Penny Lane - The Engagement Party - Penny Lane Blog at - 160699

Penny Lane

Penny Lane - The Engagement Party 
Mar. 1, 2010 11:40 am 
Updated: Aug. 22, 2010 10:06 pm
This past weekend I was asked to help prepare the food for an engagement party. I love doing events like this. This was a group of young men and women, in their late 20's & early 30's. Seems that they had all known each other their entire lives or at least since High School. They know how to have a good time, that is for sure.  The couple for whom the party was held have known each other since elementary school.  Boy did they have funny stories to tell.  There were pictures of each of them as kids in soccer uniforms, proms, and graduation parties.  Very fun.  They both have some Italian ancestors so the hosts selected an Italian theme.

I was so busy that I didn't have time to photograph all the food. Darn it! Now I wish I had done so.
Everything was very well received and there wasn't many left overs. A good sign in my book!
Fabulous Focaccia

Fabulous foccacia was baked at their house just before the guests arrived. There is nothing more inviting than the smell of fresh baked bread with garlic and rosemary.  (Fabulous Foccacia)

Fried Zucchini is always a hit. Slices of zucchini are dipped in flour then into a pancake batter and finally into crunched up seasoned cornflakes. Quickly fried and then reheated in the oven just prior to serving. The dip is made from Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and lemon juice.

Double Tomato Brushetta is easy to prepare ahead of time and really delicious. I served this with bagels crisps.  ( Double - Tomatoe Bruschetta )

The little Cream Cheese Penguins were the talk of the evening. They were so perfect!   Thanks to the tips from Cooks4Forty they were pretty easy to do.  I added garlic powder and some green onion powder to the cream cheese and beat that together with the Kitchen Aid.  I cut a U in the jumbo olives and just used a small knife to fill them.  The beaks were inserted into the little x at the end of the small olives.  Very fun to make and a real hit. (Cream Cheese Penguins)

We also served Parmesan Mini Meatballs, Soft Garlic Knots and a beautiful fresh fruit arrangement.
Soft Garlic Knots is a newer recipe of mine and they were really good.  I hope you get a chance to try them.
For dessert I made individual trifle like, layered dessert with Balsamic Strawberries.
(Balsamic Strawberries)  I didn't get a chance to get photographs of these gems.  Darn, I guess I will have to make them again.
Caprese Salad - the grandkids favorite snack.
Photo Detail
Fried Zucchini - CoCo's Style
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Cream Cheese Penguins
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Mar. 1, 2010 12:08 pm
Sounds delicious!! What technique did you end up using for the penguins? I know you spent some time thinking about it! As always- I love Penny Lane :)
Mar. 1, 2010 12:22 pm
Darn it....I am having problems with the pictures again. Sigh....
Mar. 1, 2010 12:35 pm
OMG! Those penguins are so cute! I'm interested in learning how to do them, myself! Great blog!!
Mar. 1, 2010 12:54 pm
Are those olives, carrots and cream cheese penguins? Please share how you made them. I know my daughter would like to make them for her best friend.
Mar. 1, 2010 12:54 pm
I love the penguins!!! I wish I was at the party to enjoy all of this wonderful food!
Mar. 1, 2010 12:59 pm
You are quickly becoming my hero.
Mar. 1, 2010 1:02 pm
Daiseyland: I inserted the link to the recipe. They are really fun to make. A couple of tips. Buy 2 cans of Jumbo olives and 1 can of small olives. Whip the cream cheese with a little flavor, I used garlic and green onion powder. Buy fat carrots for the base and cut them pretty thick. Too thin and they will fall over. Cut the notch for their feet and then using a small sharp knife use cut the little beaks. The beaks are inserted into the little x at the end of the small olives. Cut a U in the Jumbo olives. I just used a small knife to stuff them and smooth out the front. Secure them together with toothpicks.
Mar. 1, 2010 1:03 pm
Wow, thank you Kathy. You are very kind. This was a fun party.
Mar. 1, 2010 2:07 pm
Are the penguins very time-consuming? It seems like they would be. I love how it looks like they're on ice!
Mar. 1, 2010 2:21 pm
CP, They weren't as time consuming as I thought they would be. I cut the U in all the Jumbo olives and put them back into the brine. Then I cut all the "feet". Mixed up the cream cheese and did them assembly line fashion. The beaks are the last to go on. They need to be pretty small (thin) to fit in the little x. After you do a few you get the hang of it & they go quicker. I was going to pipe in the filling but cooks4forty said that with the U shape you really don't need to pipe it in and it was pretty easy to use a small knife to put the filling in the Jumbo olives.
Mar. 1, 2010 2:22 pm
Oh, I forgot. I used a plain white platter. They looked pretty cute on "ice". Another thought would be to plate them on a mirror tile.
Mar. 1, 2010 4:55 pm
yummmy! that little menue sounds delicious! it looks like that could be a cute teaparty!!! those cream cheese penguins look very beautiful! good job!
Mar. 1, 2010 4:55 pm
Wow! Fantastic!
Mar. 1, 2010 5:13 pm
Thanks guys...this was a fun one to do. They didn't want a whole meal...all finger foods and lots of booze. LOL...very fun.
Mar. 1, 2010 5:14 pm
What fun! I have had some of the same girl friends for over 25 years now... We don't get together as often as we'd like, but it's funny how some things change (the way we look) and some things don't (some still act like they did 25 years ago!)... All the food looks good; one day I want to try to make the penguins too! :)
Mar. 1, 2010 5:18 pm
ALL the food looks great but those penguins are adorable!!! Kepp up the good work!
Mar. 1, 2010 5:19 pm
Traci et al....make them for a kids birthday party! My grandkids wanted to name them! There is so much more you could do with this idea!
Mar. 1, 2010 5:36 pm
Thanks so much Good EatsNZ. I am so glad that I did the I know that they are really do-able I will do them more often. Fun stuff!
Mar. 1, 2010 5:54 pm
Your penguins turned out fantastic! Everything looks delicious as well as eye-catching! Good job!
Mar. 1, 2010 5:58 pm
Thanks so much for your input Cooks4Forty! They were a hit for sure.
Mar. 1, 2010 6:46 pm
cooks4forty....again...thank you. The big U shape made all the difference between these being easy to fill or hard! You rock! Thanks so much.
Mar. 2, 2010 6:56 am
Wow, I'm impressed! Everything looks and sounds so yummy. I've had my eye on those penguins for some time now but you've made it sound easier. Beautiful job!!
Mar. 2, 2010 7:19 am
Lace, The day after the party I did these with 3 of my grandkids. Ages, 5, 7 and 11. They all had a blast and were very creative.....making little wings etc. Have fun.
Mar. 2, 2010 10:27 am
Beautiful - and I love your photos, even if you didn't get them all, you certainly put in some nice ones!
Mar. 2, 2010 10:58 am
CC - Thanks so much. I love photography but I must give credit to the camera more than the photographer!
Mar. 3, 2010 11:11 am
Nana- that is amazing! You are so talented! I just loved the penguins!!
Mar. 3, 2010 11:33 am
Thanks Megan. They are almost to cute to eat!
Apr. 1, 2010 8:10 am
What a nice spread! Looks delish!
Aug. 22, 2010 10:06 pm
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Baking Nana

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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