Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stretching A Buck

I am about to start a new great job in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited but the transition of leaving my current job and waiting for the new salary to kick in means my budget is a little tight.

I made dinner for three with one ribeye steak, a few potatoes, and leftover corn and peas. I made mashed potatoes to stretch how few I had. I added a couple cloves of garlic to the water while boiling the potatoes to jazz them up. I also used a pastry bag and large tip to make a pretty mound of potatoes. I sliced large rings of red pepper and filled them with the leftover veggies. I sliced the steak, divided the meat between the plates and leaned the slices against the potatoes.

By being creative, I was able to stretch the small amount of food. I took the extra couple of minutes to make the plate pretty and my guests were impressed with the effort.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Afternoon Craving - Warming Tray with Plate Warmer $240

Tabletop by Broil King at ShopStyle

(click to get your own)

As a caterer, keeping food warm while setting up and serving is a hard task. I like these warmers for big jobs but also for large family events.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Royal Icing Logos

I wanted to decorate a cupcake for my son’s spirit club, Absolute Texxas (yes with two X's), using their logo and UT colors. I decided to make the logo out of royal icing and place on top of the icing. He was impressed and the cupcakes looked great.

The royal icing needs to be very thick in texture. I piped the logo on a Silpat freehand and let dry. Immediately after I iced the cupcakes, I placed the logo on the cupcakes. I let the logos dry for 12 hours. I made 20 icing logos and about half survived so be prepared to make more than you need.

I’m excited to try making other decorations using the royal icing and piping on the Silpat. I like this idea for personalizing cupcakes, cakes and cookies.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Afternoon Craving - French Onion Soup Crocks $26

(click to get your own)

Nothing is better on a cold day then soup. French onion is one of my favorites and it’s just not the same without the crouton and cheese melted in the oven. These bowls are obviously perfect.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Afternoon Craving - Roaster with Poatoe Clip $30

(click image to get your own)

I make beer can chicken and it’s always a crowd pleaser. This pan makes it even easier because you can cook your veggies in the same pan.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Afternoon Craving - Mini Cheesecake Pan $30

Muffin Pans & Sheets by Norpro at ShopStyle

(click to get your own)

I don’t only like this pan for mini cheesecakes but for the shape they make. Cupcakes, quiche and even meatloafs would have a fresh look with this pan.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuffed Shells

This dinner was comforting and yummy. Stuffed shells were a perfect dinner to have while the weather is still cool at night. Soon it will be too hot for comfort food. I made one batch with marinara sauce and one with alfredo sauce that I’ll share with you later.

Stuffed Shells

1 jar marinara sauce
1 box jumbo shells
1 container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded cheese, Italian cheese blend
1 lb. ground meat

Brown ground meat in skillet and drain.

Boil shells according to package.

Combine meat, ricotta, and 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese in bowl.

Coat pan with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce.

Stuff shells with ricotta mixture and place in pan.

Cover stuffed shells with marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake shells at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and salad for a great meal.