Cooking vs. Catering

I survived the Ultimate Kitchen Challenge and have a new found appreciation for catering.

It would be fair to say that not only did I make 600 Bruschetta and Lemon cookies but, served them as well. Luckily, everything was delicious and everyone was satisfied with my creations. However, large scale food prep, while on my own is definitely a lot of work. I did get some sleep but for the most part worked 36 hours preparing for the event and suffered complete exhaustion for a couple days following.

I have a new respect for those who cater large events. Even with a team of people it is a lot of work.

Lesson learned: Accept a challenge but, enlist the help of others.

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The Ultimate Kitchen Challenge

I’m FREAKING OUT! I have been given a challenge that will require a miracle to pull off. I’m focusing on the positive and will do my best. Failure is not an option. I feel like I am on a reality cooking show that I must not lose at any cost. If I screw up, I will let everyone down; including  myself.

The first challenge is to make Mozzerella Strawberrry Bruschetta from page 98 in Giada de Laurentiis’ new book Giada’s Italy. That shouldn’t be a big deal right? Well it is because I have to make 600 servings. That’s right 600! And one little important detail not to be overlooked is Giada herself will be present. Now, if that isn’t nerve racking I don’t know what is. The one good thing is I tested the recipe in my own kitchen last week and it was a success. However, today I was thrown a curve ball.

Look out! In addition to the bruschetta, pasta pomodoro will also need to be made. So, 600 bruschetta and pasta?!? Ok. No problem. At least the sauce is a pre-made Giada sauce we sell at Williams Sonoma. Whew! Now I’m relieved. Just heating noodles and sauce – I’ve got this. But wait, what about the 300 lemon ricotta cookies? I better start making those tomorrow.

The plan is to make the cookies on Wednesday, prep all of the ingredients for the brushetta Thursday and Friday I will assemble and serve. Let’s hope all goes well and I don’t have one of those EPIC KITCHEN FAILS. Since I will be busy prepping for the Giada booksigning event I will be off the grid for a few days. Wish me luck!


All About The Kids

I love Easter weekend! Spring is in the air and the kids are so excited to decorate eggs, go on Easter egg hunts and of course, the suspense of the Easter Bunny drives them wild.

Even though my kids are grown, I will never grow up when it comes to Easter. I take part in all of the traditional activities: I dye eggs, decorate, bake and make a basket. It’s a feeling of happiness and renewal.

If you think you’re too old to do all these things, you’re not. Step out of the “adult” world, let go and find that inner child that still exists somewhere deep inside. Enjoy!


It’s A Wash

It’s been a long day in the kitchen. I had intended to write earlier but, you know how that goes; Things don’t always go as planned and can get totally screwed up. Hours were spent on the phone dealing with tech issues was only the beginning.

I went to 2 grocery stores, Walmart and Walgreens in search of YELLOW PEEPS. THEY WERE OUT. No surprise there.

I needed to get Easter Cupcakes and Bundt Cakes made but, I decided to do an experiment with orange spice and candied walnuts which threw off the day but, so far, so good. The cakes will have to remain naked overnight; I’m beat. Today is a total wash. I plan on getting to the cream cheese frosting in the morning…I hope.