Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cake for the Day---

Today I had an order for a baby shower cake--two tiered, zebra pattern on bottom & dark ping on top. So---here's the way it went together. Above is the finished cake--somehow I have trouble downloading pictures in order, so we'll do this backwards. Anyway, this is the final result. She wanted a smooth cake, but not fondant, so I painted the zebra stripes on with food coloring.

Above is the scary part to me--setting the layers one on top of another. And when the painted parts aren't dry--scarier!!! But it got put together as you can see. I always hold my breath when setting the layers together. I don't know if it gets easier as years go by, but so far I have done cakes for over 5 years & I haven't gotten used to this!!!

Above is the top layer before being smoothed. It's chocolate with chocolate filing. And smells delicious!!! I never tire of chocolate buttercream icing; homemade of course!

And this is the bottom layer--obviously!! It's vanilla with vanilla buttercream icing. And painted stripes!! This was my first attempt at painting on buttercream but I rather like it! Just have to remember to go verryyy slow.

The cake got delivered--I made cherry cobbler, blackberry calfouti, and chocolate truffle cupcakes for a family dinner. May I just say the cupcakes were out of this world. So much chocolate in one little serving!! One is sufficient for an evening.

And so ends the week-end. Back to lunch prep on Monday--looks like another busy week.

Until next time---from the kitchen, have a great dish!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday Fixins!

Well, I actually remembered that I had my camera with me at the kitchen yesterday!! Usually I get home & think "oh yeah, I was going to take some pictures"!!!

On Friday we delivered a luncheon for 65 to a medical clinic--they ordered brisket, twice baked potato casserole, salad and below are the rolls. Six dozen just hanging out on the warm stove top & rising!! Yes, we make our own rolls--they are not pre-frozen, pre-shaped, or pre-anything. We start from scratch & make a refrigerator dough that can be used within 3 days. Believe me, it's not uncommon for us to have to mix dough several times a week. The same dough is used for cinnamon rolls & sticky rolls. And boy, is it yummy!!!

This is one of the desserts sent to the lunch--chocolate goes so well with barbeque! (And with anything else!!) We sent chocolate sheet cake--one with nuts & one with no nuts; trying to be sensitive to allergies you know! However, you can't go wrong with chocolate sheet cake. You should have seen the faces of the workers when we walked in with these!! A large number of their lunches are pizza, sandwiches, and such--not that there is anything wrong with that! But they get "home cooked" goodness when we deliver & the staff always comment "oh good--it's Three Sisters"!!! Many of the offices we deliver to request our food from their reps. Now that's good PR!!!

The rolls have risen and been baked in the photo below. Can you just smell the goodness??? I've gained a bit of weight since I took over the kitchen--I have got to stop tasting all my results--or perhaps, quit making extra??? The rolls have been brushed with butter while still warm, and they are fabulous.

It's funny how requests come in groups. For a while we didn't have any orders for brisket--we were on a "chicken spaghetti" roll. But this past week everyone seems to have "brisket on the brain", and we have 4 orders for next week for brisket.
Our brisket is slow cooked, for a minimum of 12 hours in a marinade, then trimmed and sliced, cooled and reheated. Not to brag tooooo much but our brisket always received rave reviews!! It really does make a difference to slow down and cook food the way "grandma" did---she knew what she was doing!!!
Well, it's lazy Saturday--no orders til Monday, so I'm taking the weekend off. Which means I'm going to lay around and enjoy NOTHING!!!
From the kitchen--have a great dish!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mid Week Pies

Ok, this is a picture of a pie from Thanksgiving---I forgot to snap a pic of the pies we sent out today! Trust me, they looked just like this--except one was coconut cream & had toasted coconut on top. The other was chocolate cream--ummm!

We sent out two lunches today--the menu for 15 was: beef lasagna, seasoned green beans, salad, rolls & strawberry cake. The menu that went out for 40: herb roasted chicken, salad, twice baked potato casserole, rolls and German chocolate cakes. The pies were a special order.

Each day that I intend to take off, the calls for lunches come rolling in! So I guess I'll keep intending to take days off---it sure helps the business! We are booked for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow evening will be church dinner--for the summer we usually don't have Wednesday evening dinners, but wanting to keep the congregation well fed and attending (ha!), we decided to have "lite" dinners. We rotate between salads & sandwiches. Last Wednesday we had pasta salad, fruit salad, brownie bites & blueberry muffins. Tomorrow we will have chicken salad sandwiches, garden salad & cookies & peaches. As long as the dinners are cool & don't require alot of cooking, the gals who assist me are happy!! It's way, way to hot here to spend an afternoon cooking in the church kitchen!!

Lucky for me we had leftovers from the "pink & black" shower on Saturday. And lucky for me my sis gave the shower so we brought leftovers home! Last evening hubby & I dined on leftover chicken salad on cream puffs, veggies & dill dip and fruit. It's always nice to have leftovers--

Not much else to tell you about on this heat filled day--so I'll close with these words of wisdom: When it's over 95 degrees outside, ice cream is an acceptable dinner!!!

From the kitchen til next time---have a great dish!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today was a "Pink & Black" wedding shower. The bride attends church with my sister & I prepared the food for the event. As the bride is using pink & black as her wedding colors, well, you can fill in the rest. The place the shower was held is church with early 70's decor--paneling, harvest gold, got the picture in your head??

So we did the very best possible with accessories. This just goes to show that any old place can be made festive! Really decorate the serving table & that's what the guests focus upon. Especially if the decor is carried on with the food.

Below is a picture of the punch area--plastic pink champagne glasses added a boost of color in serving the punch--and isn't the punch bowl darling? I knew when I bought it that it would have quite a visual impact when used!!

The cupcakes were white cake with the pink & black theme carried on in the frosting! Sitting on a bed of pink tulle they looked so festive!! Using the cupcake holder to elevate them added to the look.
Below are the cake truffles--the ones that taste like cherry cordial candy. They are so very rich that one is all a person can eat at a time!! Let me tell you, they were quite a hit. And aren't they cute on the black tiered server? When I'm out at stores things that can be used in catering catch my eye first and foremost. My husband just didn't understand why I bought the black server---but it sure saved the day here!!

I don't know if you noticed in the first picture, but pink tulle was used along with a black boa---it really was a sight to catch the eye. So when you are decorating for showers, think outside the box. And look the house over--my sis & I ran from room to room grabbing candleholders, serving platters, candles, I wasn't able to photograph all of the area, but using all the different accessories along with multiple elevations made the entire table pleasing to behold!
It's the season for showers of all kind-wedding, baby, birthday---make them extra special by bringing extraordinary items into "plain jane" areas! You'll be the hit of the day!!
So from the kitchen til next time---have a great dish!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Today It's A Bakery!

The nice thing about having no deliveries today is that we were able to begin later--you know, stay home a bit longer (perhaps sleep longer).

After lunch the preparation began: the first project finished was this cake for a baby shower Saturday. Sorry for the plastic covering--I forgot to take a picture before shutting it in.

The following picture is a gathering of cream puffs that will be filled with chicken salad for a wedding shower tomorrow. They are yummy with chicken salad, but I have to admit, I like them best as dessert--with a mousse filling and a fruit topping. I do like my sweets.

The picture below (somehow I am unable to type between these two pics!) the cream puffs is a dessert for the shower--cake truffles! They actually taste like cherry cordial candies. The shower color theme is pink & black-- And are they ever rich!! The rest of the menu for the shower will be cupcakes, a fruit tray, vegetables & dip and punch.

It's really quite strange how quickly things change at the kitchen. As of 10:00 this morning we had no bookings for Monday, and I was getting excited about having a day off. Then came the call for a lunch to be delivered for 30. They requested a salad bar lunch so it won't be an enormous amount of work.

Then around 2:00 a call came for a breakfast to be delivered for 30--egg casserole, fruit tray, biscuits & gravy and bacon & sausage! All to be 35 minutes away by 8:00 a.m. I really don't like getting up that early, but I do really like having business! So, Monday looks full.

And then we have one lunch already booked for Tuesday, two lunches booked for Thursday, and a large lunch for Friday. So, just when I think it will slow down-boom! Here it comes. Hey, I'm not complaining!!! We need the business! After all, I've only had the kitchen since last September, and we still have to prove ourselves to previous clients. I'll keep you posted as to the menus we will be serving.

No questions tonight--Friday shall be "no question day". Just answer the ones in previous posts!!

Have a great week-end and eat at least one thing sweet!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Helping Hands

Today was the final day of my time at the Indian Education Summer School. About 35 students attended & today's lesson was "Safety in the Kitchen". We started with a discussion on cleanliness & safety, then went to the kitchen for a "hands on" session. The students washed, sliced, mixed, and blended their snacks for the day. As we had discussed healthy eating choices on Tuesday, the snacks were mainly "good for you" types. They mixed a low fat dip for their carrots, cucumbers & broccoli, sprinkled sunflower seeds on strawberry yogurt and then we had a "less than healthy" snack! We melted chocolate chips & cream in which to dip our bananas, grapes, & vanilla wafers. I had intended to snap photos of each stage of the preparation, but with 35 students--well the only THREE photos I got were the above showing the results of their work. Would you believe we were together for 1 hour 45 minutes & they were great then entire time!!! No "I'm bored" or "When is this over". Instead, it was "can I do that" or "this is good". Oh, and we did practice measuring--cups & spoons. They learned the importance of math--and they took home measuring cups and spoons.
But, hey! That's not all the kitchen produced today!! While I was having fun with the kids, the staff finished preparation & delivered two meals. The first meal to go out was: Brisket w/BBQ Sauce, Garden Salad w/Dressing, Twice Baked Potato Casserole, Rolls, and Strawberry Cake. It was delivered to a Dr.'s office for a drug rep.
The second meal to go out was for a local bank's board meeting. It consisted of: Stuffed Peppers, Spinach Salad w/Bacon Vinaigrette, Sauteed Mushrooms, Glazed Carrots, Rolls and Vanilla Cheesecake w/Bananas Foster Sauce. We try to do a bit more for the bank--especially since I am indebted to them---
All deliveries were on time & served hot!
After class, I headed back to the kitchen to finish a 1/2 size sheet cake ordered for the local fire department. It was a "thank you" cake from the local Baptist church to the department for coming to VBS. They were quite excited!!
Tomorrow is a "free" day, meaning we have no deliveries. But we do have a cake delivery on Saturday, and a shower to prepare food for on Saturday--cupcakes, cake truffles, chicken salad on cream puffs, fruit tray & vegetable tray. I'm going to try my very best to remember to photograph the cakes, cupcakes & cake truffles.
What's your favorite cake? Is it decadent chocolate? Purist white? Fruity strawberry? Designer flavors? I'd love to know!!!
From the kitchen---talk to you later!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hello From The Kitchen!!!

Hello! This is my first post on this site--my other blog is Little Town Big Life. From this site you will gain insight as to what goes on in the daily life of a small town caterer.

First of all, let me introduce my business. We are housed in a small town in NE Oklahoma, and serve surrounding communities. The kitchen can accomodate orders up to 500, but we are most comfortable providing daily lunches and catering smaller receptions, etc.

For instance--today we sent a meal for 18 out to one of the surrounding communities. It was for a company involved in oil production; they are serving meals to the people attending a training session. Today's menu was: Poppyseed Chicken, Italian Garden Salad, California Vegetable Medley, Homemade Rolls and Chocolate Cream Pies. Yes, we make the meals from scratch! No thaw & serve pie crusts or instant pudding here! We even provide disposable tableware, tea & ice!!! In addition to catering, custom decorated cakes and cookies are available. The cakes are best remembered for their taste--decor is a secondary factor. I will share photos of different items in future posts. Today I simply wanted to get the blog set up!

Oh yes--today I also was a guest speaker at the Indian Education Summer School here in town. I talked about the food pyramid & healthy eating for a group of around 30 students grades K-5. A snack of apple slices, celery slices, peanut butter & raisins was served. The students washed their own apples and spread peanut butter on both apples & celery--with plastic knives of course!!! They were quite attentive and polite. On Thursday I will return and we'll do some "hands on" with measuring cups & spoons. The students will get to learn the importance of math in the kitchen!! Don't you know they will be thrilled????They will also get another healthy snack--

I'd really like to have some interaction from readers, so I'll try to keep up with the blog and ask some questions of the general reading community!!

For today let me ask: What is your "go-to" cookbook? The one you fall back on time after time? If you are like me, you have a bazillion cookbooks, but narrow the field down considerably when looking for a recipe to prepare. So, let me know what you favor--

From the kitchen til next time--have a great dish!!