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Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

Devilled Eggs

In Egg, Entertaining, Snacks on April 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Dressed Devilled Egg close up - apologies for fuzzy photo! Good morning photography is hard...

Yesterday evening I had a deep craving for devilled eggs, but by the time my I’d hardboiled the eggs, all motivation disappeared. However, this morning when I saw the hard boiled eggs waiting there for me, I decided I might as well go ahead. Devilled eggs for breakfast? Why not! A bit unconventional perhaps, but there you go. I’d had devilled eggs on the brain for a while, as we had intended to make them for Theresa’s tea party. However, the hardboiling of the eggs on that occasion didn’t quite work out, so we ended up making eggs sandwiches instead.

As usual, I looked to Smitten Kitchen for a recipe. I was relatively faithful to it, except that I only used 6 eggs and simplified the topping. It was a surprisingly quick process, and I would really recommend these as an easy appetizer for a dinner party or when entertaining. However, I would definitely advise hard boiling the eggs the night before – that way if the eggs don’t peel well you have time to whip something else up in its place!

My photos can’t quite compete with Smitten Kitchens, but I was pretty happy with the result. I think for presentation purposes, using a piping bag really helps! (As opposed to trying to spoon the mixture in)

Eggs ready for dressing!

Undressed Devilled Egg

Dressed egg on lettuce leaf from the garden

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Tea Party for Theresa

In Baking, Cheese, Entertaining, Pasta, Snacks on April 14, 2012 at 4:35 am

Part I: Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes

Today we celebrated our lovely friend Theresa’s 23rd birthday with a tea party! We made all sorts of goodies, but one of the main features were these cupcakes. The recipe is courtesy of the wonderful Smitten Kitchen website. It is an AMAZING recipe – I highly recommend it. However,  you could probably make the alcohol portions a bit stronger, as despite the three different kinds of alcohol in these cupcakes, the taste of it isn’t strong at all! (Possibly that is a good thing, as far as the Guinness is concerned)

Seeing as it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe, there’s no point in reposting it – you can find it here.

I also made some marzipan roses to decorate the cupcakes – I don’t want to go into detail how I made them right now, though I might post about that later.

Below are a few pics of the cupcakes in various stages of their creation:

Plain Cupcake, without ganache filling or icing

Cupcake with ganache filling and icing

Cupcakes with Baileys frosting, filled with ganache and topped with marzipan roses

Cupcakes on tier

More cupcakes

Dissected to show ganache filling

Part II: Other Goodies!

Here’s a selection of some of the other goodies we served. Leave me a comment if you want the recipe for any of them as I can’t be bothered copying them all out for the sake of it! Other things we also ate (but I didn’t photograph) were pesto filled cherry tomatoes, mini BLT sandwiches as well as egg sandwiches. There was also sparkling punch made with orange juice, pineapple juice, gingerale and cider.

Stuffed Giant Pasta Shells - filled with soft buffalo feta and spinach

Potato, Apple and Camembert Terrine

Spiced Pumpkin Mini-Scones

Spongey/Butter Cream and Jam Sandwich Cake

All together, it was a great team effort from all of us – Theresa, Emma and I – so well done us!

Elvis Style Pie #1: Banana Coconut Chiffon Pie

In Baking, Dessert, Entertaining, Pastry, Pie on March 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

Banana Coconut Chiffon Pie

A while ago I discovered “Are You Hungry Tonight?” by Brenda Arlene Butler. The book is comprised of a selection of Elvis’ favourite recipes (including how to make his wedding cake) and supplemented with these adorable (yet dated) comments and descriptions which accompany the recipes. It’s from 1992, if that helps. Being a big pie fan, I thought I’d start with the pie section of the cookbook. There’s about 5 that I want to make, hence why this post is Elvis Style Pie #1. I chose the Banana Chiffon as we had some bananas sitting around the flat getting increasingly ripe, so they were just crying out to be used….along with some leftover cream. Unfortunately this pie is one of those dishes that tastes fantastic, but unfortunately doesn’t look as beautiful as some other pies, so photographing it was a bit of a challenge. I did the best I could – but I have to say, irrespective of how it looks it’s pretty hard to go wrong with banana, coconut, egg whites and beaten cream.

I feel compelled to post the description that accompanies the recipe in “Are You Hungry Tonight?” as it really is quite endearing. It reads as follows:

“Imagine you’re driving through the South in the 1950s. Your way is marked by the old white US Highway interstate shields, not the red, white and blue of the Interstate signs. The place names crop up on little white signs, not those huge green things. Memphis. Jackson. Tupelo. Shreveport. It gets awfully hot in the car, so you swing into one of those little roadside cafes for a glass of iced tea. My, but it’s cool inside. They’ve got one of those little glass cases with all the pies displayed, and goodness, doesn’t the banana coconut chiffon look good!

As you leave, and push through the screen door, a big Cadillac with a bunch of boys in it pulls up. You chat a bit and they tell you they’re headed to Shreveport to sing on the radio – on the Louisiana Hayride. You wish them well and promise to tune in.”

LOL.

Recipe is as follows:

baked 9 inch pie shell

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin (about 2, 1/2 tbsp)

3 eggs, separated

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cream

1/3 cup finely grated coconut

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. In the top of a double boiler (2 saucepans), slightly beat the egg yolks. Stir in the bananas, sugar and salt. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin to the banana mixture. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Chill the mixture until it begins to thicken.

In a large bowl, beat the cream until stiff. Beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold first the egg whites, then the cream, then the coconut, into the banana mixture. Pour into pre prepared pastry shell (cooled). Chill the pie until firm and set, about 4 hours. Garnish with additional whipped cream or slice bananas. I chose to serve my pie with a little extra grated coconut and a good dollop of Greek yoghurt!

My first slice...

Two slices down already...

Check out that texture!

A Tea Party with Scones and Everything

In Baking, Entertaining, Pastry on March 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

It was my Birthday!

The occasion called for tea, scones and fairy bread. It also called for pastries, cheesecake and wine.

Oh the scones. Here’s what happened:

The oven was preheated to 230C,

a 1/4 cup of diced butter was rubbed into 4 cups of self-raising flour with a pinch of salt,

a tablespoon of lemon juice was stirred into 1 2/3 cups of milk and left to stand for a minute

and then it was mixed gently into the dry mixture to make a soft dough.

It was kneaded lightly on the floured benchtop,

rolled out,

rounds were cut with a cookie cutter,

placed on the greased baking tray,

brushed with milk

and then baked for twenty minutes, or so.

Far right is a monster scone.

and HERE, they’re a bit ugly I suppose and I can’t pretend to perfectionism. I do take delight in peculiarites! Isn’t that fortunate.

How perhaps to eat a scone:

Fresh, with butter, cream and gloopy jam.

The recipe came from the exceedingly beautiful Complete Comfort Food. I hear clotted cream is pretty ideal and superb when it comes to this sort of thing. alas!

I’ll just quickly show you the pastry things, the spinach and feta parcels were somewhat of an invention and the Schweineöhrchen (based on a recipe in my beloved German baking book) used the leftover pastry.

Here, took (flaky) pastry, spinach, crushed garlic, ground nutmeg, chopped almonds, feta, salt, pepper and some imagination.

Spinach & Feta Parcels

Schweineöhrchen. I guess it translates as 'little pig ears'. They consist of flaky pastry, rolled up with butter and sugar. And then more sugar. And dipped in syrup for the hell of it (this part however not prescribed in the recipe).

I will admit they looked quite different in the book. Baked them too long for a start! There’s always next time and the time after that.