Friday, July 23, 2010

Wedding Cater...wahoo!

So I just did my first official cater for a wedding...and I got paid too! Yay! I was very excited to finally get money for my services. The wedding reception was outside, so that posed a number of challenges: how to keep my food cold, where to put all my coolers, how to keep my area clean without running water, etc. But I managed and although it was a TON of work, it was fun too. The food I made included Lemon Poundcake Mini-Cupcakes, Fruit Tarts, Pita Chips with Hummus, and Cream Cheese Pinwheels.

The food turned out really well. It was all yummy and the food received many compliments. The question most frequently asked was: "What is hummus?" I tried to explain it to people, but they had no idea what I was talking about. Haha, what do you expect from a town full of cowboys?

Lemon Poundcake

1 cup margarine (or butter)
2 3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs and lemon extract, mixing well. Stir in the 1 cup flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the sour cream. Stir in the last 2 cups of flour. Bake in a sprayed and floured bundt pan at 325 degrees for 70-90 minutes. For the mini-cupcakes, bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Frost with the Raspberry Sauce (recipe below). --This recipe makes 115 mini-cupcakes.

Raspberry Sauce

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Stir and smash the raspberries with the sugar in a saucepan. Heat until it starts to boil. Remove from stove and spread on cake.

Tip: when making the mini-cupcakes, pour the batter into a icing-tube to distribute the cake batter quickly and easily. This also keeps the area less messy. I used this awesome cooking spray for my mini-cupcakes. It is called Baker's Joy. It is a non-stick cooking spray that has both oil and flour in it. It works like a charm; I highly recommend it those who love to bake.

Fresh Fruit Tart

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.
For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
*To make mini-fruit tarts: roll out your tart dough until thin, cover mini-cupcake liners with the dough. Bake in a mini-cupcake pan at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Use the icing-tube to distribute the cream cheese filling into the mini-tarts.


4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw) --use real peanut butter if you cannot find tahini
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish
In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste. Mix in cumin to taste.
Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.
Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.
Makes about 3 cups.

Herbed Cream Cheese

1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely shopped
2 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor or mixer.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

2 cups pumpkin puree
8 ounces cream cheese (or more)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Whip all the ingredients in a mixer very well.

For the cream cheese pinwheels: spread the cream cheese over a wrap. Cover with one layer of deli meat. Fill with assorted vegetables. Roll and cut into one-inch slices. For the reception, I made 2 types of pinwheels: Pumpkin Cream Cheese with turkey, cranberries, and walnuts & Herbed Cream Cheese with ham, red peppers, cucumbers, and grated carrots. These cream cheeses are really yummy; you can use them for sandwiches, dips, etc.

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