A couple of months ago, a friend of mine from work asked me if I ever catered parties. I thought she was just making conversation. "Well, no, except for my brother's rehearsal dinner last year."
"Would you want to?"
Suddenly Thanksgiving was over, we were swamped with parent-teacher conferences, dance class, and various pre-holiday social engagements, and it was time for the party! Eek!
I decided we needed another dessert (after all, some silly people don't like chocolate!), which ended up being a good thing because the store only had one small tray of bars. I made mini strawberry swirl cheesecakes, based off of this recipe from Annie's Eats. I replaced the raspberries with strawberries in the puree and baked the cheesecakes in my mini muffin tin in little foil papers. (The minis baked for about 18 minutes.) I was a little disappointed that the cheesecakes sank slightly in the middle after they cooled, but they were still pretty cute and very delicious. Definitely a recipe to make again.
For our "main dishes," I used this recipe from Tracey for crockpot teriyaki chicken wings. I upped the wings to four pounds, but was still surprised by how few there were. I would double the recipe for a large party next time. I didn't get a report on how these turned out, but the crockpot came back empty.
I also made these turkey-spinach-boursin roll up sandwiches. I first made this recipe for a baby shower, and have made them for several road trips. They are delicious and so easy to eat. Apparently they were a hit and completely disappeared.
Because you never want to run out of food, I whipped up an easy cold pasta salad to fill things out: a pound of pasta, eight ounces of fresh mozzarella, a package of halved grape tomatoes, sliced basil, sliced black olives, and a simple vinaigrette.
For the brie, I made a golden raisin compote from Cooking Light. I didn't have time to try it, but one of the party guests said it was so good, she could've licked it out of the bowl. :) I made six baguette using Peter Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne recipe from Artisan Breads Everyday - always a winner.
Finally (although maybe they should've gone first), I made two dips: my favorite red pepper hummus and a black bean hummus (not an attractive color, by the way!). I served the dips with sliced bell peppers, carrot sticks, and pita chips. And I added some grapes because a meal isn't complete without a little fruit.
Hubby drove me to the hotel and was my faithful assistant, helping me set up. Apparently the party was a smashing success; as for us, we went Christmas shopping for the kiddos.
I'd agreed to do this catering job to help out a friend, because it sounded like fun, but mostly, just to see if I could do it...and I did! :)