Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catering Fun!

This past Saturday I catered a wedding for 125 guests. I was delighted to handle not only the hors d'oeuvre buffet, but the wedding cake as well. I had a great time and always enjoy preparing food/serving others. Would you like to know what we served?

The Menu:
Salmon Skewers
Chicken & Pineapple Teriyaki Kabobs
Bleu Cheese Filled Mini Tomatoes
Caprese Crostini
Crawfish Cakes (a twist on the traditional crab cake)
Fresh Fruit & Cheese Platter
Ganache Brownie Tower (a substitute for the traditional groom's cake)

Sadly, I failed to photograph the buffet, or the groom's table, but managed to squeeze in a shot of the cake!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bread in Five Minutes a Day!

Last week, during spring break, my daughter and I visited the farm of a friend. We have a great time in the country and are certain we are farm girls at heart...if only high heeled Manolo's and Louis Vuitton were conducive to the relaxing pace of farm life. Alas, I'm torn between two worlds I love equally. My point, however, is that we were given the most fabuloso bread to try while at the farm. It really was great and I can't believe that it only takes about five minutes a day. Click here to get the full scoop on this great bread and prepare to give it a try! While you're there, check out the other great tips and suggestions for living wisely.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Customized Chef Coats

If you cook in large quantities as I often do (see my personal chef and catering website here), then you understand the necessity of a good chef's coat and/or a great apron. Because I'm a girly girl at heart, I like my chef's coat and aprons to be as cute as anything else I would wear. Here is a great website with customizable coats and aprons. I'm linking to their women's chef coats because, let's face it....most of my readers are women. Sorry guys. You can surf their site to find the men's section.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yeast Rolls

If you have followed me for very long, then you know that I do not part with my recipes very often. This is a rare occurrence, so pay attention! This dough has just enough whole wheat flour without causing it to lose the great sweet roll essence. My favorite aspect about my dough is its range of use. It can be rolled out, filled with cinnamon, sugar, nuts, butter, etc and rolled into amazing cinnamon rolls - yes, absolutely AMAZING. Or, can be used for dinner rolls. You can add herbs or brush with herbed butter. This recipe makes enough for at least two uses - I usually use one half at a time. Since the dough must rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight, I typically use the first half for cinnamon rolls and save the other half for dinner rolls the next day or later in the week. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week, but as with all things containing yeast, the sooner you use it the better! When you pinch off the portion you intend to use, give it a quick knead on a lightly floured surface, just until it has some elasticity to it.

We make our dinner rolls using three small balls of dough per aperture in a muffin pan. They look like this:

Let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until almost doubled in size:

Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fried Rice

My family loves Fried Rice. This version of Fried Rice is versatile as we often eat it as a main dish, but it works well as a side dish too. Sadly, I don't make it often enough. When I do make it, we start by crumbling 6-8 slices of crispy bacon in the bottom of a large bowl - sounds tasty already, doesn't it? Set this bowl aside while you cook your raw ingredients, which are: chicken, red onion and bell pepper.

In a hot pan, sizzling with two tablespoons of bacon fat (yes, bacon fat) cook your diced chicken breast, season with salt and stir frequently. When chicken is almost done, add the veggies (NOTE: veggies will cook much faster than chicken so adding the veggies at the same time as the chicken will result in soggy veggies, which we don't want...well maybe you do, but I don't).

Cook and stir until onion and bell pepper become tender, but not soft.

Pour three softly beaten eggs over the mixture, cook until eggs are done...

Pour your chicken and egg mixture into the large bowl with the crumbled bacon, set aside. In your skillet, over med-high heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Please don't clean your pan first, you want all of the flavor left behind from cooking the chicken, onions, egg, etc.

Now, load up your pan with cooked rice (about 4 cups, cooked). We prefer brown rice, but white will work just as well.

This is where we incorporate the "fried" element of fried rice. Keep your pan hot, flipping sections of rice over, almost like a pancake, while achieving the brown "fried" texture...this should only take about five minutes, at the most.

Add the rice to the large bowl containing your chicken mixture and crumbled bacon. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients. Serve with soy sauce and enjoy!

Of Babies and Birthdays....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Cake from My Week

Client wanted an "antiqued" looking cake with a wagon, in brown and creme with red accents - hence, the hand brushed letters and old school wagon:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who Doesn't Love Cake?

Who doesn't love cake? Especially when a baby is involved! Here is one of my most recent baby shower cakes: