So now I can share with you what has been keeping me busy for the past few weeks! I had the great privilege of being selected by POM pomegranates to host a pomegranate party. This was another great opportunity that FoodBuzz has provided me. And since my family ADORES pomegranates, cooking with you was a no-brainer! Boy, were they bursting with joy when the two giant boxes filled with over 40 pomegranates arrived!
POM also sent me a very cute POM tote bag with coupons for POM juice, a cute pomegranate shaped cutting pad, a very funny pomegranate apron, pamphlets and recipes using pomegranates. I was asked to host a dinner party using pomegranates in my decor and menu. The hardest part for us was to decide who to invite!
Finding friends to test out our recipes is easy to find! My friends are always more than willing to offer their taste buds to try out my concoctions. In the past, most of our big dinner parties were typically for family, not friends. Hubby and I already figured that the Iranian family already adored pomegranates, so why not introduce this wonderful fruit & recipes to our friends? And since we couldn’t cut the list down, our final party attendees included 9 wonderful families. That equals to 19 adults and 21 kids. Sure, I could have made it an adult-only party, but I really wanted to include the kids and to show everyone that kids would love pomegranates and foods including pomegranates.
Because of the large number of guests and because many of our friends have not had me cook for them, I decided to go BIG. WAY BIG! Just as I couldn’t limit my guest list, I also had a difficult time limiting my menu!
POM Brie En Croute
Persian Pomegranate Soup (Ash-eh Anar)
Lamb Meatballs with Tomato-Pomegranate Sauce
Rice & Lentil Dolmeh with Pomegranate Molasses (served with yogurt & cucumbers)
Goat Cheese With POM Jelly & Lavash
Persian Chicken Stew with Walnuts & Pomegranate Molasses (Fesenjoon) with Basmati Rice
Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce
Green Salad with Balsamic-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
POM-Swirl Ice Cream with Rosewater & Pistachios
POM-Swirl Cheesecake Bites
Gluten-Free Chocolate Bites Infused with Pomegranate Syrup
Cheesecake Bites with POM Jelly & Pomegranates
Sparkling White Cranberry Jello with Pomegranate
Yes, I made all of that and all from scratch! My hubby was gracious enough to seed over 40 pomegranates for me in the past few weeks. We even raided my sister-in-laws pomegranate tree to use even more pomegranates! Needless to say, Hubs is now an expert at opening and seeding a pomegranate. Check out these step-by-step photos showing you the best way to open a pomegranate, as well as this video we shot at our POM party.
When guests entered our house, I had set up the recipe cards and pamphlets sent to me by POM, as well as a few pictures showing them a sample of the recipes we were going to eat that evening. For the kids, we had a game where they had to guess how many seeds were in a POM pomegranate. We put the seeds from one lovely POM pomegranate in a jar for them to see. Even the adults got into the fun and entered their guess. My oldest son, the Professor, was in charge of this game and he made sure everyone who wanted to play, had a guess. Scroll down to see if YOU guessed right!
I also set up an activity table for the kids which included a pomegranate coloring page, make-your-own-pomegranate-face coloring page, a word game to figure out how many words you can make using the letters in POMEGRANATE, as well as some foamie fall-inspired crafts. They were a HUGE hit, especially for those kiddos who love to color and draw!
Usually when I throw a dinner party, I make sure the house is clean and presentable (ha! ha!) and I concentrate on the cooking. But, because POM wanted me to incorporate pomegranates in the decor, I spent more time on decorating my house than I usually do. And my good friend, Lois, was totally ready to help me. We went to Michael’s and found some great fall themed picks, vines and ribbon that included pomegranates and complimented the lovely red color of pomegranates. I placed the real pomegranates into the mix to highlight the real guest of honor that night! We went for a formal look and found chargers for the two main dinner tables and came up with two separate color schemes for each. Lois was crafty and creative enough to make the wonderful napkin rings you see pictured below. Everything turned out beautifully.
The food was set up buffet-style on our big island counter in our great room. To hide the clutter in the kitchen and to infuse more pomegranates in the decor, my hubby cut branches from our very own pomegranate tree and placed them in a heavy vase (pictured above). Many of our friends had never seen a pomegranate tree before and were amazed to see real pomegranates hanging off the branches. We had a large bowl filled with pomegranate seeds for newbies to try these ruby-red treats. I am proud to say that many kids ate pomegranate for the first time at our house that night. And they all loved it. Again, another healthy fruit that kids adore.
The whole evening was tremendous fun. It was a lot of work, but hubs and I were so pleased with how everything turned out. The man room was filled with “happy” guests getting refills on the house drinks. Who needs a stuffy living room when you can make it into a piano bar?? Everyone loved the food, even the exotic Persian meals. Fesenjoon may not look pretty, but it certainly tastes amazing. Many thanks to Sholeh, my hubby’s “aunt” who was able to guide me through this family recipe. I will highlight the drinks and the dishes in later posts. Until then, enjoy the pictures and check out the recipes posted on Family Spice.
Our friends were great guests and they all enjoyed every pomegranate recipe I introduced to them. I made the dessert portions small so they could find a little room in their full tummies for a bite of these sweet pomegranate treats. The pomegranate-swirl ice cream was a HUGE hit, especially since many people have not tasted rosewater before. It’s a Persian thing! Thank you, my dear friends, for your help and support. It was a wonderful night for me and the hubs. Every guest went home with a POM tote bag, POM coupons and a POM pomegranate.
And to my friends who couldn’t make it to this party? Well, I hope you can make it to the next one!!! And I promise, there will be a next one!