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Friday, April 25, 2008

Super Fun Bachelorette Party in Breckenridge!

Let me just start by saying I'm only posting the 'clean' photos; what happened in Breckenridge, stays in Breckenridge!

Alina is getting married (her an Aaron came for a visit over The Holiday's )and decided to have her bachelorette party in Breckenridge, Colorado because it was the first place she visited in the mountains on a school trip, I believe. She could not have picked a better place- this was an amazing weekend. The house we rented was simple gorgeous- there wasn't a single thing we needed. The kitchen was magazine/gourmet quality with a six burner gas top with true simmer functionality. I was toasting pecans and walked away from the stove for at least ten minutes and they didn't burn! With most stoves the nuts would have been on fire after ten minutes- seriously! I was in complete heaven; and it was stocked with every pan and utensil needed. In fact, there was more in this rental than I have in my house and I used to own a restaurant.

There is so much to say about the weekend and we did so many fabulous activities, like our scavenger hunt. Most important is that this was an amazing group of friends and I can't wait to spend time with everyone again. Now- about the food. I was presented with some challenges; how do you cook for 15 women so that everybody is pleased - that in and of itself is a challenge. But add to it a vegetarian, citrus allergy, egg allergy, onion and snap pea issues and a few other random allergies I can't remember. I had asked Cat for a list of allergies and I got back an excel spreadsheet...need I say more?

Similar to how one needs to dress in Colorado (in layers) is how to best create the menu plan. You start with basics that everyone can eat, and then offer extras from there. So for the first night, I made a simple wild rice salad (sautee celery, onions, craisins, and some various veggies in a little mustard/white wine sauce and mix with cooked rice) and then topped that with a very simple roasted pork loin. I browned the pork in pan on the stove with thyme and rosemary, then finished it off in the oven. Warm bread finished off the meal.

On the second night I had various pasta dishes available. There was a pesto option, a tomato-red wine sauce option and then (my favorite) a bacon garlic olive oil option. I had planned on making a roasted fennel salad with lavender (in honor of Alina sending me my first strange ingredients!), but we couldn't fennel at the grocery store on the way up. So I sent Alina home with the lavender and the instructions. I'm hoping she'll send photos and let me know how it worked out!!

A veggie chili was actually planned on the last night but we had quite a few left overs, so we made a huge salad with a lime vinaigrette. All in all, these were not the fanciest dishes ever, but they were simple and comforting, and I think I covered all the options for everybody! It was great to cook for more people than two- I miss making gigantic pots of soup every morning at the restaurant! Everybody pitched to help; especially Cat - she was fantastic at prepping!

I can't wait to cook again ext time we all get together. I heard this may become an annual event... count me in. Next year lets go someplace thats at or near sea level. Even though I lived in Colorado for 15 years, going back a year later, I could hardly breathe. You think you're in relatively good shape, but try heading to the mountains after being at sea level - it's a real test to bounce up the steps or shovel out the hot tub!

Theresa was the queen of snow shoeing, Roz brought a case of wine (she's posing next to it in the photo at the right), Dana set up the scavenger hunt (and then participated in it...hmmm), Lavanya was the life of the party at the Gold Pan (she kept coming on the dance floor with more random guys for Alina to dance with- where did she keep finding them?), and Catherine, Carrie, Cindy, Abby and Lisa were just the most fabulous ever. Get together with some friends, if even for a night. Cook together, drink, laugh and most of all - be fat and happy!

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