Friday, December 22, 2006

Olive Oil

Thanks to Amy at Cooking with Amy, I was able to get in on a promotion from Alejandro & Martin (only paid shipping). The oils arrived this week in a beautiful wooden box and hubby and I held an impromptu oil tasting when we opened the package.

Here is the description from their website:

Four top-quality, artisanal extra virgin olive oils packed in a handsome wooden gift box. Each olive oil comes from a different region of the world and each falls into one of our four Olive Oil Flavor Profiles. All are made by small olive oil producers: family farms and artisan cooperatives. Makes an excellent business gift! This gift box contains:Mild & Delicate: 2004-2005 SpanishFragrant & Fruity: 2004-2005 GreekOlivey & Peppery: 2004-2005 Italian Green & Grassy: 2004-2005 Californian

I think anything from this company would be a great gift for the foodie in your life. They have an Olive Oil of the Month club that also sounds very appealing.

Please check them out here...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Menu for Hope

I know money can be tight this time of year with all the gift buying, entertaining and travel expenses, etc., but consider giving time or money to a charity of your choice. And if you don't have a particular one in mind, may I suggest you join foodies everywhere and participate in the Menu for Hope campaign. Not only can you contribute to the United Nations World Food Programme, but you can potentially win a great prize!

I have donated and hope to win a prize from one of my favorite food bloggers Amy at Cooking with Amy as well as others.

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Debut

Well I successfully catered my first paid party this weekend, per my previous post. I catered my neighbors' Holiday Party. It was a cocktail party with Hors d'Oeuvres for fifty people. I managed to get through it on my own (with a little help from hubby).
Here is the menu I came up with based on the budget allocated:

Spiced Nuts; Olive Medley; Green Goddess Dip with assorted crudites; Assorted Cheese Tray with Globe Grapes; Meatball Lollipops with Apricot Sweet & Sour Sauce; Spanish Spinach and Tomato pizzas; Three Cheese Phyllo Triangles; Homemade Chocolate Truffles; Sweets Tray (Snow Flecked Brownies; Chocolate Chip Cookies; Shortbread Cookies; garnished with Strawberries); Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Whipped Cream Tart.

Work was crazy busy last week so I didn't get to make too much in advance. I made the truffles (a multi-day project) last week and the brownies last weekend. I ended up making 175 meatballs, the green goddess dip, the spiced nuts, chocolate chip cookies, and shortbread cookies on Friday night. Saturday, I made 150 phyllo triangles, 50 pizzas, 4 tarts, cut up the veggies, ironed 60 napkins, washed 50 wine glasses, etc. I had it ready in time, but it was pushing it. I definitely could have used some hired help.

They and their guests seemed to be pleased with the results, so hopefully this will lead to more for Cranberry Relish! Now today I found out we are having a holiday luncheon at work on Thursday, so back to baking tomorrow night... ;)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Luncheon

I had the great pleasure of accompanying a co-worker (and friend), his lovely wife, and their charming friends to lunch today. We ate at Houston's restaurant. I think I have only been to Houston's twice (including today), but have remarked on both occasions how incredibly wonderful the service has been. Not only is the serving staff gracious and attentive; but knowledgeable (including of the artwork hanging in the restaurant). We all chose from the lunch salad menu (all had different dishes). I had the Thai Beef Noodle salad. It was so refreshing, delicious, and beautifully plated. The ingredients were fresh and the beef was cooked perfectly. I highly recommend it for a special occasion or a power lunch.