The last six months have been extremely busy and super exciting for our family! Our daughter Nicole married the man of her dreams, Taylor, in a small intimate wedding this past October. Since they chose to have a small wedding, they also chose not to have a traditional wedding shower; and while I wanted to honor my daughter’s wishes, I also wanted to do something special for her!
I plotted with two of her closest friends and decided to host a luncheon in her honor with close friends and family. While I love to cook, I wanted to be able to spend time with Nicole and her guests, so I thought it would be fun to hire a chef and do a hands-on cooking class!
I have attended several cooking classes in the past with Debbie Clark, a food stylist and chef instructor at Erie Community College, so I reached out to Debbie and we got started on planning the menu. Nicole eats a plant-based diet and several of the guests (including myself) eat gluten free, so we got to work right away on creating options that would appeal to everyone’s specific dietary needs! When I mentioned to Debbie that my daughter had recently told me about a salad she had with pea sprouts in it, Debbie told me she had a great recipe for a salad with pea shoots. She then proceeded to tell me that she grew her own with seeds from Mystic Sprouts, based in Colden, NY, and would plant a batch for the luncheon! I loved this idea!
I had been looking for a cooking themed party gift for the guests based on the menu Debbie created, and I came up with the idea of getting pea shoot seeds and organic soil from Mystic Sprouts to create my own gift baskets for the guests. (Fun fact: it turns out the owner of Mystic Sprouts is my former neighbor! Chris and I had so much fun catching up and since the party, I have become a sprout and microgreens fanatic! More on that to come in another post…so many health benefits!)
Okay, now back to our luncheon! Nicole thought that I was taking her and two of her friends out for a girls’ afternoon, so when they came into the house and she saw the others guests and the kitchen all set up, it was truly a “Magic Moment!”
Debbie split us into teams of two and she reviewed the menu and directions for each of the different stations she had set up. Everyone got to work – laughing and chopping, mixing, measuring, and creating!
When we were done cooking, each team presented their creation for all of us to enjoy. The menu started with Simple Summer Corn Chowder, Asian Greens and Pea Sprouts with Mango & Sweet Red Curry Vinaigrette, Baked Salmon or Chicken in Coconut Broth, Coconut Rice, Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies, and Debbie’s famous Macaroons!
Nicole loves McKenzie Childs so I created a McKenzie Childs inspired theme as our tablescape, and the look on her face when she saw it was priceless! For the party favors, each guest received a mason jar of pea shoots and a bag of organic soil along with directions on how to plant. The mason jars were a sentimental touch, as they had been my mom’s before she passed away when Nicole was just nine months old. Having my mom there in spirit to celebrate Nicole was an extra special part of our day!
At the end of the day, the luncheon was everything that I had hoped it would be. It was by far one of my favorite Magic Moments of the year!
Create Magic Moments of your own! Enter to win a sprout pack of 2 trays, soil, and pea sprout seeds ($25 retail value) from Mystic Sprouts by commenting on this blog post or sharing the link on your Facebook page and tagging us!
Debbie Clark is also offering one lucky reader $75 off a cooking party for 10 or more! Simply be the first to comment that you’re interested in hosting a party and book by 4/1/16 for the discount!