This alligator party -- using our Bayou Bash Collection -- was one that I actually had at my home about a month ago. I'm just getting around now to sharing the photos from the birthday as things got a little crazy.
Myself and a friend of Mike's actually have the same birthday - and a friend of mine has her birthday two days before. Since we all have small children, there are no wild parties anymore - it's family affairs now. Guests range from newborns to 40+. So when we got together, I wanted to throw a party where the kids would love the reptile style and the adults would still find things sophisticated enough. The decorations and the food needed to serve everyone.
I settled on the Bayou Bash theme and used a new green-blue colorway that Andrew recently did to refresh this collection. [Previous years we have had a cowboy and mad science themes for what has become our annual April party.] I was able to find some really cool wooden storage boxes at HomeSense that perfectly coordinated with the theme. I flipped them over and they made the perfect cupcake stands.
After Easter I went scouring the shops for some sort of Easter eggs that could resemble alligator, turtle or reptile eggs that I could serve as shots. I found these caramel eggs and they were perfect. A lot of our friends were asking me if they were actually edible, if they were pebbles, etc. -- so they worked out really well.
These turtle cakes were also from Let Them Eat Cake. I heard they were delicious but I wouldn't know as they were eaten so quickly, LOL.
These little froggie cheesecakes ended up being my favorite desserts (look-wise). I used a Martha Stewart recipe for no-bake cheesecake and assembled them by putting a nilla wafer on the bottom, piping in the cream cheese mixture and then another nilla wafer. But the topper, is the best part. Edible Details perfectly replicated the adorable frog from Andrew's illustration.
I was also really pleased with how these fish turned out. Again, Edible Details did an amazing job recreating Andrew's little fish illustration. And they worked perfectly in the little jello bowls for a quick and easy dessert. The only issue was my three-year-old Sam who carried his little fish bowl around like a pet and refused to eat it.
So we didn't only serve dessert, although that really is my favorite party -- if you couldn't already tell. I put out quite the array of fresh fruit, veggies, dips, cheeses and finger foods so that guests could nosh on when they arrived.
I actually really liked how the food table looked once everything was one it - but since this was a real party and not a photo shoot we didn't even get a photo of it. (That should be a lesson in itself to never compare your real parties to styled shoots you see on Pinterest - they are NOT the same. It's like comparing yourself to some airbrushed model in a magazine.)
I found these wooden containers at HomeSense and they were too appropriate for the theme to pass up. What are the chances you would find something with New Orleans written on it when you are planning a bayou party in Canada?
But despite all this party styling the focal point of the night was the Low Country Boil / Freemore Stew we served. Ages ago I sent a plea out on Facebook for some women in the southern USA to tell me about their traditional food so that I could plan a menu. As soon as I heard about this boil up that is usually served on newspaper, I was sold.
I actually chickened out at the last minute - I was too scared to see what serving a stew on newspaper would do to our dining room table - and purchased a massive serving tray from HomeSense. BUT when you live in Canada, southern American cooking is somewhat exotic fare, (I have had at least 20 different types of sushi but never tasted or seen grits) so our guests were fascinated with the meal, regardless of how it was displayed.
Because I was serving food that I had never cooked or tasted before, I searched high and low for the best step-by-step recipe I could find. This one from Esquire was what I ended using because it sounded fool-proof. It was.