I think that while I am usually VERY fond of cooking...this week I've had just about enough. Actually, I think that I might enjoy being a caterer in another life or something, but with the amount of things that I have worked on lately, I think my creative juices for the kitchen are at an all time low.
For the dessert banquet I had a great time making all sorts of things:
Apricot Nectar Cake (an old family recipe that is absolutely delicious)
Baklava (a middle eastern dessert full of nuts, honey, and flaky crust layers)
Almond Sugar Cookies (the best sugar cookie recipe I've found so far)
Mini Peanut Butter Pies (creamy peanut butter filling in minature phyllo dough crusts)
Chevre Grapes (round globe grapes, seeded, dipped in pistachios and stuffed with goat cheese)
Lemon Chicken Salad in Poppyseed Tartlets (just about what it says)
Ye Olde Christmas Cheese Ball (a mixture of cream cheese and smoked gouda rolled in toasted pecans)
Crudites (basic veggies and dip- a fresh dill and cream cheese dip, and a dip of beet juice and cream cheese)
I was going to make something else, but I didn't really have time and it had asparagus in it and mine went bad before I could use it as well as I forgot I had to thaw out my pastry for 2 hours before I started on it, thus I nixed that one.
THEN...we had the funeral for Mr. Page- an elderly man who lived here at Fairwood and passed away last week. So I opted to make the dessert for the reception- Coconut Cake.
It went great. At first. A friend came over in the morning to help me make the cakes because we needed 3, 3-layered cakes and we had the cakes baked by noon. Then I began working on the icing in the afternoon. It was an old family recipe once again, but one that was not clear on some of the instructions and I basically spent the rest of the day Wednesday working on that icing- until around 7:15pm. But I finally got it to work and the cakes were beautiful before I went to bed that night.
Yesterday I just recovered the house somewhat in addition to it being the day of the funeral and the last day before Christmas break for the students, so they had a party in the evening that we attended.
Today is Jeff's 3rd birthday which involves...you guessed it...a cake. I"m making one of my favorites- I'm not sure what the official name of it is, but we call it Strawberry Pudding Cake and it is super easy and super yummy. A recipe from my mother. It's a layer of cake, yellow, white, or something similar, topped with juicy strawberries and juice that soaks into the warm cake, then a layer of vanilla pudding spread across and finally a layer of Cool Whip sprinkled with nuts. Mmmmm! Jeff likes it, so that works.
I'm also making Chicken Casserole for dinner since that seems to be a family favorite around here.
Tomorrow I will prepare another cheese ball for Sunday refreshments since that's the day of our church party and then Sunday night I'm hoping to make some cookies for the Cookie Swap on Monday night. I think I've settled on an Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie that has a creamy peanut butter filling and looks somewhat like a little sandwich.
Then I will run away from the kitchen and not look at it until...breakfast the next morning I suppose.
So that's what I've been doing lately- cooking tons!
Of course this next week is suppose to be cleaning week here in our house. Brandon is keeping the children each day for a while so I can "spring clean" the different rooms of the house- one room each day. Today I have tackled the boys' room and I'm thrilled with the results. I couldn't believe how much dust and dirt was in there, but it's gone now. I think the dirtiest spot was the toy box. I don't think I've vacuumed it out since Jonathon was born- it's always had his blocks in it, but today it is clean. The other bad spot was the fan. Of course I am allergic to dust, so I wore a dust mask and thus I am having virtually no reactions to all my cleaning so far. I hope I can have the same results next week when I do 5 rooms in 5 days.
Ok, better run get the cake out of the oven and feed the kids lunch. Have a great Sabbath one and all and as we will begin celebrating Hannakah this evening, Happy Hannakah to all!