting other diners in the subway

Claire & me

meeting spot
Diner en Blanc

Mid July, as I was sitting in Lynchburg, Virginia, I noticed a NY Times article on my coworker's Facebook about Diner en Blanc. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and read about it here (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/06/dining/a-pop-up-paris-picnic-is-coming-to-new-york.html?pagewanted=all). The short version is that it's like a flash mob WHITE picnic in the summer that is studded with elegance. It's been going on in Paris for thirty years and is quite the hot invitation. They have had dinners at Notre Dame, the Louvre, ect, but the location is always kept secret until the night of the dinner. Over 10,000 people attend each year, but for the first ever NY Diner en Blanc, only 1000 guests were invited.
Being that I am a foodie, love the French, and am always game for anything New York, this was right up my ally. I had to go! Luckily, my coworker was the head honcho organizer, and put me on the friends/family list. I was quite surprised and delighted by that because I didn't even ask her. (Although my sweet friend Claire was begging me too!)
Anyway, we got into the big event and it occurred this past Thursday. It was amazing! Claire & I planned our little hearts out. Not only do you bring your own picnic dinner, but you have to bring a table and chairs. (Along with a white table cloth, white glass dishes, wine glasses, water goblets, candles & flowers for the table, and an umbrella for the 70% chance of rain that we had evening.)
So we hauled all those things to the meeting place downtown, my least favorite part. Walking in humidity, hauling chairs on the subway elevator that smells like death, all while wearing a white dress and heels, not so fun. BUT we made it to the meeting spot and then walked to the secret location. It turned out to be in the World Financial Center Marina in Battery Park and was just wonderful. And by some miracle from God, it didn't rain! The pictures sort of speak for themselves, but being there was incredible. We set up our table, ate our delicious food, and made friends with other diners in our group. The played great jazz & handed out white balloons for our chairs. Here is what we had to eat:

First Course: Tomato tarts with creme fraiche & Caramelized onion tarts with gorgonzola cheese
Second Course: Roasted Chicken with herbs, rosemary & lemon risotto, roasted summer vegetables, and baguette
Third Course: Raspberry creme brulee with coffee
And of course...Wine!

Thanks to Claire, Levi, & Pat for making it a great night! Such an amazing experience and memory. Those French really know how to throw a party!

table set up

the waving of the napkins meaning, "it's time to eat!"

first course

my sweet date

@ night

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kiersten, the okra frying expert!
Southern Picnic

My sweet friend Sarah Beth moved to England last week to be with her boyfriend, and our whole community group was sad to see her go! So, in her honor, my friend Claire threw her an indoor picnic. It wasn't just any picnic though, it was a southern spectacular! I walked into Claire's apt to the smell of okra frying and champagne being popped. About 20 of us gathered around a picnic blanket on the floor and ate our hearts out. We had fried chicken, TWO pounds of fried okra, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, and pasta salad. Then we had banana pudding and key lime pie for dessert! Amazing feast!
The only uncomfortable part was that when you pack 20 people and 2 pounds of frying okra into a New York City apartment, it gets a bit spicy! The AC was a popular meeting spot! It was funny to watch guests migrate to Claire's high powered AC. :)
Hats off to Claire for pulling off another spectacular shindig with all the bells and whistles! There is nothing that girl forgets from flowers to toasts! And goodbye to sweet Sarah Beth, you left with a bang girl!
AC love!
Fried Okra! Mmmmm!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Attention Readers! I have got a book for you!! My mom recommended it to me this summer and it's been enlightening to say the least. It's called "Columbine" by David Cullen. The book chronicles the story of the shootings at Columbine High School, from day 1. Cullen was a reporter that studied Columbine for ten years. He interviewed hundreds of people, studied reports, the boys' journals, and lived through it himself. I learned so much about this event that I thought I knew everything about. So many myths surround the shooting and it's incredible to discover what was going on inside the minds of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. A little bit of a downer at times, but so interesting! Read it, you'll love it!