Summer Solstice Garden Party

1 Jul 2014
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I celebrated the summer solstice, the official mark of the summer season in Aspen, Colorado- a little over a week ago.  I couldn’t have imagined a better way of ushering in this time of year but in the cool, comforting embrace of the Aspen mountains.  Celebrating the summer solstice is a relatively innocuous reason to gather with family and friends, which was why for my first &Learn cooking class, I decided to put together this delicious garden party menu.  It is adaptable to many occasions.  I had such a fantastic time putting together all the dishes, most especially the brown sugar peaches served over homemade coffee gelato.

MENU
ROASTED RED PEPPER & TOMATO GAZPACHO
DRINK SUGGESTION: PINOT GRIGIO/ SAUVIGNON BLANC

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH SAFFRON JUS, SUMMER VEGETABLES AND COUS COUS
DRINK SUGGESTION: pinot grigio/ cabernet sauvignon

BROWN SUGAR PEACHES
WITH ICE CREAM
DRINK SUGGESTION: sauternes/ a good cup of coffee

GUEST LIST
6-8 close friends

INVITATION
Hand-written cards or a Phone call
adds a personal, intimate touch

SET-UP
Turntable with Old records
or an iPod playing classic songs
White Linens
adds a touch of formality
Silver Vases
with peonies and ranunculus

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Work Plan

AT LEAST ONE DAY IN ADVANCE:

Buy ingredients for menu
Make gazpacho
Make homemade ice cream if desired

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE PARTY:

Cool white wines
Set table and ambiance (If Indoors)

THE DAY OF THE PARTY:

Set table and ambiance (if outdoors)
Make the brown sugar peaches
Make summer vegetables & Cous Cous and keep warm
Braise chickens and Make Saffron Jus
Prep garnish for soup and set aside

JUST BEFORE SERVING:

Garnish Soup
Warm Up Chicken and Jus
Warm up vegetables and Cous-Cous
Warm up brown sugar peaches and serve on freshly scooped ice cream

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Photos taken by the talented Jackie Bayne of Love Shack Photography

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