August 28, 2012

A Family Celebration and the Incredible Food

I've mentioned our trip to Arizona a few times now.  Some people would ask why would you go to Phoenix in August?  We were there to help Our Nephew celebrate becoming a Bar Mitzvah!  After many years of study and preparation he went to the Bimah to chant from the Torah.  He did an amazing job and we were so proud and happy for him!

We began the weekend with a gathering at his parent's home for those of us who flew in from out of town.  It was a lovely evening filled with the chance to catch up with family who we haven't seen in awhile and relax and enjoy some food.  Of course, you can't have a gathering without something to nibble on, right?

We were greeted by this creative display of appetizers when we popped into the kitchen.
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There were also some passed appetizers that I didn't manage to get a photo... shrimp cocktail shooters were fun and delicious... there were also some caprese-style shooters that were passed around.  In case you are wondering... yes, the Bar Mitzvah boy was a huge part of the food choices.  He's been lucky enough to have been exposed to some incredible food and even has had a chance to work as a sous chef in a restaurant kitchen.  Seriously, amazing experiences for a boy who just turned 13!

Next up were street tacos and sliders (the photo of those wasn't that great, so you'll just have to imagine what they looked like!).

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There were also some fun desserts that were prepared right before our eyes.  The chef who was catering that evening brought some of the fun of molecular gastronomy to the evening.  They made pop rocks, dippin' dots and some other fun things for the kids to enjoy.  I think my favorite were the chocolate cigars... a rich, moist chocolate cake made to look like a cigar - even the label was edible.  So rich, but worth the calories!

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Now, you'd think that would be enough having all of that amazing food in one night.  But, when it's time to celebrate a big event like this... there's still the party that is held after the service on the big day. 

The party was held at Sanctuary - which is an incredibly beautiful spa and resort in Phoenix.  The views of the mountains are breathtaking!

Upon arriving, there were an assortment of passed appetizers and tables set-up with cheeses, veggies and breads. 

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One of the things I really liked about the way this party was set-up was that there were no assigned seats.  It allowed for much more socializing and moving about.  The main meal was served buffet style and people could go and pick from an assortment of choices and then sit and chat with different people as they chose.

Now, for the food... and, Chef Beau MacMillan did an incredible job with preparing options to suit everyone's taste that evening!

Duck Confit street tacos.

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The full buffet included not only the cheesesteak you'll see below, but also Kobe beef sliders (grilled and plated as requested) and meatball sandwich sliders.  Some people opted to skip the bread all together, which was easily done since they were plating each item as requested. 

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Since our boys were wearing white shirts, I quickly put napkins over them so that we could preserve them a bit longer while they ate the meatballs... which they gave rave reviews!

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The kids (and some adults, as well), indulged in making their own sundaes that evening.  That was assuming that anyone had even a tiny bit of space still left in their tummies.  Nothing that a bit of dancing wouldn't cure... but, after a weekend of that kind of eating, you tend to feel as though you are in a food coma!

Everything was incredible and it was a lovely way to celebrate such a big day for Our Nephew.  Just another example of how food brings family and friends together during a celebration. 

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Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

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