Monday, December 21, 2009

A Busy Holiday Weekend and The Ruby Anniversary Party

We had one whirlwind of a pre-Christmas weekend! On Thursday after my daughter's pre-K Christmas party we departed for my husband's parent's home to kick off our Christmas festivities. By the time that we pulled into my in-law's driveway about 5- 1/2 hours later I knew that something was wrong with my oldest daughter. She was quiet for the drive (very unusual) except to say, "I just need to go to bed, Mommy. I need to sleep and save my energy." Very odd considering that usually when we arrive at grandma and grandpa's she is usually a ball of energy and excitement with a to-do list a mile long (she is her mother's child!) Instead of running in for bear hugs and raiding grandma's pantry for her favorite snacks, she curled up on their sofa with the chills. Sure enough, she had a fever of 102! A good dose of Motrin and she was off to bed where she stayed off and on for the whole weekend. Poor kid! My husband and I still managed to attend 4 holiday parties over the weekend while she was under the careful care of grandma and grandpa.

On Saturday night, we celebrated my wonderful in-law's 40th anniversary. I sound like I'm kissing up with words like "wonderful"...but they really are. They are caring, supportive parents to my husband and his siblings AND doting, involved grandparents to their 4 grandchildren (ages 1-5 years).

One of the best things about technology is that it allows you to assist in party planning from miles away. I made the design for the anniversary party invitations on my home computer and then emailed it straight to the print shop where my husband's sister picked them up and then mailed them out. Check out that wedding picture... Don't they just look so young and happy?!

We planned the party as a kind of relaxed, holiday cocktail party where family and friends could get together and share good food, drinks, and of course, memories while celebrating the couple's 40 years together. A Christmas wedding, and consequently a Christmastime 40th Anniversary lends itself to a beautiful, festive environment. That magic Christmas glow is cast over the celebration with the lights, music, decorations, food, and the whole spirit of the holiday. My mother-in-law still reminisces about how beautiful the church looked, all decorated for Christmas, on that December day in 1969.

I decided that the perfect cake for the occasion was Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. YUM! I just did 3 concentric layers, frosted with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with decorative red sugar, added borders, and embellished it with sugar snowflakes purchased at my local candy making store. I ordered a flower topper from the local grocery. This topper did arrive much larger and heavier than I anticipated it would be. I cut it in half and re-arranged the flowers before adding it to my cake. It's still pretty big, but the flowers were beautiful and luckily the cake withstood the weight.

Here is a view of the back of the cake and those sweet (literally and figuratively) sugar snowflakes.

Even sweeter than the snowflakes were the guests of honor. Here they are cutting into the cake, just like they did 40 years ago.

You can't go wrong with Red Velvet Cake at the holidays...or anytime for that matter. They cocoa in the cake paired with cream cheese frosting is fab-U-lous! Just one word of warning: this cake stains! As I was mixing up the batter, there was a mixer mishap and it flew everywhere! I thought that I'd cleaned it all up, and then later found that I'd stepped in some and tracked it all over the tile floor. The kitchen sort of looked like a crime scene. I sure had a fun time scrubbing. NOT! So be careful. : )

In addition to Red Velvet Cake and lots of yummy appetizers, the signature drink of the evening was the Pomtini. I got this recipe from my Aunt Lili. She's famous for her Pomegranate Martinis. After sampling one (or two...), I know why. These are so good!

To make these you need pomegranate juice, Citrus Vodka, Orange liqueur, limes (for the juice and slices to garnish),ice, and a pomegranate. Mix together the juice, vodka, and orange liqueur. I quadrupled this recipe and kept the mixture in a pitcher to pour into the shaker for each batch.

I garnished each glass with lime and dropped some pomegranate arils into the bottom. Then squeeze a little fresh lime juice into each.

When you're ready to serve, pour the juice-vodka-orange liqueur mixture into a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake! You want it really cold, so shake it good! Then pour into the glasses and serve!

Aunt Lili's Pomtini's

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
4 shots Absolute Citron
2 oz. Cointreau
freshly squeezed lime juice
pomegranate arils (for garnish)

Combine pomegranate juice, vodka, Cointreau (or Triple Sec). To prepare glasses: sprinkle in some pomegranate arils. Squeeze a little lime juice over. Add the POM-Citron-Cointreau mixture to a shaker with ice. Shake it like you mean it! (until good and cold). Pour over pomegranate arils and lime juice. Garnish with lime, if desired.

It was such a fun party! Happy 40th Anniversary to Nick and Pam!


Chicago Mom said...

You are such a wonderful daughter for throwing that fabulous party! The cake looks terrific! Congrats to your folks!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

what a great post and am loving the grandparents...

fabulous cake

theUngourmet said...

How wonderful! 40 years together! The cake is beautiful!

I hope your daughter is feeling better very soon.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Katy ~ said...

Love the idea of red velvet cake for Christmas, and you did a beautiful job decorating it. I am sure your in laws were thrilled. The Pom Wonderful drink looks good, too. YUM!

Hope your little one is feeling better.

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