Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Party goodies

We had a party over the weekend and I did lots of cooking beforehand because I wanted to do a selection of salads. Oh, and a couple of desserts are required too, right? Our friend Chris does a lot of smoking so he and Ben did the chicken and ribs. They were in charge of the meat and I did absolutely no cooking of meat. Local foods? Some, certainly not all.

The Menu:

Smoked Chicken
Smoked Ribs

Misc beverages: Soda, Beer, Wine, Seltzer, juice

Thai Soba noodles
Potato Salad
Beets and Miso (just beets this time, no other root veggies)
Barley and Pecan salad (one of my favorites)
Baked Beans (from a can, spiked with maple syrup)
Fruit salad (just watermelon, mango, grapes, cherries)

Potato chips and dip
Chips and Salsa

Home baked bread, one regular, one whole wheat

Choc chip cookies
Lazy Daisy Cake

The soba noodle recipe started with this recipe from Epicurious. I made quite a few changes to it though. I used soba noodles instead of linguine but I think I'd have liked it better with linguine. I also didn't have any cucumber so I subbed a red and green pepper instead. I added toasted sesame seeds because I like them and I used half a red onion instead of the the green onions. Oh, and I added chives because I had them. I also cooked only the garlic in the oil, not the onion or ginger. Why cook those? Those flavors should come out loud and clear.

My potato salad is very basic. It's just cooked potatoes, red onion, mayo, mustard, boiled eggs, salt, pepper all to taste.

This was the first time I've ever made Lazy Daisy Cake and it's wonderful.

Lazy Daisy Cake

350 degree oven
30-35 minutes
grease 9"x13" pan

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 cups flaked coconut

Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture and beat just until combined. In a saucepan, bring milk and butter to a boil, stirring constantly. Add to batter and beat until combined. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool cake about 5 minutes.

Combine frosting ingredients; spread over warm cake. Broil at least 6 in. from heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

After all the chopping, cooking, and baking I've come to the conclusion that I should just stick to very recognizable basic foods, preferably finger foods. The potato and fruit salads went over very well, the others not so much even though in MY mind, I thought they were much better salads. The potato chips went quickly, the tortilla chips not so much. The cookies went much faster than the cake. My neighbor brought cupcakes and those flew out of there. The kids were begging for them immediately. A friend brought a platter of fresh watermelon and pineapple cut into a size easily eaten out of hand (and nicely garnished with the pineapple top) and they were eaten immediately too.

And either people where having a hard time finding the beverages or they just wanted to drink a lot of water. We have lots of soda and beer left so that's all packed away in the basement.

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