Thursday, August 5, 2010

Surprise office birthday bash

My friend and former coworker C. is an amazing party planner. For years, she threw the most adorable and custom-themed birthday parties for her colleagues at her job as an office manager. Her sense for party styling is legendary, and yet it's always obvious that the birthday boy or girl's likes and interests are front and center.


Now that it was on me to throw a birthday bash for a colleague at my new job, I channeled my inner C. and organized a small Italian-themed surprise party for my boss, who has a deep passion for everything bella Italia. The green-red-and-white birthday banner was easily crafted from letters I printed on our office printer, and I served up rustic antipasti platters for lunch (easy to prepare the night before and then served on simple white plates).



Rustic antipasti platters:

Cut tomatoes and fresh mozzarella in slices. Serve with fresh basil leaves, good olive oil and a bit of salt.

Peel carrots, cut long ones in half crosswise, then cut lengthwise in ¼” thick pieces. Steam in a pot with little water, minced garlic clove, and a tad of olive oil or butter for about 5 minutes or less. Make sure to not overcook the carrots, they should keep some of their crunch. Drain and let cool. Season with salt and freshly chopped parsley and basil, mix in a couple spoons of olive oil. Let the flavors mingle in the fridge, ideally over night.

Serve with salami, prosciutto, olives, and Ciabatta or a similar kind of rustic bread.

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