Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lunch: What to do, What to do

Ladies (I'm not ashamed to admit that all or most of you reading this are in fact Ladies)--

It is time. Summer has arrived (well, sort of...my posse doesn't get out until June 23rd. Yes you read that right--June 23rd). At our house, the first few days of summer are magical--new flip flops, swimming parties, loud music throughout the house while we clean out our backpacks. But within a week, reality sets in. What do I make for lunch? I remember having this problem last summer. I can think of a few fun sandwiches*, but that only lasts for so long. What kinds of lunches do you make in the summer? I really need help here. Last summer my oldest daughter said she was "quesadillad out"--whatever that means. Don't be shy. Share your ideas for a fun and easy summer lunch so we can all benefit.

*Turkey wrap:
large pita bread or wraps
sliced deli turkey
lettuce, sliced tomatoes
a bit of salt

Spread a bit of mayo and mustard over pita bread. Place sliced turkey lettuce and tomatoes over bread. Salt tomatoes just a bit. Roll wrap tightly. Slice. If the wrap starts to unroll, stick it with a toothpick--the kiddies get a kick out of toothpicks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Menu: Summertime Summertime Sum Sum...

Tonight we are having friends over for Minestrone Salad with Grilled Sausage and Arugula Pesto. This is one of my favorite summertime menus. I make the salad and pesto in the morning, clean my house like a madwoman in the afternoon, then grill the sausage on the deck in the evening. People rave about this meal. Do yourself a favor and try it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Catering: 400 Crepes and Counting...

Oh man. What a weekend. But, with the help of some amazingly capable people, we pulled it off. What the heck am I talking about? Last weekend, I engineered and pulled off my very first catering event. Well, I can't say I. I should say we. My friends who volunteered to help are more capable than I am and made this project shine(K, you are an unbelievable cook. Can I move into your kitchen?). When a good friend's daughter became engaged, I begged her to let me cater the wedding. She agreed, and away we went.

The bride requested a crepe bar. After testing six different crepe recipes (mastering the art, joy of cooking, martha stewart, alton brown, epicurious, & a French book), I went for the epicurious crepe. Why? Because it was the sturdiest crepe I could find. A friend and I made over 400 crepes, froze them, and reheated them at the reception on crepe griddles. The menu included:
Sweet Crepe-filled with tossed berries, topped with berry sauce and whipped cream.
and a Savory Crepe-thinly sliced ham, jarlsburg cheese, and fresh spinach (vegetarian version-just the cheese and spinach) topped with a bechamel.

I can not tell you how much I enjoyed this project. I loved every minute of it. I loved getting up at 5:30 in the morning to fire up the crepe griddle. I loved creating a berry sauce with just the right amount of vanilla and preserves. I loved inviting friends over as test groups to find the best way to fold and serve crepes. I loved learning about stainless steel cream whippers (my my, they are fancy-pants). I loved designing the crepe stations at the wedding reception.
I loved watching people eat the crepes. And the best part? I loved fixing "crepe kits" for the bride's family and friends so their crepe-venture could continue. I loved it all.
And a special thanks to H, who took the time to document the whole thing. You are a dear.