Impromptu early birthday celebration for boston college girl called for a family favorite, dressed up a bit. Ina Garten’s mac & cheese recipe has been a get together mainstay recipe for years- now, in her new book Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, she’s added lobster. Love her recipes and methods, so easy to merge into every day life.
For this saturday night party, we simply, believe it or not, flipped over the thanksgiving linen tablecloth to hide a few spots of blueberry pie, removed five chairs, four of them rentals, and sat the birthday girl at the head surrounded down the sides with family and friends. Birthday girl, Booie, did the place cards. Place cards always make the come to the table moment so much easier. Nobody needs to wonder where to sit. She decorated both sides of some old business cards that were quickly folded in half-length wise, and presto, place cards done.
Followed Ina’s recipe twice, in two different pots. Have learned that when doubling batches there are certain times you can do it with ease and certain times not. Boiling two pounds of cavatappi in huge pot of salted water, yes. Creating a roux, stirring in 1 quart of hot milk and six cups of grated cheese times two, no. Take the time to do that separately. Helps when you have handsome georgetown law school student son home to help stir things up. 🙂
Added some easy caesar salad and tuscan garlic bread. When deciding between carrot versus chocolate for the cake, went chocolate. Cooked so many vegetables for thursday felt we definitely needed to switch things up. Champagne and chardonnay accompanied, and not shown, everyone’s favorite, peppermint ice cream.
Happy birthday, Booie. Safe travels back to school. We all missed you, Linnie. Tomorrow, I too, go back to real work. xoxo
I just got her new book and am giving it to a couple friends for xmas. Love the recipe and your beautiful family. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Aileen, happy holidays to you and yours as well! Yes, Barefoot Contessa is great!