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Ladurée-inspired fête~~le menu, la table, et le thé

To all of you who have attended my Ladurée-inspired party thus far, thank you for your sweet comments regarding the invitations and décor. Now on to the most important element of my party planning-the food. Pretty invitations and a romantic atmosphere are nice but a delicious meal enhances the entire experience. An when throwing a Ladurée-inspired party, one must serve authentic French cuisine.

Months before the party I carefully planned the menu. Then I designed an actual menu to place on the table. Perched on top of a small, ornate easel, my French menu gracefully greeted each guest. I created mini menus, as party favors, and placed them at each table setting.

romantic table setting~shiny silverware, soft white napkins wrapped in rich champagne satin ribbon, and miniature menus

I began planning this party nearly a year ago with a Ladurée theme in mind. I envisioned an all white table with gold accents. I wanted white linens and classy antique white plates with gold rims. Even though I searched for a year, I never found the plates that I was looking for... until YESTERDAY... yes, yesterday I found the set for which I'd been searching-three weeks after the party... C'est la vie.

Our lunch was a leisurely five course meal... comme les français, bien sûr.

All of the food was homemade by me-the day of the party-except for the crème brûlée. I want to thank Renée (my other sister-in-law) for helping me prepare the plates in between courses... You should have seen us scurrying around in the kitchen:)

LE MENU

L'entrée :

la soupe à l'oignon gratinée {French onion soup with cheese}

This French onion soup was made following Rachel Ray's Recipe: French Onion Soup with a Sicilian Twist. I love the fresh rosemary cooked into the soup and the large homemade crouton {from a French baguette} that is covered with grape tomatoes and basil from the garden. This makes a delicious lunch all on its own.

La salade:

une salade verte au chèvre chaud {Warm goat cheese salade}

When I studied abroad in France about 10 years ago, I remember eating warm goat cheese salads everywhere I went. This was my first attempt at bringing this salad to my home.
Simply slice chilled goat cheese, roll slices in flour, then roll in Panko crumbs and fry in the skillet with some olive oil.
Add fried goat cheese to a bed of green lettuces that have been tossed in a French vinaigrette-et voila! a classic French salad.

Le plat principal:

la bouchée à la reine {Chicken Friand}

I never had Chicken Friand {la bouchée à la reine}in France, but it is my favorite dish at La Madeleine-a country French café chain here in the United States.
If you love puff pastries, chicken, and mushrooms, you will LOVE Chicken Friand!

Click here for the recipe.
And here's a little secret for a great tasting Chicken Friand-use a rotisserie chicken for the best flavor!

Le fromage :

Our cheese plate included:
gouda - not very French but delicious;
le fromage aux noix {cheese with walnuts- The BEST tasting cheese you will ever eat!}
and chèvre {goat cheese}

La crème brûlée:

My sister-in-law, Renée (the one who made Amelia's aqua birthday cake with white chocolate sea creatures) made the creme brûlée, and we all enjoyed torching the sugar on top~
It was so delicious we had to restrain ourselves from licking the ramekins clean.

Later that afternoon, we enjoyed un pause-thé {a break for tea}. We enjoyed drinking fresh loose teas such as Jasmine pearl tea, Imperial Pu-erh, and Earl Gray.
And as a gift, I gave each guest a vintage teacup and saucer as a party favor and souvenir of our special day together.

Along with our teas, we had homemade French macarons.
I enjoyed creating the uniquely flavored macarons just for the party while staying with the classic pale Ladurée color palette.

macarons by à la parisienne

I used a butter cream base for all three macaron flavors:
pistachio-lemon;
cinnamon with fresh ginger zest;
& lavender/rosemary infused honey

By the end of the day, our souls were replenished not only by food by but also through convivial fellowship, and I was so thrilled (and relieved) that our fête surprise à la Ladurée had been a success.

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual glimpse of the party. I appreciate your visits and kind words of encouragement, and Felicia appreciates the birthday well wishes. Merci.

images by à la parisienne

Birthday Party, Culinary Quest, Fete, Fête à la Ladurée, French cuisine, Ladurée, Macarons, and more:

Ladurée-inspired fête~~le menu, la table, et le thé + Recipes