Since last year was the big 40th celebration we (the hubs, my two brothers & SIL...and the twins) surprised them with a house on the beach in Santa Barbara for the weekend. The house has the most amazing backyard and patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was the perfect setting for an authentic rustic Italian celebration. The theme? AMORE!! We drank wine and played Bocci in the afternoon. Then we drank MORE wine and ate SOOOO much food... true italian style.
I wish I took these pictures during sunset. Oh well, I blame the wine. For the Rustic Italian Tablescape, I used mason jars tied with twine to hold bright yellow sunflowers, red ranunculus and sprigs of fresh rosemary. I also silk screened "AMORE" onto white dinner napkins and made little Luigi mustaches for pics. We lined the patio with dozens of candles in mini mason jars tied with burlap and twine (like the one you see here on the table) and listened to a playlist of old school Italian music while we dined.
An italian party is not a party with out FOOD. To start, we devoured sliced heirloom tomatoes with fresh buffalo mozzarella & basil topped with some EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar and an antipasto platter with figs and fresh focaccia. For dinner, we ate homemade lasagna and meatballs (sorry, no pic of that!)
And an anniversary cake is not a cake without AMORE bunting! We call this the "Queen Ann's Cake" after my Grammy Woodwood. It's her recipe and my dad's all time favorite treat. With my mom's permission, I'll share that recipe at some point. Be warned - it is NOT low fat.
Here are a few candids from the weekend. Tons of food, tons of wine, tons of laughter and tons of fun.