Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Youth New Year's Eve Party

I was asked to cater a New Year's dance for youth ages 14-18. It turned out to be such fun! The other people on the committee were very talented and we ended up with an amazing night.

I actually created a whole page just for this party so I don't lose my quantities and ratios. Check out this page for more details.

This event was to be originally for 300-400 people. But the lady in charge of marketing is phenomenal and she got 1200 kids there. Fortunately I knew what she was capable of and planned food accordingly.

It was a Black Light Dance held in and LDS institute building which is huge, and has an enormous game room. So we had plenty of room for everyone and lots of activities to do.

It was a great success!

A few pictures:

New Year's Eve, Eve

As you've probably seen from other pages in my blog, New Year's Eve is a pretty big deal at our house. The kids absolutely love our New Year's Eve tradition of piles of appetizer food followed by movies and Martielli's at midnight.

Well this year I was asked to cater a dance for 1000 youth on New Year's Eve, so I tried (in vain) to get out of this meal or have it for Christmas Eve instead. The kids wouldn't hear of it. They were not willing to miss out on any traditional meals.

So we held this meal the night before New Year's, invited a few friends over, and celebrated as if it was New Year's Eve.

By this time I was so sick of party food that I actually only had two desserts: muddy buddies and a divided plate of Christmas treats. The interesting thing was, that the rest of the food went first. I had 9 savory dishes, 2 fruit dishes, and 2 desserts. Everything was gone before the desserts. I guess I wasn't alone in my sugar aversion this year!

A few pictures:

Lil Smokie pigs in a blanket are a required part of this meal

New to us this year. My husband and I went to a party where someone brought a humongous cheese board. I have never seen my husband that enthralled with food before. So I made him (a much smaller) one for Christmas and New Year's.

Some of my kids asked for a cheese ball without green onions. I created a new cheese ball that everyone actually likes better than the original. See party food recipes for more info.

Store bought crab cakes

New this year: baked "fried" ravioli. My kids really wanted a pasta dish and I wanted finger food.

I just grabbed any veggies in the fridge and prepped them. This was surprisingly popular.

I burnt my bacon, so they are missing their bacon bits. They were still good though.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner followed the Sushi lunch. Everyone was so full it gave me a few hours to prep and rest up.

I kept the menu simple. Ham, scalloped potatoes, homemade rolls, and fresh green beans. Nothing was too complicated. The rolls took more time than anything else.

All in all everyone enjoyed chilling watching movies (reading a book in my case) and resting up before dinner. I put out a few appetizers a few hours after the sushi to keep them going for a late dinner.

I created a cheese board for my husband:

And did a cheese ball for the kids.

I had cut up the salami and the cheese the night before, and made the cheese ball the day before, so neither of these took much time to assemble.

A few pictures of dinner:

Sushi Conquered

I've always wanted to learn to make sushi, but I just never got around to it. Then one night my daughter's boyfriend drove all the way from Ogden with my daughter to take us out to sushi just because he was craving it. At that point I figured out what to get him for Christmas.

I ordered an extensive kit from Amazon, and spent hours watching you tube videos. My little girls joined me and were thoroughly discusted. I showed them that anything can go in sushi and we ended up watching videos of fruit sushi and candy sushi. Big mistake.

When they heard I was making sushi, I had to then make some that they were willing to eat. So I ended up with a very, VERY long Christmas Eve.

I started the day before and prepped everything I could. By the time I went to bed that night, the kitchen was immaculate and laid out for the next day.

 Early Christmas Eve morning I woke up to start the rice. I made two batches. One with sugar and coconut milk and vanilla, and the other with sushi vinegar.

I did the candy sushi first with the help of my daughter who is an expert Rice Krispy Treat maker.

With those out of the way, my confidence increased. I tried the fruit sushi next.

By that point, people were starting to wake up and it was time to move on to the real stuff. As they were distracted by the fruit and candy sushi I finished prepping my shrimp and scallops.

I was so nervous! I had nightmares that night that my rice wouldn't be sticky enough or that the rolls would just fall apart when I sliced them. I was worried.

It went better than I thought. I wish I had pictures of the plate of vegetables and the plate of meat. They were beautiful in and of themselves. But I was busy trying to cook the tempura shrimp and keep people's hands off the food.

Veggies I Prepped in Advance:
Fire roasted red pepper strips
Cucumber sticks
Steamed asparagus

Meat I Had:
boiled shrimp (skewered to be straight)
tempura shrimp
tempura shrimp with coconut in the batter
salmon dip
crab legs, sliced
crab claw mixed with spicy mayo for a crab salad
scallops, sliced in thin slices and barely cooked

crunchy tempura bits
toasted white sesame
toasted black sesame
diced scallions
coconut (leftover from the fruit sushi but people liked it on the savory as well)

"Eel" sauce
spicy mayo

soy sauce

The recipient of this gift got to first pick whatever he wanted. He has me go straight to the "inside out" roll so I never got to practice the easier one with the nori on the outside. Fortunately, it turned out ok. Everyone loved it! After that people got to make requests and I would make it for them. When there was a lull I would invent one.

After 7 or 8 rolls, everyone got full so they left to watch a movie. I covered the rice and put the fillings in the fridge. A neighbor found out about it and showed up about an hour and a half later, and so we repeated the process but with more adult flavors and more spice (the kids were done at this point!). We made about 16 or 17 rolls in all.

 All in all it was enough of a success that everyone started talking about what they would do "next time". Well, here's to next time!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Party Food!

I do think that appetizers are my favorite food to plan, create, and eat. They're colorful, fun, and can be eaten in just a bite. I have a Pinterest board that I use to keep track of great ideas. I think the hardest time I have is editing!

For Young Women's in Excellence last night we created a table of only healthy refreshments. It was a challenge as desserts are easier, but it ended up looking very colorful and festive. And the food turned out yummy!

I broke one of my cardinal rules and tried out mostly new recipes all at once. But it worked! The worst part was I forgot to get a picture of the whole table. I only got the details of the food.

The menu:
Veggie tray with ranch dip.
Hummus & pita chips.
Cucumber bites.
Brie, apple & apricot crostini's.
Caprese with a twist.
Brie & cranberry turnovers.

Recipes are on the party page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Family Master Chef Challenge: Flatbreads

 Tonight's challenge featured flat breads. We had quite a few guest judges who trickled in and wanted to help judge this competition. In the end they couldn't decide on a winner. So I will introduce them in the order served.

Julia's Veggie salad tossed with Poppy Seed dressing served with a warmed pita. Judges liked the use of and variety of vegetables and loved the dressing. Great balance. 


Mandy served a mini tostada served on a fried flour tortilla topped with beans, cheese, lettuce & olives. Judges said it was good enough to be served at a restaurant and it was perfectly crispy.

Stephanie served a variety of veggies and diced chicken nuggets in a whole wheat pita pocket. Judges thought it was delicious.

Lisa made a tortilla covered in nutella and stuffed with bananas. It was surprisingly delicious!

Rachel made a homemade crepe stuffed with strawberries, whipped cream, & chocolate sauce, and topped with more chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Judges all liked it.

Crepe recipe can be found on this blog on the page Dinners: French Influence.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Eggs at Last!

So one of my dear sweet adorable chickens decided to start laying early! We weren't expecting eggs until Spring. For the last few days she has delivered to us an absolutely stunning beautiful egg each day.

And they're tiny! The kids think they are absolutely adorable and run around making "oh my gosh it's so cute I can believe it I'm going to die" little girl noises. I must admit I may have sounded just like them when my husband brought me the first two.