Catering by Linda

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Mornings Made Better with Cinnamon Buns

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

There is nothing better than the smell of home-made cinnamon buns in the morning.  Where some need the whiff of coffee brewing, all it takes for me is the smell of cinnamon and yeast!

Our church is small, and most of the families take a few turns each year serving Coffee Hour after service.  It is always a pleasure to taste everyone’s coffee cakes and bars, and to have a time of fellowship.  When we serve Coffee Hour, our friends are normally excited to see what we are making, and often comment that we raise the bar in what we offer!  No store-bought coffee cakes for us!  Sunday morning, I chose to make home-made Cinnamon Buns!  I make them for special holiday weekends, and I have also made them for brunches that I cater.  For this past weekend’s coffee hour, I made them Saturday night and let them rise overnight, and baked them Sunday morning during the service.  When the sanctuary doors were opened to the meeting house, everyone could smell the aroma and commented on how welcoming it was.  I made two pans and they were gone in a heartbeat.  I served the frosting on the side so that people could add as much or as little as they wanted.  I LOVE the Cinnabon frosting, so even though I didn’t make the Cinnabon rolls, I used their frosting recipe.  The secret is in the whipping; make sure to whip it for the 12 minutes it calls for, so the frosting is light and blended.  We had some frosting leftover, and I brought them home and dipped strawberries in them that night.  The lemon in the frosting complimented the sweetness of the strawberries– so decadent!

Off to consider next Coffee Hour’s menu…  The pressure is on…

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Croissant Au Chocolate

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The JDRF Promise Ball is coming up on May 1st, and the theme is “Cirque Du Cure.”  I am on the procurement committee, and we are trying to gather things that are French in theme for the auction part of the night.  I decided to make some croissants for the meeting, to get us in the mood!  Ok, I made them because I had a craving.  Croissants are fun to make because the layers come from rolling out the dough, folding it like an envelope, popping it in the fridge for an hour, then taking it out and rolling and folding again.  That allows the layers to be all flaky and yummy as you can see in the picture.  I like to use a good quality chocolate in the middle, but you can also put in fruit or almond cream to make them authentic.  I made a double batch of them so I could bring some to the committee meeting and give some away, and still have enough for our breakfasts for the next few mornings.  I was planning to wrap some tightly and freeze them for a “someday” craving because they freeze well, but sadly, there weren’t many left when my family was done!  And Alli took some in her lunch, and was the envy of all her friends.  I love that she loves my cooking and baking!

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French Cooking Demonstration and Dinner

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Last night, I had the pleasure of cooking for a group of women who were celebrating their friend’s 70th birthday.  The dinner was a surprise for the birthday girl; she thought they were going out to dinner, so when she arrived at the house where I was cooking (under the guise of picking up another friend), she was delighted that they would be staying in and having a French cooking demo and dinner!  The evening went without a hitch.  I could tell the women were dear friends, and so comfortable in each other’s company, and they made me feel welcome.  Alli came too, as my sous chef and server.  I cooked while they chatted, and every once in a while, they would call out to me, “What are you making now?” and I was happy to come around the island and show them.  I told them that some of my class “students” like to be hands-on and help stir and chop, and others like to enjoy their wine and just watch, and that I was happy with whatever involvement they wanted to have in the making of their dinner!  Their Bon Anniversaire dinner included: Brie en Croute, Crepes, Coquilles St.-Jacques, Fresh Bread, Salade Verte, Steamed Haricot Verts, and Mousse Au Chocolate.  I also treated them to a taste-test of chocolate!  We all agreed that Nestle chips are perfect for cookies, but other chocolate desserts will be made even better with the likes of Callebaut!  (Callebaut is $6.99/lb at Whole Foods, and is well worth trying out in YOUR favorite recipes!)

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Baklava!

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

A friend called and asked me to help her child make some Greek food for a school project for tomorrow. She asked my advice, because it was last-minute, and because she figured that someone else might be able to guide her child better than she could (if you are a parent, you already know this). Within a half hour, my friend had purchased phyllo dough and was in my kitchen with her daughter. She sat and watched while her daughter “paint on” the butter and sprinkle on the spices and nuts on each piece of phyllo, layer by layer. A great time was had by all and the finished Baklava was beautiful.

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Planning with Proud Parents

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I met with a family today to coordinate a Kiddush Luncheon for after their triplets’ B’Nai Mitzvah.  The parents explained that they wanted some new ideas to be served alongside the traditional fare.  So along with the bagels and finger rolls, we have also planned Smoked Salmon and Caper Pizza, Blue Cheese and Ripe Pear Endive Bites, and Smorgastarta.  Smorgastarta is a layered sandwich, made on the really thin Pepperidge Farm bread.  It layers egg salad, smoked salmon spread, and a dilled cream cheese mixture, and when the sandwiches are quartered, it is rewarding to see that the time that it takes to create the layers pays off in the beautiful layering that you can see from the side of each piece.  Looking forward to the big day in June!

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Catering by Linda