Lindsay’s Iron Chefnic birthday party was amazingly fun. And, not only because Ashley, Zack and I were crowned Iron Chefs! More generally, the fun came from excellent company and wonderful food. I was too overwhelmed to take any good pictures, which is sad, because there were many delicious foods. The idea is that everyone assembles an entry for the picnic, and then we all eat delicious food and one entry is awarded the the Iron Chef prize (a super cute picnic blanket! Gingham on one side, kitties and puppies on the other! Or, as Lindsay put it, ‘business on the front, party on the back!’ Also, only Lindsay gives out presents at her birthday!) Highlights include: rosemary lemonade (in mason jars! gorgeous), a lemon-cranberry cake that was insanely good, spring skewers with prosciutto and melon, shrimp and pineapple, and stuffed peppers and tomatoes, springrolls (taking the “spring” theme literally!), amazing salads, empanadas, mint brownies, cucumber martinis (amazing! with berry ice cubes, the best summer idea ever!) and many other delicious treats that I just can’t name right now.
Zack and Ashley and I went with a theme of “little cups,” and we made so many cupcakes. We made the mojito cupcakes, some green tea cupcakes (subbing in steeped green tea for the liquids in a cake mix, and using matcha icing), and regular cupcakes with fondant flowers.
Fondant is extremely time-consuming. It is ridiculous. Also, it doesn’t taste good. But, I really think all this is redeemed by the aesthetics. Because it really does make just the cutest treats ever.
The savoury cups were also delicious, and totally easy, which is what we needed after rolling out individual blades of grass for two hours. Anyway, we made gambas al ajillo (it sounds fancy, but it’s just shrimp fried in garlic, with a little bit of fresh chili pepper. Everything sounds better when it’s said in anything but English…) and mango salsa. For the mango salsa, we diced up a mango, some red onion, some garlic and chili peppers, a bit of coriander, and then added lime juice and fish sauce. Everything is to taste, we just kept adding ingredients until it tasted right. Then, we lined the mini cupcake tray with tortilla shells, and baked them until they were fairly solid. Make sure to oil both sides of the tortilla. We then diced up the shrimp, put a spoonful into the cups, and topped it with mango salsa.
These were pretty delicious, and fresh-tasting, not to mention easy picnic food. They transported well, and required minimal serving, which is key at a picnic. Our entries were pretty simple, but they were centred around the fact that they should be easy to eat, for a pretty big group, and they should be cute, because we know Lindsay, and she loves cute food.
All in all this was an excellent day, I’m so happy the weather held up. That said, I am still exhausted from a very exciting weekend that was topped off with a Sunday Mother’s Day dinner in Kingston, which was an ambitious plan, though totally worth it.