A fun Christmas special with Mary from the The Great British Bake Off meets Prince William and Princess Kate and agrees to create the menu for their Christmas celebration for staff of charities they support. If you like the Royals and food, you’ll like this.
I went to a Holiday Appetizers program at my library this week and learned some great tips. Let me share them:
- When baking preheat the oven 50º higher than the oven says and then after your dish has been in the oven 10 minutes reset the temperature to the specified one. This counters the cold that gets into the oven when you’ve opened the door.
- When baking a pie, it’s better to bake it on a jelly roll pan turned upside down.
- Sunflower oil (80%) with extra virgin olive oil is better to cook with as it’s got a higher smoke point.
- Don’t have guests bring appetizers as they may arrive late. Let them bring dessert.
- The teacher suggested not serving appetizers first. She serves the meal 15 minutes after the start time, then people have time to talk or play games and after awhile have appetizers followed by dessert. (She seems big on games and activities.)
- To avoid leaving platters at other hostesses homes, she either brings a white platter with an engraving on the back to give as a hostess gift or she brings her food in disposable packaging and borrows a platter or pan or from the hostess to use. That way she’s never in the midst of her own entertaining and realizing her platters or serving dishes are missing.
- Before adding spices to a recipe, mix them with lemon juice or oil (that’s required by the recipe) to “wake them up.”
From the Northbrook Library event on picnic side dishes.
Here’s one of the recipes for an orange salad that I learned at the Picnic Sides event at my local library. I think this recipe would work year ’round. Bon appétit!
Monday the Cookbook Bookclub met in the branch where I work and their theme was beach food. The bookclub looked at Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise and The Beach House Cook Book by author Mary Kay Andrews. The later had a recipe for S’Mores Nachos, which seems like a fun summer dessert for a party.
Here’s a recipe from delish.com, which is basically the same.
2 sleeves graham crackers, broke into thin squares
3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an oven-proof skillet, layer graham crackers and half the marshmallows and 2 cups chocolate chips. Top with another layer of marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. (Broil 2 minutes if you want them more golden.)
Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 cup chocolate chips on low heat. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve immediately.
Epicurious figures out how to make gourmet Almond Joy candies. I’m delighted as these are some of my favorite candies. I’d make them with dark chocolate so they’d be like Mounds with almonds.
I stumbled on the Bon Appetit series of videos where a Senior Food Editor tries to make gourmet versions of common American snacks. Here she makes Oreos.
I’m curious about how these actually taste. I’d also like to see her final recipe.
She shows a very cool food-safe putty that enables cooks to create personalized molds.