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I just got back from the most lovely weekend in New York City. A dear friend from college is getting married this summer so we threw her a “Spice Shower” dinner party in our friend’s backyard in Brooklyn. It was a warm evening so we passed out fans (which we needed!!) and served summery drinks.  We made Basil Lemon Cocktails with basil syrup, vodka or gin, seltzer and a lemon slice (for the basil syrup, just make some simple syrup and toss it in the blender with fresh basil). Each guest brought a different spice in a jar and a favorite recipe to go with it for our bride-to-be. We served spicy foods like jalapeno poppers (her favorite) along with cheese, spicy cured olives and salami from Brooklyn Larder. Fireflies twinkled as we ended the evening with stories, toasts and an ice cream parfait with berry compote.

The rest of the weekend was also tasty, and I documented my adventures on Instagram (@theforestfeast)- croissants for brunch at Balthazar, a Mister Softee cone while shopping, a cheese stuffed portabello “burger” from Shake Shack, a glass of sparkling rose wine on the top floor of Bergdorf’s overlooking Central Park, and plantain black bean quesadillas from Rockaway Taco during a day at the beach. Until next time!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast