puppy party

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Dinner Party, Posted on July 30, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten

Here’s an adorable excuse for a party. Last spring when life was feeling bleak we adopted a little Norwich terrier. This loveable pup was a show dog reject (he developed a slight overbite and could no longer compete.) His minor loss was our certain gain. And there is nothing like a puppy to momentarily turn your world happily upside down. So when this cutie turned one (and was finally sleeping through the night and almost completely potty trained) it was time to celebrate.


Here’s Willie!

paper goods

I had a blast going to the party store to pick up some old fashioned invites. Of course I couldn’t resist the party hats and napkins.

The party was a small gathering so the day before I decided to switch from just cocktails to dinner. I also knew that I wanted it to be simple, meaning completely done before my guests arrived. This was the first time Willie would be allowed to be downstairs for a party. I usually barricade him in our master bath because he is such an escape artist. With him on the guest list my eyes and hands needed to be free to supervise this birthday boy.


When setting the table I remembered that I had a box of stamps and ink pads from my way back days when I was a bit of a Martha-Stewart-Wanna-Be. I’ve definitely lost my crafty ways over the years but I recalled that I had a dog print stamp that would be perfect for the place cards.


For parties over six I almost always place my guests. Not only does it eliminate that last minute walk to the table awkwardness but also it allows me to seat my guests with purpose.


The dinner was a simple buffet. Everything was served room temp. So I could put it all out minutes before the guest arrived. I’m mad about the house dressing at Disalvo’s deli. I pick up a weekly pint. It’s the perfect marinade for chicken, veal and pork.


I marinated the chicken earlier in the day.


After a few hours I grilled it, cooled it to room temperature, covered it and put it in the frig.


I pulled out some pesto out of the freezer to toss with a small bowtie pasta.


I cooked and tossed the pasta earlier, let it cool to room temp then put it in a Ziploc bag. Right before the guests arrived I placed it in a decorative bowl.

tomato salad

On the side I made a luscious salad out of farm stand tomatoes, creamy burratta cheese, freshly picked basil.

tomato salad

I served the generous slices with a balsamic glaze on top of hydroponic greens.


For dessert I ordered some red velvet baby cakes from Dorothy Lane Market and asked them to out blue and brown bones on them.

The party was a riot. It was such fun to place our focus on this small furry milestone. Happy birthday my little man!


Thanks for my presents- woof!

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