People often say that women eventually turn into their mothers. In my case I am already there, and I am totally ok with it.
Last weekend I hopped a three hour flight, five if you count the two hour delay, to Denver for my mom’s birthday. She had decided that the best way to celebrate was with an afternoon at a place where you paint a picture while sipping wine. Now being my mom simple wine was not going to do.
Since the party was an afternoon event she decided, with a few consultations from me, to go with peach sangria, caprese skewers, mini cupcakes, speaked fruit (courtesy of Edible Arrangements), and cookies from the Italian bakery down the road. The beauty of this menu is that with the exception of light chopping and assembly the items could be procured between early morning coffee and mid-morning pedicures (with an assist from my dad who picked up the fruit arrangement).
There are lots of mixes that you can use for sangria, William-Sonoma makes a lovely one, or you can make it yourself in about 15 minutes. I boil 1 cup of sugar with one cup of water for a simple syrup, add 1 cup of Contreau, and soak the fruit it in for as long as possible. Then add said mixture to 2-3 bottles of wine and enjoy.
The caprese skewers could not be easier. I recommend getting cocktail length skewers, then layer on a cherry tomato, a small piece of basil (cut leave in half if need be), a mozzarella ball, another basil leaf , and one more cherry tomato. We sprinkled ours with a some good olive oil (promise me you will NEVER buy olive oil in a plastic bottle), and some sea salt. You could just as easily drizzle with some balsamic and oregano, or even some Italian dressing if you have some kicking around.
Now with a simple menu like this the key is presentation, so my mom pulled out the three tier display, which someday I will steal, and layered it with some gorgeous plates from my great-grandmother, and the goodies were displayed with easy access for all.
Since everyone enjoyed the sangria more then we expected the snacks were a perfect way to make sure everyone had fun, and was able to paint a little more like Monet and a little less like Jackson Pollack!