Parisienne Farmgirl Entertains … Bracelet Exchange

Dec 20, 2011 | Parisienne Farmgirl Entertains, Recipes | 12 comments

First…
Let me say a wonderful “Merci” to my neighbor Liane who gave me this great idea, she is more Martha that Martha Stewart herself…her parties are always the best, bringing women together and her attention to detail is out of this world…
 I was so sad I didn’t get to attend…but so inspired by the idea I had to have my own!

Seventeenish years ago a big, extended family all attended the same “mega church”, sitting next to each other every Saturday night.. seventeen years ago they used to go out for dinner, have potlucks and Thanksgiving and Christmas occasions too.

Divorce… Disagreements… Decades… Death…
Things don’t always stay the same.  
Sometimes families need a little space… but sometimes that space turns into years and a void is created.
 A void that was once filled by laughter.
When I knew I just had to host a bracelet exchange the women of this extended family came right to my mind, brought there I think by the Holy Spirit.  It must have been Inspired because it was SO MUCH FUN and everyone reconnected like we didn’t miss a beat.  The next day everyone was still basking in the “afterglow” as the calls and emails came in about how great is was to all be in the same room again and laugh that hard!

Who needs another ornament exchange right?  Lame-o.
For your next girls get-together why not a bracelet exchange?  Everyone brings a bracelet… New… Vintage… Homemade…and wrapped very enticingly.

Then everyone draws a number according to how many guests you have.  Person #1 gets to choose the package that appeals to them the most – then she opens it and shows off her new bracelet.  Person #2 may then pick a package of her own or “steal” person #1’s bracelet… you go around the room until all the packages are open and then you go again, person #1 can “steal” someone else’s bracelet or keep her own…


We laughed so hard.
‘Til the tears came.

And we decided to get together again as soon as possible.  Next time around will be a thrift store purse exchange.  So we are now on a mission to find the most fabulous thrift store purse we can find for February.

I will be hosting an intimate Christmas Eve Bruch in honor of Amélie’s 4th Birthday but aside from that this was my holiday entertaining…
It was so perfect.  I could not have asked for more.

I served…
Christmas macarons in:
Fleur de Sel/Caramel
Pistachio
Chocolate Hazelnut
Mint
Raspberry
&
Cinnamon
(Recipe coming in my Macaron book late Spring… no that’s not the big announcement... it’s bigger!)

Reine de Saba Chocolate Cake
(See side bar or my feature on the Where Women Cook Website)

Carmelized Onion Galettes with 25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar
(Recipe inspired by Williams Sonoma.  I have made these for Gluten Free friends and family and they come out rather well using rice flour.  A little flakier than wheat flour but very good nonetheless.)



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 to 7 Tbs. ice water

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 
knives, cut in the butter until pea-size crumbs form. Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time 
and mix with your hands, adding more water as needed until the dough comes 
together. It should be moist but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 2 balls and shape each

 into a 5-inch disk. Cover separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 
hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough disk into a 12-inch round about 1/8

 inch thick. Using a small knife, trim the uneven edges. Transfer each round to a 
parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Use as 
directed in your tart recipe. Makes enough dough for two 10-inch tarts.






Ingredients:

  • 2 rolled-out rounds savory tart dough, each 12 inches in diameter (see
      related recipe at left)
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Place the dough rounds on separate parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate 
for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions,

 salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
 Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the thyme, parsley and 2 tsp. of the
 vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 
about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Spread half of the onion mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold

 the dough up and pinch together at 2-inch intervals. Lightly brush the top of the 
dough with the beaten egg. Bake the tarts until the crusts are golden, 30 to 35 
minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool for 10 
minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar, the remaining 2 Tbs. olive 

oil, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette. Toss half of the vinaigrette with the salad 
greens, then place the remaining vinaigrette in an oil mister. Top the tarts with the 
salad, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese. Mist the salads with the 
remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately. Serves 8.






Now this is not quite how I made mine, but all least you can follow their directions the first time and then tweak it to suit yourself.
I do not make a vinaigrette but instead use my favorite Balsamic aged 25 years.  Available here (tell them Parisienne Farmgirl sent you).  



Really, this stuff is life changing.  It’s so good you can drink it like a shot.  I kid you not.  Look at the consistency!!


The décor for the evening was pretty simple.  Lots of fresh greens and I did get a chance to show off my “new” Victorian era Bavarian china in pistachio green and creme.  White linen table cloth, champagne flutes, cake plates and vintage cutlery.  Pandora set to Charlie Brown Christmas… Champagne, Sparkling Pomegranate juice and a killer Bordeaux. (Mais bien sur.)

I had so much fun.  Entertaining is of course a ton of prep work and I could NEVER do it without my babe of a husband who does ALL my last minute errands and vacums for me as I frantically throw on my mascara.  He rocks.

Amélie’s party is going to be simple but pretty to make her feel extra special…
She has requested a macaron tower in Tinkerbell colors with Pixie Dust.  

No pressure Mom.

And we will have lots of “Tinker” colored balloons…
Oh… that reminds me.
I’d better get off the computer and go finish that DRESS!


12 Comments

  1. Vintage Green

    Bracelets…..thrift store purses….
    sounds like so much fun!!

    Have a lovely holiday!!

    Reply
  2. Stephanie

    This looks like a blast! And all of the bracelets are really pretty. But I’m mostly dying over your desserts. Must make that cake very soon.

    Reply
  3. cityfarmer

    I’m for a late winter purse blitz …

    I haven’t laughed that hard since we all sat together 17 years ago and the balcony fairy strutted her high pitched “how great thou art” srains … ‘member?

    Reply
  4. Ann at eightacresofeden

    A bracelet exchange – what an inspired idea. If only someone had thought of that for the ladies Christmas party I attended a number of years ago now when I used to attend a larger church. I had just given a talk/demo on gifts and gift wrapping and at the end of the evening there was the ‘secret santa’ under $5 gift exchange that the organizer had arranged. Choose a wrapped gift from under the tree and see what you get. I had brought along a beautiful tea light set. I wrapped it and embellished it with ribbons and flowers. The girl who received it was thrilled. What did I get? It smelled fishy – it was fishy, a tub of fish fertilizer! I just did not know what to say but the look on my face was priceless apparently and the ladies around me could not believe someone had brought fish fertilizer as a gift or that I the person who had just spoken on giving gifts with thought and consideration (even on a budget) got the dud gift of the night! I never found out who brought that and whether they meant it as a joke or not! It didn’t even look like a new tub either and I didn’t have a garden at the time. I laughed it off and avoided the whole gift exchange idea at my own seminars. But now for next year you have given me two brilliant ideas – so thanks Ang and a very Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family from Australia (pray it doesn’t rain for me on Christmas day – planning on an al fresco dinner!)

    Reply
  5. Cindy Adkins

    Oh WOW, I LOVE those bracelets and that picture of them is totally amazing!!!
    XO
    Cindy

    Reply
  6. Old Centennial Farmhouse

    Wonderful! Brilliant, actually! Love that opening shot! What a fun friend you are…
    xoxo
    Joni

    Reply
  7. It's me

    Great party with the girls !! and what a delicious foof post !!…i lovvvvvvveeee macrones!!…..enjoy a happy last week for christmas darling…love from me…xxx…

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    Reply
  8. Heather's Blog-o-rama

    Wow, you host the best gift exchanges. That bracelet exchange sounds fabulous 😉 🙂

    I also loved all the food you shared here 🙂 🙂 Especially the gluten free onion tart. That’s really thoughtful. I’m gluten free and I’m having a hard time explaining that to some friends…

    Have an awesome Happy Christmas. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

    Reply
  9. à la parisienne

    I love the idea of women exchanging handmade or vintage items! Everything you did looks lovely and I am quite certain your friends LOVED your macarons! Oh, and your blingy earrings and white fur jacket caught my attention~ très GLAM!!!

    I hope Amélie’s brunch is formidable. Have funny sprinkling the pixie dust!!!

    Mandy

    Reply
  10. Cottage Remnant

    Ahhhhh!!!!
    I LOVE IT♥♥♥♥ (notice the fourth heart…i usually only do 3)
    What a fabulously terrifically fun idea…..and the purse exchange…oh my love that too….

    You’re only cute, you’re clever…♥

    Blessings,
    Cindy♥

    Reply
  11. Monica

    The Macarons look divine! Can’t wait for your Macaron cookbook!

    Reply

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