Celebrating Spring!

According to the calendar, it’s spring! According to the mid-30-degree lows we’ve experienced the past few nights, it’s winter! We did reach highs in the 80s last week for a brief, glorious period, so here’s hoping the heat returns soon. Warmth — I needs it.

Like we did for autumn and winter, S and I celebrated the alleged change in seasons by hosting a themed party a couple weeks ago. Our spring party was our biggest one yet, with more than twenty people packed into our apartment. Our gracious guests, who knew we’d have all sorts of tasty treats available, brought enough beer and wine to pack our fridge to the brim. Our guests then consumed nearly all the beer, leaving us with countless (fine, four) bottles of wine to enjoy. That’ll come in handy as we pack for our move! ;)

So – what delicious eats did we share? Here’s the spread!

Table full of colorful desserts and savory items.

Spring party!

Our savory dishes included:

• Mini Mushroom and Spinach Quiches (using a recipe from our vegan friend — these were super yummy)
Carrot Hummus (GF)
No-Knead Basil and Tomato Focaccia
Creamy Artichoke-Spinach Dip (GF)
Chesapeake Dip (GF. Okay, it’s called “Crab Dip” in the recipe, but I wanted a more animal-friendly name!)
• Store-bought mango salsa (GF)
• Lots of dippers! (Veggies and two types of gluten-free cracker-chips)

I would’ve loved to use more seasonal produce, but it was still a little early around here for asparagus and other quintessential spring veggies. Alas!

For the sweet-toothed, we offered:

• Vanilla-Bean Cupcakes with a Raspberry-Cream Cheese Frosting
Lemon Bars (made GF with spelt)
• Strawberry Mousse “Shots” (my recipe, also GF)
Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake Cookies (GF. You could barely taste the cream cheese in these, so I just called them “Raspberry-Coconut Cookies” instead because the coconut oil flavor was very prominent.)

I think we did a nice job of keeping things fresh and spring-y with the desserts, yeah? The lemon bars were particularly tasty, but next time I’ll double the lemon layer — it wasn’t thick enough for my liking!

Plate stacked with lemon bars.

Lemonlicious.

Although we had lots of the aforementioned beer and wine on offer, I also whipped up these amazing Birthday Cake Martinis on request. Sadly, a few of my guests thought these were too strong (one guest-of-a-guest (who called herself bad with alcohol) choked a little on her first sip). I say, if you don’t want a strong drink, don’t order a martini! I personally thought they were fantastic, although I did reduce the amount of vodka and add a little extra coconut milk.

Our spring party was probably our most successful yet by all measurable metrics. If you’ve been following along, you know that S and I are saying goodbye to Wisconsin next month and heading east, which means that we won’t be able to round out our quartet of seasonal soirees with a celebration of summer. Believe me, I’m disappointed — and not just because of the way this bugs my OCD. A summer-themed party would’ve been a delight to throw, with all sorts of fresh produce to use as ingredients. And believe me, if S and I could’ve squeezed a party in, we probably would have. But the fact that we’ve already sold our table and chairs and started to pack up our kitchen items will most likely prevent us from doing that. ;)

What are your favorite spring treats?

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3 thoughts on “Celebrating Spring!

    • You’re right! I should’ve specified. My GF friend is more gluten-sensitive than actually intolerant, and she can handle spelt just fine. But I know truly GF people can’t.

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