Monday, April 21, 2008

Big Guy's Day at the Circus

On Saturday, Peanut, his sister Mary Kay, and I drove up to the shore to celebrate their father's (a.k.a Big Guy) 70th birthday! Big Guy and wife were joined by all 8 of their kids, 5 grandkids, and 5 significant others! And of course, we weren't going to go empty handed.

The request was for a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

But would one 8-inch cake feed all 18 people? I made cupcakes, too, which Mary Kay helped frost and decorate.

Big Guy loves the circus, so the cupcakes were decorated with juggling bears...

... while the cake itself became the big top!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Battle Chocolate

When Rick found out that Cindy beat me in Battle Sambuca, he challenged her to a new tinfoil chef competition. Since I lost last time, I had to host but got to choose the secret ingredient. So when I was at yoga at 11 AM Saturday morning, Peanut texted them both my strategically chosen secret ingredient: Chocolate!

Rick started off strong with an amazing chocolate mint mojito (some claimed he had an "unfair advantage" with the drinks).

For a first course, Rick made bacon-wrapped shrimp with a peanut-chocolate dipping sauce (left). Cindy made chocolate-spiced nuts (in the bowls on the right). Both were tasty.

For a main course, Rick made steak with a chocolate mole sauce, served alongside beet mashed potatoes. He got MAD POINTS from me for making PINK mashed potatoes!!!!!!

Cindy presented pasta with a chocolate-infused bolognese sauce with shaved Parmesan and chocolate. The salad was served with an exceedingly delicious white chocolate raspberry vinaigrette.

A pleased crew: Newcomer Violet, who's only allowed to give you one free refill, Tim & Brad (who hosted last competition) and their friend Joe.

Can it be a cooking competition without a torch? Rick brought it out strong toasting marshmallows...

That were the perfect garnish for his smore-tini's, complete with graham cracker crumb rim.

Rick served those alongside some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Cindy retaliated with an amazing chocolate bread pudding, served with a chocolate brandy glaze.

The chefs along with their sous-chefs, Jack (for chef Rick) and J.G.G. (for chef Cindy).

While Cindy scored high for originality, Bill announced that it was Rick who would walk away as the new tinfoil chef!

Here's Peanut with Violet's friend.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Welcome Home!

Cliff and George moved into their new home 5 nights ago, and they invited Peanut, Sparkles and me over for drinks on Sunday to check it out. I couldn't go empty handed, so I decided to take them a homemade fruit tart.