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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Big Thanks

As I begin this post I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. That time of year has come that we get to see far away relatives, eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates and wake up at the crack of dawn on Friday to get the deal on this year's hottest gift. I hope everyone has a nice long weekend and is able to pull through the almost iminent Tryptophan-induced drowsiness. I also would like to take the time to extend a big thanks to Laurie Kulikowski at The Street for mentioning Dennis Dean A Catering Company along with four other caterers across the country and highlighting our stories. If you would like to view the article click here. She saved the best one for last :)

Stay tuned for my next blog. Hint: Bubbles and squeak. Anyone Familiar?

Now is the time for me to roll up my sleeves and get elbow deep in turkey. Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holidays and Hot Cocoa

As the holidays draw closer, they bring up many things.One: Beautiful Atlanta weather. Two: Delicious waistline-expanding eats (We can worry about exercising in January...) Three: Parties. All of which make for a busy caterer.
From the decorating, to the treats, to the joining together of family and friends, I can honestly say that it is the best time of year. And while I grew up in Wisconsin where the cold is much more intense, I can still appreciate a warm, creamy cup of Hot Cocoa in the mild Atlanta weather. I must say this is a few steps harder than the "just add water" kind with the hardened freeze dried marshmallows (No judgment if that's what you prefer!) but if you really want to impress the crowd and get the opportunity to break out the blow torch, I highly suggest you try this recipe.

1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ Cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ½ cups hot water
Marshmallow Topping*
Combine all ingredients except marshmallows in a 2 quart glass measuring cup.  Microwave on high 8-10 minutes – stirring every 3 minutes.  Top with marshmallow.

Please excuse me while I go take a nap after the excessive amount of marshmallow topping  that I just ingested.....

For more Holiday recipes click here.

For Holiday party ideas click here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fast Trip, Fast Meal

A few months ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to fly on a Delta jet to the Big Apple to view the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibit. Words simply cannot describe what I found before my eyes. From the line wrapped around the block to the actual exhibit itself, I was completely awestruck. His use of colors and textures as well as his innate ability to tell a story through a variety of different garments blew me away. If anyone  has the opportunity, I highly suggest they take it.

As my trip drew to a close and I found myself touching down in Atlanta, I realized that I had guests to entertain and soon! Upon raiding my cabinets, pantry and refrigerator, I found very little to work with. Fortunately, I did have the makings of an all-time favorite. That dish that brings you comfort, that dish that you can eat warm as a kid with a generous slathering of ketchup or cold as a sandwich. That's right...meatloaf. In my opinion, meatloaf can be enjoyed by anyone because you can go in so many different directions with it. In fact, my favorite isn't the traditional, old school type. My favorite is actually made with turkey. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also has the plus of having less fat. I also make it in a skillet which is a bit different but tastes amazing (not to mention it cuts down on dirty dishes!). So, to those out there afraid to stray from the original, I say take the  risk and try this delicious spin on your mom's traditional meatloaf.

·         2 ½ cups chopped Vidalia onions (2 large onions)
·         2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
·         2 teaspoons salt
·         1 teaspoon black pepper
·         1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
·         1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
·         3/4 cup chicken stock
·         1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
·         5 pounds ground turkey breast
·         1 1/2 cups pretzel bread crumbs
·         3 eggs
·         Ketchup (add to taste)

In an iron skillet over medium-low heat, cook onions, olive oil and Italian seasoning until thoroughly softened. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and chicken stock  and mix until completely combined. Add salt and pepper.  Allow to cool to room temperature.( I was in a hurry and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes)
After removing the skillet from the refrigerator, combine ground turkey, pretzel bread crumbs, eggs, and onions (Don’t over mix- it will result in tough meatloaf). Mix all ingredients well ( I shaped it into a round loaf, forming it into the shape of the pan).

 Spread the ketchup evenly on top (I added about a cup). Put the skillet in to the preheated oven and bake it for 1 1/2 hours- but check often and check for over or undercooking . Serve warm.
I hear that it makes an amazing midnight snack nestled between two slices of bread, but that’s just what I hear…