Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

The catering side of being a foodie…

Posted: July 12, 2009 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | Tags: , , | 7 Comments »

This weekend, my mother, my sister Paige and I threw a baby shower for my sister Leanne.  Of course, the baby shower was at Leanne’s house…so she and her husband did just as much work as we did, but its the thought that counts right?  So as usual for most family events, I ended up being in charge of food.   I have been working on this menu for a while,  but of course things like the guest list tend to guide the menu so it wasn’t truly finalized until the night before the shower when we all went grocery shopping.  We finalized the guest list at 12-15, so here is the final menu that we settled on:

Caprese tomatoes

2 loaves of antipasto bread

Chicken wraps

Roast beef wraps

Spinach Artichoke dip

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and blue sprinkles (Its a boy :) )

The roast beef wraps just had butter, and cheddar cheese.  The chicken wraps were Paige’s idea, and she spread the tortilla with cream cheese and  salsa, then sprinkled it with mexican cheese and added chicken.  It was something I wouldn’t have thought of, but they were really good.

For the spinach artichoke dip, I just used Paula Deen’s recipe which is super easy, and really good.  I haven’t found a recipe I like better yet, so I’m going to keep with that one until I find something better.  The only thing I do differently is add 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic…because lets face it, garlic makes everything better.

I also have to report that sadly, in the interest of time and ease, we used a cake mix for the cupcakes…so I can’t really report on that.

The antipasto bread is something that I have been making for a couple years, since I found a recipe in my mom’s recipe box.  Basically you take bread dough, once its risen completely, roll it out and then put in whatever you want.  Leanne requested pepperoni and cheese in one of them, so I just tooke sliced mozzarella and covered the dough, leaving about an inch on the outside, then I put down sliced pepperoni.  From there just roll the dough up like you would a jelly roll, pinch the dough all along the seam to completely seal it.  Score it across the top with a knife a couple times, then put it on a greased cookie sheet, seam side down and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes.    The second loaf is the standard loaf that I make.  Its the same process, but the ‘stuffing’ is different.  I take a pound of ground sweet italian sausage and sautee it with garlic and onions.  Then, once the sausage is completely cooked, let it cool down and add one package of cooked chopped spinach and parmesan until it tastes like you want it to.  Line the rolled out bread dough with sliced mozzarella, and then top it with the sausage mixture, again, leaving at least an inch perimeter at the edge of the dough.  Roll it, score it, bake it the same way, and when you open the oven 30 minutes later, you have a delicious loaf of bread stuffed with deliciousness.  I forgot to take pictures, but I make it all the time, so I will be sure to do a follow up.

Now…the dish I am most proud of.  I am a HUGE fan of the caprese salad (for those of you that don’t know, thats just tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil.  Usually with balsamic)  Its a really great summer dish, its easy, its light and its SO GOOD.  So I wanted to do the caprese, but decided to change it up a little bit.  Rather than making it a knife and fork kind of a salad, I wanted it to be more like finger food.  So I searched around and found a lot of stuffed tomato recipes, and a lot fo bruschetta recipes, but nothing that was what I really wanted.  Most of them talked about cooking the tomatoes, or doing some other crap that does not make sense to me, so I took some ideas I liked and came up with the most simple recipe on earth…and freaking delicious to boot.  I got two packages of campari tomatoes which are nice because they are like a two bite size.  I just cut the tops off of them and hollowed them out with a small spoon.  They tend to get a little wet witht he juice, so just wipe them with a towel to dry them off.  Then I took two large balls of fresh, water-packed mozzarella (try to find the firmest ones you can).  I diced the cheese fairly small, and mixed it with some fresh, chopped basil.  Then just stuff the tomatoes with the cheese and top them with some basil chiffonade.  Before you serve it, just drizzle them with balsamic, or you can serve it with a balsamic reduction dipping sauce.  Overall it worked out really nicely, and was delicious!IMG00141-20090711-1041By the way, I think this is also my best photography to date…so thats exciting too :)


7 Comments on “The catering side of being a foodie…”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 12:23 pm on July 13, 2009:

    Um…. yum. Yum yum yum.
    Also – the bread…. I’m finally going to try and make it. Are there any concerns if I don’t use a meat product? Something like gruyere, sauteed spinach and mushrooms? Yum!!

  2. 2 Alyssa said at 12:54 pm on July 13, 2009:

    Meat is not a necessity at all, I’m just a giant carnivore :)

  3. 3 leah said at 9:10 pm on July 13, 2009:

    i’ve seen the caprese salad deconstructed and skewered but i would have NEVER thought to stuff the tomatoes like that. KUDDOS!

  4. 4 Paige said at 10:48 am on July 20, 2009:

    I can attest to the deliciosity of this entire menu! The bread is always a winner and the tomatoes were awesome! I am glad that you liked my wraps, thanks for the props :-)

  5. 5 Leanne said at 7:29 am on July 21, 2009:

    I know I’m a little late on the reply here but I just have to say it was all amazing. I don’t know where you get these idea’s (like the caprese) but it was delicious.

    And for those who don’t know, yes, I’m the one who’s baby shower it was so I am a little biased, but the baby loved it all too and he can’t be biased just yet!

  6. 6 How I Lost 30 Pounds in 30 Days Without Diet said at 4:40 pm on July 23, 2009:

    Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic.

  7. 7 Adi said at 2:52 pm on August 3, 2009:

    Glad to see another believer in the “Garlic makes everything better” mantra. The chicken wraps sound interesting and I’m definitely going to see about adapting those. Anything you would have changed about them? The antipasto bread sounds delicious, too.
    As for the caprese tomatoes, I am stealing that so hardcore. They sound AMAZING. I am in love with caprese salads and sandwiches, so a caprese amuse-bouche is right up my alley!
    This post is definitely making my mouth water all around. More pictures next time though, PLEASE!!

Leave a Reply

Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.