Friday, January 9, 2015

Three Kings Day 2015

By the time Epiphany came around, the creative juices had stopped flowing after all the entertaining we did in December, but I couldn't let this holiday, which is so special to me, pass unnoticed.  However, although I definitely wanted to have friends over, I didn't necessarily want to cook.  Zuni, from Chickadee Home Nest suggested a "Dessert and Coffee" party, instead of an afternoon tea.  Thank you, Zuni!  Your suggestion was brilliant!  Zuni, who shares the same Cuban roots as I do, also celebrates Three Kings Day.  Please visit her charming blog.  You will be enchanted with her entertaining style and wonderful stories.

Once the plan was in place, I set out to find wonderful treats for a tasty dessert table, but, alas, I ran into an unexpected obstacle!  All my favorite bakeries were closed for the long holiday weekend!  Undaunted, I let my iPad do the walking and found a variety of sources here and there, and, well, came up with an interesting and delicious table!  Voilà!

Our parties always seem to end up in the kitchen, so I set up the desserts in the Living Room to encourage circulation.  It did seem to help a little, but in the end, we all ended up back in the kitchen.

The treats included Cannolli, Fruit-filled Kolacky, Coconut Flan, and, the pièce the résistance, Galette des Roi - Kings Cake as made in France.  It is made with puff pastry with a frangipane (almond cream) center. The cake had a baby Jesus hidden in its center, and whoever finds it gets to wear a paper crown, and is declared King for the day!

Kolacky is a delicious Central European pastry, and, since Polish Americans make up the largest European ethnicity in the Chicago area, there is no shortage of places that offer this yummy treat.

Cannolli may be Italian, but it's become an American favorite.  If you haven't tasted one, I urge you to find the nearest Italian bakery and have them fill one for you on the spot.  The best are filled with the sweetened Ricotta cheese center just before serving, so the shell doesn't have time to turn soggy.  Then the ends are capped off with either finely chopped pistachio or chocolate chips.

Just recently I learned how to make Coconut Flan, thanks to my friend, Layda, who brought one to our Christmas celebration and shared her recipe. The flan, arriving to the New World from Spain, acquires a uniquely Caribbean flavor when coconut is added. It is marvelous!  I'll share the recipe soon, once I've made it half a dozen time and feel comfortable with the outcome.  So, unintentionally, this turned out to be an international dessert buffet!  How fitting for The Three Kings!

Gold, symbolic of one of the gifts that the Magi were reputed to have brought to the Baby Jesus, is represented in the tablecloth and the arrangement of gold branches.  I found the branches at my local supermarket, stuck them on a dry oasis, and covered them with river rocks.  I love how it looks against my brown Living Room wall!  Each guest went home with a Lottery ticket.  Hopefully, more gold would be heading their way.

And here are the three mystical beings that represent the revelation of God to us.  They foreshadow, with their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense, Jesus' greatness and his suffering.  It is always, a most moving and perfect ending to the holiday season.  May your new year be filled with epiphanies and joy!  God bless!

Linking to Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  You've got to stop by and see Susan's wonderful Snowman Cake centerpiece!


Elaine Cariglio said...

Oh my, I loved looking at all your yummie desserts! What a fantastic dessert table! I could get lost in all those goodies!
Blessings to you and yours in this New Year!

Jacqueline said...

What a lovely international display of fantastic desserts! We are in Mexico so it is fun to be here for 3 Kings Day. I have done a few tables on it and think if I am ever home for it I would like to entertain. Restaurants were slammed that day. We usually are gone since my birthday is 2 days after and I have found you don't have to count the birthdays that you aren't home for haha!!

Nicki said...

Not only can you dress a table like no other, you spare no detail on the deliciousness of the food. Sounds like a delightful event with your friends.


OMG...wish I could go to your house and eat all that! That was a good idea of Zuni to do the buffet, but hey, it's awesome, I'm swooning!!!
What a great celeb Cubans have, just like the Spaniards, I know cause I had so many school friends from Cuba back in NY.
I'm gonna go back and check the great buffet!
Feliz Dia de Reyes preciosa!

Rettabug said...

What a FUN, FUN idea for an Epiphany Party!! I am soooo going to do this next year! We leave our decorations up till after, but I've never served a King Cake to anyone.
You were fortunate to be able to find so many luscious desserts available for purchase.
The entire table looks yummy. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said...

mmmm all the baked goodies look scrumptious! The coconut flan sounds mouth-watering! I would love to attend your dessert party:) Hugs, Poppy

Laurie Ritchey said...

isn't it funny how we always end up in the kitchen? I guess that old saying on samplers, "no matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like my kitchen best", is true. You had a wonderful selection of goodies on the table, and those sparkly gold branches are beautiful.

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

I'm FINALLY here, Maria!! Six days since you posted your Three Kings party and I haven't been able to visit, nor have I done my post. You blew my simple suggestion out of the water, and I'm of course not surprised!! (And thanks for the sweet of you!). It turned out beautifully, with the international mix of desserts, the gold tablecloth, the gold branches--and the lottery tickets for perhaps more gold. Love that idea!!

I'd love it if one year we could visit the other for such a party--we could've this year, since we had it on different weekends! Wouldn't that be fun!!

Sending hugs and hats off to you! ~Zuni