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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Party for Sixty

A good friend of ours recently retired from the Air Force after 24 years of active duty service. When his wife told me how much they were quoted by a local caterer to provide food for the party they were hosting in honor of the event, I liked to have choked. The price was obscene! As I've been toying with the idea of pursuing some kind of personal chef service when we move the D.C. area this summer, I thought it would be a great trial run to see if I would enjoy that type of work... and I did!

They wanted to provide heavy appetizers for up to sixty guests this past Friday evening. The picture above shows just one of the tables of goodies. Based on estimates that I found online, I prepared over 1000 pieces/servings. As I was also a guest at the party, I had the opportunity to see the reactions to my food. The feedback was great! While I developed some new menu items, which I will be posting in the near future, I also served a lot of items I have already shared with you.

I made my prosciutto and cheese calzone. I made the crust from scratch as well. I just love the salty punch the prosciutto gives to this calzone. For such a simple list of ingredients inside, the flavor is amazing!

Because no party is complete without chips and dip, I decided to serve my
black bean dip.

And because my husband would have disowned me if I hadn't included
deviled eggs on the menu, I managed to shell four dozen very tricky eggs. You know, it's bad enough when you are trying to peel a couple of eggs that won't peel easily, but with this amount, I am amazed I didn't end up with eggs being thrown all over the house! Fortunately, the ugly side goes down and they still ended up looking pretty decent.

I made a monstrous bowl of my
chicken salad. Instead of serving it on french type bread, I baked a loaf of soft sandwich bread and made little finger sandwiches.

Of course, there had to be dessert! I made my favorite
lemon biscotti, but instead of making two logs out of the dough, I made three to make cute little biscotti. I learned a good lesson in that if you cover the biscotti before the icing is 100% completely dry, the biscotti lose their snap. Fortunately, a short trip in my food dehydrator on the lowest setting cured what ailed them.

I made two pans of my
devilishly good brownies!

I couldn't resist making a batch of my delicious little gingersnaps. They're the perfect finger food. So snappy and gingery!

And, lastly (of the things I've already posted, anyway), I served up a dish of crack... aka toffee butter crunch. I think I've gotten a few more people addicted to it deliciousness. Sorry!

There were a bunch of other dishes I prepared, including sausage stuffed mushrooms, some toasted french bread slices with herbed cheese and tenderloin, a smoked salmon spread on cumber slices, chicken satay, mini twice baked potatoes, and spinach and feta triangles. I'll be sharing these recipes with you over the next week or so!


  1. Oh wow, what a ton of work. Did you take any steps to speed things up, like preparing large batches of ingredients beforehand, or taking a day to make all the breads and crusts?

  2. Just FYI that is a PERFECT idea when you move to DC. We were stationed there once upon a time and I was in the process of starting a personal chef business as well. My husband got out of the Navy though and we moved to Southern Maryland and there is not the huge market for it here like in DC! I say GO FOR IT!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa. It is definitely a possibility I am pursuing. Although I'm looking into other options as well, I love the idea of being my own boss.

    Kessie, I definitely prepared what I could ahead of time. I had a very detailed scheduled where I broke down each item into its components. I started the Sunday before, but Sunday through Tuesday I only did 2-3 hours each day. Wednesday through Friday, however, were all day affairs. Fortunately, I love to cook!! ;-) Friday was essentially only for assembling and final baking, as all components had already been prepared.


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