Friday night, just after we sat down to dinner, Hannah’s fiancés phone rings and it’s his brother.  All I hear Jacob saying is “What?!”  I couple minutes he hung up and said “My niece died.”  Jacob has two nieces one is two and the other is 4 months old – the 4 month old died in her crib of unknown causes.  They were both at our house just a week and a half ago when Hannah and Jacob were babysitting.  She was beautiful!

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The kids immediately left and I ate my dinner in silence.  Then the tears came.  It was as if I had skinned my knee and there was a scab and I had a band-aid over it to protect it, and I ripped the band-aid off and took the scab with it.  Tomorrow will be 8 weeks that Tony passed away.  Four weeks since my cousin Pam died, and now Leila.  I sent that last picture to Jacob’s Mom, and it’s now her Facebook page picture.  The only good news to come out of this is that they were able to donate her corneas to another baby who needed them.  I like to think that Leila was born for that purpose, and that the baby who got them is now going to cure breast cancer.  That’s the only way I can wrap my head around her dying so young.

So I think I told you that I was catering a party for my boss – a “gourmet” dinner party for 10.  I had my time line all set to go, including stuff that I wanted to get done on Friday night.  Well, that didn’t happen. I drank too much wine, cried, and waiting for the kids to get back home – I don’t think I went to bed before 2 a.m.  But I got up on Saturday and got everything done.  You can click on my Pinterest page for all the recipes I made.   My menu was fairly simple:

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It was just really . . . time consuming.  I mean I made everything from scratch – including those menus above.  I have never cooked for a group of people like that before, and in a strange kitchen I was a tiny bit nervous, but what I was most nervous about was making sure the meat was cooked perfectly, because that was really the star of the whole menu.  If you haven’t tried a sirloin tip roast, you are missing out.  Super flavorful and extremely affordable – I was able to buy two roasts for $4.00 a pound!  I bought just under ten pounds of meat, and there were only two slices left at the end of the night!

My bosses kitchen is amazeballs, and about 10x the size of mine at home.  She has a Thermador oven – and it was awesome to cook on.  I got to their house at 5:30 to finish prepping and get the meat going before guests started to arrive around 7. 

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I didn’t take too many pictures when I was plating because obviously I wanted everything hot – the soup was roasted butternut and apple and I did a chipotle creama on top just to balance the sweetness of the soup.

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I made a salad with Fuji apples, dried cranberries, feta cheese and butter toffee peanuts with an apple cider dressing – so good!

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I did hasselback potatoes with Cabot’s White Oak Cheddar cheese – you need to find that cheese, so good!  I fully cooked them at home, and then finished them off under the broiler after this pic was taken.

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I did a mushroom jus for the top of the meat – just baby bella mushrooms that I sautéed in butter and then added beef stock and Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.

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I cooked the roasts to 125 and then they sat for a good 25 minutes before I had to serve the entrée.  That was the only time I got nervous  the whole night, and after I made that first cut, I knew I was golden – perfect medium rare!

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My boss asked me to cut the slices thick (about 3/4 of an inch) and women got one slice, and men got two slices to start.  Well, two slices was probably close to a pound of meat!   My bosses husband brought his plate into the kitchen and said “I need to throw up.”  I looked up panicked and he said “I ate all that meat on my plate and everything else – I am so full!”  Whew!

Last, but not least – dessert.  I wasn’t happy about my pecan pie – it was really gooey in the middle, but I know the taste was there.  And that’s bread pudding with a whiskey glaze over the top.

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And I made homemade chocolate pudding:

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I thought the evening was very well paced – when they were eating one course, I moved onto making the next one, my boss cleared the plates and served the food.  I kept the kitchen clean and when desserts were plated, my work was done.  I poked my head into the dining room to say goodbye, and they all applauded and my boss hugged me – I think it was a success!

So I was kind of curious if this is something I’d like to do more of, and well, I am on the fence.  If it was my only job, I would love it.  But between planning the menu, grocery shopping, prepping the food, cooking the food and being at the event for five hours – it’s a lot of work!  And guess how much I spent on all the food for the menu above?  $171.  Yep, I catered a dinner party spending just that amount of money, which is $17.10 per person for apps, soup, salad, entrée, two sides and three desserts.  Not too shabby!  

Alright, I have to get my food and gym bag ready for the day.  I stayed up watching Shameless last night – we missed the first episode, so we had to watch that one first – such an amazing show!

And I’ll leave you with a couple pictures of the dogs that Hannah took – they are really growing on me, especially Rummy, the tiny dog.

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Have a great day – make it a good one!  Hugs!