Monday, 23 March 2015

Moms Retirement Dinner

My insanely beautiful mother is retiring this week after 37 years of working full time. I know this is a recipe blog but I wanted to write a quick post to share some photos of the dinner party we hosted for her last Sunday. Mom had a great time, surrounded by her dearest friends.

We made a long table runner out of old photos of mom (thank you Pinterest), easily printed on a black and white printer. The cake was probably my favourite part of the whole dinner.

I used the rosette technique and buttercream recipe developed by i am baker found here. With rosette cakes you use a lot of sweet buttercream so I've found it's best to go with something less rich for the actual cake. I made a sort-of angel food cake with raspberry and blackberry mouse filling, by modifying the recipe found here. The filling was very light and tart so it worked well with the vanilla buttercream.

When I don't want to stress about appetizers - the best go to is a cheese board. Expensive, but so easy and beautiful. My friend Laneil is a master cheese board assembler so I tend to poach her ideas. The orange things are physalis fruit, which were found at Vic's. My fav cheeses: caramelized onion cheddar (aka heroin or crack cheese), aged gruyere, fresh mozzarella and dubliner.

Along with copious amounts of wine, we passed around blood orange margaritas to start. As usual, my younger brother Glen was keen to come over early and help. The poor guy was tasked with juicing 6 blood oranges and upwards of 10 limes. They were made by combining two parts tequila, one part triple sec, 2 parts fresh juice, and a squeeze of agave, shaken over.

For dinner we started with a procuitto melon salad. Made by placing a handful of arugula on each plate, drizzling over olive oil and balsamic, chopped canteloup and topping with a prosciutto crisp and grated pecorino. Note my amazing brother assiting again. Not pictured: homemade, warm breadsticks.

The star of the main course was the barbecued beef tenderloin. This is one of my go to recipes for a crowd, I'm sure at some point this summer I'll post a detailed recipe for it. I always buy the unbutchered piece from costco, dry age a day or two in the fridge, sear it off then roast over indirect heat to about medium. Served with roasted garlic horseradish cream sauce, it was pretty darn good. Not pictured: fennel gratin and mushroom gnocchi.

We showed a slideshow of old pictures while everyone reminisced. It was so wonderful sharing the evening with old family friends, family and mom's wonderful boyfriend Joe. 

Mom opened some presents at the end of the evening and we are so happy that she loved our gift. Because she's heading to the west coast for retirement, we wanted her to have a reminder of Manitoba to take with her. We took the skeleton key for the front door of our cabin and had it cast and made into a pendant. We repurposed the diamonds and emeralds from a ring she doesn't wear any more. I think it turned out beautifully. Thanks to Mona at Mokada Custom Jewelery Design Studio for creating it!

The evening was just a very small token of our appreciation for mom's hard work over the years. Her career has provided us with a wonderful life and she is my number one role-model. Such a perfect example of someone who worked hard, never made excuses, and gave it all so her kids could grow up with everything they could want. Punta Cana here we come!


  1. Congrats mom !! Beautiful work

  2. That party food is looking super delicious dear and I am so happy that you shared it here with us. It is also great to know that your mother had such a wonderful retirement function. I am also planning a small party for my parents ta best event space San Francisco.

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