A friend from culinary school asked me to help her cater an event for her company Christmas party. Well duh! Happy to help, especially when a chunk of money is involved and it has anything to do with food.
We went over the details, and I agreed to do the desserts for the event. How about some cupcakes? Easy enough.
Then I found out the number. There were two events, 100 people at each event. Had to punch that one in the calculator for it to sink in that I was going to be making over 200 cupcakes and 2 decorated casino-themed cakes. She also needed as much help as I could provide with assembling appetizers. Sounded good to me, especially since I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like.
I started making the cupcakes two days before the event to make sure I wouldn’t be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. When I got home from my job as a pastry chef (making desserts all day), the cupcake baking began. You know, because I don’t already do enough baking at work (insert sarcasm here).
Got started on the three different flavors of cupcakes. Chocolate Peanut Butter (rich chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter chips, topped with peanut butter icing and chocolate ganache), Cookies ‘n Cream (vanilla cupcakes packed with chunks of Oreo cookies, topped with buttercream icing infused with Oreo cookie crumbs and a cute little mini Oreo on top of that), and Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing. By the day of the event, there were 204 cupcakes stacked on my kitchen island. “I’m really looking forward to those cupcakes leaving the house,” my husband said. He’s a neat freak, and doesn’t like to see stuff piled ANYWHERE. Best part about that is he actually cleans, and does a much better job than I do. Yes, he’s a unicorn husband.
The morning of the event, I was running around the house like a crazed maniac. Three different types of icing had to be made and piped on top of each of the 204 cupcakes. If there was a fly on the wall, it heard a lot of self-talk, a flash of a person running through the house, and maybe even some inappropriate language. The sweat was building up first thing in the morning before I even got started on all the skewered appetizers for everyone.
It’s a really good thing I gave in to buying a minivan, because it’s very unlikely all of this would have fit into a Mustang.
When I got to the location, my friend was already there working her butt off. I jumped in, and she put me on skewer duty.
I have never seen so many skewers in my life.
Skewers are an awesome way to serve appetizers. They’re pretty, you can assemble different items on them, and they’re easy for people to grab and eat.
First were the salad skewers. I cut up six heads of lettuce into equal portions, “tried” to keep them somewhat stacked together for ease of assembling the skewers (and failed miserably at this). Next was slicing up the cooked bacon she prepared, then washing the little cherry tomatoes. I sat down and got to work.
After thirty minutes of assembling these little suckers, I was already mentally done… although there were at least 50 empty skewers left. Help me. “Oh my God, this is SUCH a pain in the butt. Tell boss lady that these shouldn’t be on the menu next year unless she wants to assemble them herself.” When I FINALLY finished those, she brought me the other items to go on the next skewer set. Yay.
These skewers were colorful. Each one had: green olive, roasted red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese cube, basil leaf, tortellini, salami, cherry tomato, and black olive. My hands smells like roasted red bell peppers after assembling 100 of these. I was okay with that.
Once these were finally finished, it was time to put together the dessert table. The smell of sugar, peanut butter, chocolate, and cream cheese radiated through my nostrils as I was very carefully handling the precious cargo, unloading them from containers to the table.
After spending almost 6 hours of preparing these little demon skewers and all other prep to have everything together for the party, I was ready for a cocktail. Fortunately I was meeting up with some ladies from my neighborhood for a girls’ night out. After changing into something that didn’t smell like roasted red bell peppers (again that’s not a bad thing), I headed to the restaurant.
A few of them were already there waiting at the table, and I plopped down in my chair. The waiter walked up and asked, “Can I get you something to d-” and I cut him off with, “Apple Martini, please. Pronto.”
I drifted off into a deep sleep that night, dreaming of martinis and sugar. The demon skewers made their way into my dreams as well, trying to stab me with their sharp little pointers.
In the morning, I reached for my phone and saw a text from my friend that I worked with the night before. Someone stole the poker cake. STOLE. THE. CAKE. Laughter escaped my throat as I read this message. I’ve heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but how about robbery? Clearly the cake wouldn’t have been stolen if it were ugly, right? Just agree with me here, that’s the logic I’m sticking to on this.
Have you had the pleasure of assembling skewered appetizers for a party?