So Vu believes that our society thinks that anything that is miniature or oversized is adorable. I am not quite sold on the oversized portion of the theory, but I fully support the mini-sized portion. Because I absolutely love anything that is mini. I mean come on. How can you not love something that is tiny. The word adorable is pretty much in the dictionary definition of mini. So when I saw this mini food party on “Oh Happy Day” I knew that I had to host one too. Because I pretty much thought it was the most adorable thing ever. Also. I pretty much copied everything, except I used different recipes. Because did you see it? Adorable! And I had these little tiny bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. That I found at the dollar store before Christmas last year. I am pretty much obsessed with them. I had to find these ones online because apparently they are a seasonal item. But this year I am going to the dollar store and I am going to stock up.
So do you want to know what we ate?
Hexagon cheese plates are from Crate and Barrel. I was going to pick up all of the dishes from them like Jordan suggested, but when I went to buy them, this one was pretty much all they had. So sad. I had to look all around to find the others. Also, I am not a huge fan of most cheeses, but oddly I love cheese plates. As long as it has cheeses that I actually like. When I lived in Paris during college for a semester study abroad, the host mom I lived with would make dinner for us 3 times a week. Full on multiple course meals every single time. Which were so amazing. The course after the entrée was always a sliced baguette with a cheese plate. It may be where my love of cheese plates come from. Although lets be honest, I pretty much just ate the Swiss cheese every time. And oh how sad it was when she didn’t put the Swiss on the plate. I mean for all of the things that I love about France, the dirty sock smelling/tasting cheese is not one of them. You can also add any cheese with mold on it to that list.
The smaller sort of twisted bowls are from Pier 1. And they are filled with Tomato Basil Bisque. Because why have soup unless it contains cream AND cream cheese? (You want to eat it too? Ok I’ll add the recipe below)
The square bowls for the entrée are from World Market. I made oven roasted sweet spicy chicken drumsticks, these potatoes from Pioneer women (she calls them crash hot potatoes, I call them rosemary smash potatoes) and steamed broccoli. Which may have been a bit too steamed. Especially when I noticed that the water in the bottom of the steamer was gone and there were some nice charred broccoli drippings in its place. Vu doesn’t like the chicken that much because it is too sweet for him. He barely likes most desserts, he definitely doesn’t want sweet flavors in his savory foods. I found this recipe years ago with the intention of making turkey legs but apparently my local grocery store doesn’t sell them, so I substituted the chicken and made some adaptations from the original recipe to meet my needs. When I made it for me and Rachel, we both really loved it. So you know, who are you going to trust, me or Vu?
For Dessert. I already had all the dishes. The clear conical ones were a gift from my friend Joella. The ramekins I have had for years and I am pretty sure they came from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The cupcake stands I found at Marshall’s. And the little bowls with the M&M’s are dipping bowls from Fred Meyer. For Vu to put his barbecue sauce in for his dinobuddies. Because apparently I don’t feed him well enough, he has to resort to dinobuddies…
The crème anglaise was the second time I made it. The first time was a week ago when I was doing my taste testing and it turned out practically perfect in every way. But this time not so much. It was a bit too runny. I am guessing I didn’t cook it long enough. Any real cooks out there know if that is it? Apparently it was good enough because Vu still ate his and mine. Because you know he doesn’t like dessert. He also still had a crème brulee. To prove that he really doesn’t like desserts. I used this very helpful recipe + instructions and helpful tips. Next time I am trying the chocolate variation. Because apparently Vu likes this one.
The crème brulee was from a package… I mean because why not? You still add your own cream and cook it. The testing ones last week didn’t work so well. Because my torch was stupid. And ran out of gas half way through one ramekin. And leaked just as much gas out of the butane canister as it filled the torch with it. It took us 30 minutes to half way glaze the sugar on 3 ramekins. So Vu being the awesome husband that he is, did a bunch of research (in true Vu fashion) and bought me this one. Which is A.MAZ.ING. I mean amazing, amazing! Because the butane canister actually screws into the torch. Worked great to, uh burn, my crème brulee… because I am not exactly sure how to do this. I mean how do you melt the sugar and get that nice hard, crack when you dig a spoon in, beautiful toasted sugar layer without burning the sugar? Any real cooks know that one too?
Also the cupcakes. Not my favorite. Fortunately also not the worst ones we tried. Still searching for that perfect recipe. For cake and frosting. Because even though these recipes claimed they were the most amazing ever. I am not convinced. I am not quite ready to take down the help wanted signs for this one. So still searching. And if I have to eat some more chocolate cupcakes to find it, so be it. So this kind of makes it sound like the desserts were a fail, but really they were pretty edible. Just in need of some perfection.
So armed with my miniature food, I invited some friends over to also exclaim over it’s complete adorableness. And because I like them too. It was a fun night. Hopefully once Vu finishes school (in 8 weeks, yyyeeeesss!!!!!) we can do a few more of these. Because I really do love having people over for dinner and hosting parties.
Tomato Basil Bisque
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T butter
- 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, pureed in food processor or an equal amount of very ripe fresh tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ t oregano
- ½ t thyme
- ½ t parsley
- 1 T fresh basil
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into very small bits
- ½ pint light cream
- 23 oz canned tomato juice
- Salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over low heat and in it sauté the onions and garlic until golden. Add the herbs, the tomatoes and the tomato juice, and fresh basil. I use a lot more than 1 T because I love basil. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes. Add the cream cheese and light cream, salt and pepper to taste and cook gently another 15 minutes, or until cream cheese is dissolved. Can garnish with fresh herbs and croutons.
Oven Barbecued Chicken Legs
- 6 chicken drum sticks
- ¼ c flour
- ½ t salt
- ¼ t pepper
- ¼ t chili powder
- ¼ c orange marmalade
- ¼ c chili sauce
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- ½ t celery seed
- ½ t Worcestershire sauce
- Few drops of smoke flavoring
Wash and dry chicken pieces. Blend flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Dredge meat in the mixture. Heat oil in frying pan. Add chicken and brown evenly on all sides over medium to high heat. Stir together marmalade, chili sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and celery seed. Put meat in a shallow baking dish. Spoon chili mixture over evenly. Cover and bake at 300° for 45-60 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked through. Baste once or twice with sauce in bottom of pan.