Saturday, December 22, 2007

'Tis the Season - FB2B, part 84

As another holiday season is rolling swiftly to its close, it dawned on me that there was a wide gulf in the variety of foods served at each of the parties to which I went. This year, during the past month or so, I've been averaging about one social gathering a week of different shapes and sizes. Many of these were catered affairs, again by firms large and small, with only one being a restaurant-type gathering, cobbled together with a few drinks nights in between.

I've worked on many kinds of events and receptions in my professional life and have hosted quite a few dinner parties in my personal one. The basic rule of thumb is always the same: Have plenty of drinks and make sure you have some great nibbles for everyone. Beyond that, it doesn't seem as though coming up with the catering menu could be all that difficult, right? Well, I had some very good and clever tidbits this year and also encountered one party that might deserve to put into culinary rehab for next year (a shared opinion, by the way).

Here's my tastebud's list of top 5 edibles I sampled during this year's holiday party season:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Anniversary Cooking - FB2B, part 83

I've mentioned the group blog Slashfood in past posts and am an avid reader of their articles. Their Cookie-A-Day a-thon for December came to the rescue today with a recipe for Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk cookies. Conveniently enough, it is also the second anniversary of this blog, so it makes it a great day to test out (and tweak) a new try on an old favorite, the drop cookie, in the spirit of many of my previous posts.

This recipe provided a great excuse for workday-at-home baking (just trying to use the rest of my 2007 vacation days) plus something for me to bring to work tomorrow for a co-worker's birthday. As our team has a big sweet tooth, I'm guessing that these will be a great snack to tame the mid-afternoon lull. The creamy white chocolate is offset by the tartness of the dried cranberries along with my own addition of buttery macadamia nuts. Let's hope the guys like them!

Buon appetito!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's REALLY Orange - FB2B, part 82

After taking a break to digest Thanksgiving dinner, it's time to launch into the last few posts for 2007 and look forward to this blog's second anniversary. I would lie and say that I was doing something wildly impressive last weekend, which is why I didn't post, but the truth is far simpler and less interesting.

In disconnecting the cable/internet service from a neighboring apartment, the cable folks accidentally tripped mine either instead of or in addition to. Needless to say, I was really unhappy to find out on my day off that I had neither cable (which meant that I couldn't really watch any tv at all) or computer connections. It's amazing as to how isolated that made me feel. Fortunately, the tech who was sent out on my service call knew before he even came to my apartment what the problem was and resolved it right away. I felt like I could breath again.

One of the things that I did do on my blog break was to attempt another recipe from the Cook's Illustrated issue that I'd highlighted a couple of posts back when I made the Goat's Cheese Salad. This time, on the recommendation of the friend who'd pointed me this way to begin with, I made the Butternut Squash Soup. This is such a classic and comforting winter warmer and I'm always on the lookout for the version of this recipe that will live in my files forever.

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