Pre-Birthday Balcony Party

For the first time in a very long while, I organized a little pre birthday get together for a small group of girlfriends. We haven’t gotten together in quite some time, so it felt amazing to just eat some canapes, have girl talk and enjoy a little bubbly. It’s my birthday next week, so this time around I love to organize a little celebration. It was an amazing sunny day, so we spent the majority of the time enjoying the heat on the balcony amongst all my growing flowers.  Apple trees are in full blossom, lilacs are starting to bloom and peonies are looking their best. We have officially opened rosé season and summer is at it’s best. Spending time with these ladies is always amazing, but especially now after much isolation, getting together felt even more special.

Smoked salmon on a small “blini” with a sage cream cheese topping

How to make mini blinis

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 1 cup milk

Mix everything together until it forms a thick batter. Cook “tablespoons” of batter on a non-stick pan over medium heat until the surface starts to bubble. Flip over and voilá, little blinis are formed! Let them cool before adding the toppings. If the batter looks too thin, add more milk and if it looks too thin, add more flour.

Blini Toppings

  • 1 packet cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Smoked salmon slices

For the topping, make a cream cheese filling. Basically, mix together some cream cheese, finely chopped sage and a tablespoon of pesto from the jar. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Add a slice of smoked salmon on top and garnish with baby arugula and black pepper.

Gratinated mussels with a garlic chili butter

Puff pastry shrimp cocktail

To make the puff pastry:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400F)

On a lightly floured surface, place the (defrosted) sheet of puff pastry om top. I used a rectangular shape puff pastry sheet (that has many sheets in the packet) that needs no rolling. 1 rectangle sheet makes 1 puff pastry.

You need 2 cookie cutters (one larger, one smaller). Using the larger one, cut out circles from your puff pastry. Using a smaller cookie cutter gently mark half of the pastry circles making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush the unmarked pastry circles with a beaten egg. Place the marked circles on top of unmarked circles and brush again with an egg. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 – 23 minutes until the puff pastry has risen and turned golden. Using a tip of a sharp knife, gently cut out caps from the pastry and dig out a little bit of pastry to make some room for the filling.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup chopped shrimps
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • Pinch of Salt/pepper
  • Garnish: baby arugula and seaweed/ fish roe

Mix everything in a bowl and add a generous spoonful into each puff pastry as they have cooled down. Garnish with black pepper, baby arugula leaves and a spoonful of seaweed roe.

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