Hardly Perfect Hostesses

7 girls learning to make life beautiful…

Home Cookin’ November 13, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — amicitaluisa @ 2:51 pm

Hey y’all, this is Amy, writing from home in Texas.  I was able to take this weekend to come home, rather than coming home for Thanksgiving, because it is a more logical time, the plane tickets were cheaper, and I had off of school for veterans day. A beautiful combination of things that have lead to a wonderful weekend with my family and friends.  One of the things that I’m doing with my mother today is learning how to cook some traditional Cuban food.  We have my Abuela here to help us with the details we are unsure of as we make Ropa Vieja, Frijoles and Tostones. Presently the beef is cooking away in the Crockpot and the beans are soaking.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to make these foods, and am glad to have this opportunity. I’ll let you know how it goes and will try to get a good picture to post.

Keep checking in with the blog, the posts should start coming more regularly as we plunge into this food filled holiday season!

Also, I want to hear from you! Do you have any foods that you associate with home? What are they and do you know how to make them?


Delicious Hors D’oeuvres October 19, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — sarahfairah @ 11:37 pm

If I do say so myself, the food served at the 1950s mocktail party was delectable.  As our guest Wil explained over dinner: “I’ve eaten fancy food before because my dad takes me to nice restaurants for business, but this is better…you wrapped it in bacon (as he grins with each bit)!”  The array of hors d’oeuvres reflected the 1950s era for the most part, with the dates wrapped in bacon and black olive spread on cocktail crackers being two of the most popular and unique items of the night.  I first tried the date and bacon appetizer, known as “Devils on Horseback”, this summer at The Spotted Pig in New York City.  It’s a strange combination, but such sweet, salty goodness! Try it yourself!

Here are some links to the recipes we used:

Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon (a.k.a. Devils on Horseback)

Water Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon

Barbecue Pigs in a Blanket

Black Olive Spread

Gouda Cheese Fondue

Salmon Fish Mold

The book, The Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rambauer was also a great resource, specifically the section on canapes.

For dessert we also melted chocolate for fondue and dipped fresh strawberries and homemade pound cake and angel food cake to our hearts’ delight!

Are there any excellent hors d’oeuvre you have tried or would like to share about?


All About Mocktails October 15, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — sarahfairah @ 9:56 pm

At our recent 1950s mocktail party we served…you guessed it…mocktails! Mocktails  (or mock cocktails) are a fun way to serve non alcoholic drinks for those who are underage or simply prefer not to drink. With a few basic juices and sodas you can mix quite a few different beverages. Here are a few drinks our guest/bartender Josue mixed up for us, which were delicious (we tweaked and named a few of them ourselves)!

1) Caribbean Sunset

-pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and a splash of grenadine

2) Shirley Temple

-lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, grenadine

3)Tornado Twist

-cranberry, pomegranate limeade and lemon-lime soda

4)Sonic Screwdriver

-orange juice, ginger ale

5) Chinese Firebolt

-Cola, grenadine, lime

6) Michigan Fizz

-cherry juice, ginger ale

7) Margarita Mocktail

-margarita mix, lemon or lime juice, lemon-lime soda

(Dip rim of glass in lemon juice, then salt. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into glass)



Good Eats October 1, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — lisiemarie @ 12:43 am

…the other essential to a good party.  My apologies for how long it has taken me to post, unfortunately in a rush of school work and busy things, blogging falls down the list a bit.  But I have been anxious to share with you the recipes I used and the things I learned while cooking!

First, I can tell you about the drinks and the salad, as they were the simple part.  The drinks were an unexpected addition to the theme.  While grocery shopping, I found Safeway Brand French Berry Lemonade with unique glass bottles labeled “Made in France.”  Perfection.  For the salad, we tossed together the following ingredients for a take on one of the only salads I will personally eat 😉 :spinach, apples, honey roasted almonds, blue cheese and oil and vinegar.

(photo cred to thesodajerks.net. iguana not included.)

The nuts could be exchanged for walnuts and pecans, and feta cheese would have worked as well.

For the main course, I knew from the moment this party idea was conceived that I wanted to make croque monsieurs. We made them in my high school French class, and I remembered them being to die for.  Unable to contact Ms. V, my French teacher who consistently fed us delicious things, I did a simple Google search and found this recipe, where I learned that the name of the sandwich roughly translated means “Mister Crunchy.”  This of course made me smile and want to make these sandwiches even more.  I have a few pieces of advice. (Keep in mind that I was making four times the amount called for, which is a different experience in itself.)

1)  As I mentioned before, grating cheese is hard work.  Grate it the night before, or in shifts, or have a friend grate it.  Something.  There is a LOT of cheese in these, (I never said healthy, just fabulous) and it has to be grated somehow!  Preferably not when you are trying to build the sandwiches themselves.

2)  When grocery shopping, buy less ham.  I have about an entire extra box sitting in my fridge right now, waiting for one of my roomies to eat it.  I love Croque Monsieurs, but I am not a ham person.

3)  MAKE LESS SAUCE.  I REPEAT, MAKE LESS SAUCE.  When I began, in the midst of my flustered state, I forgot to quadruple my amounts.  So my first batch was 1/4 of the called for amount, and then I made the rest together.  The original, much smaller batch was exactly what we needed and I sadly ended up dumping an entire saucepan of sauce in our dumpster.  Unless you are planning another fancy french meal soon, it’s virtually unusable.  The sauce could also be made the night before to cut down on prep time.

Wrapped in foil and placed in a picnic basket, the sandwiches were kept warm (partially due to the heat) for us to enjoy!

That’s all I have for now. Miss Amy will be posting soon on about the crepes she lovingly took on for me, and you can ask my lovely guests how it tasted. 🙂


Gettin Ready September 10, 2010

Filed under: Cooking,Dressing,Entertaining,Planning — sjanettep @ 9:30 pm

So I am an elementary education major and even if I never teach or never have a child of my own, children will always hold a very high place in my part. For this reason I picked “back to childhood” as my theme. Idealistically, childhood is a time of laughter, play and freedom. I think as adults we need a little more of all of those things in our lives. I hope tomorrow will be a day to bring us back to a simpler lighter time.

As a food item that personifies childhood for me is macaroni and cheese. As a kid, of course, I loved the kraft stuff. Whenever my mom and dad would leave me in charge I would always make it for my brothers and sister (it was all I knew). So since, as adults, we have to redefine ourselves I decided that it was time to redefine my taste in mac and cheese. So I typed macaroni and cheese recipe into Google and was greeted by about 10 million options.  There was seriously a whole blog devoted to different types of mac and cheese.  There was one that looked super yummy and called for half and half and bacon, but I decided to skip the calories. I finally settled on Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese. As much as I don’t like Martha you can’t really beat “Perfect Macaroni and Cheese”. Plus there was a write up about it in the New York times. We will see how it tastes. I am also super excited for the desert but I will keep that a surprise.

I asked all of my guests to wear something that either they actually wore as a child, they wish they wore as a child, or looks like something they would have worn. I have picked out one of my favorite school because it has tulle underneath and poofs out and reminds me of a party dress I wish I would have had. I can’t wait to see what the other girls will wear.

I am so excited and super nervous to see how the day goes.