Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last night...non-stop

I spent my evening last night doing what I do best: cooking in bulk. It's hard for me to cook for only the two of us, which is why Justin usually makes the nightly dinners. I do the big cooking, the cooking for 20, 30 and last night 50-100. I'm preparing for our Chamber of Commerce mixer. Which after the Chamber of Commerce luncheon yesterday, I think we might be having a lot more people than have RSVP'd. Our mixer was promoted like nothing else, I think the Chamber board members are looking forward to this mixer because it is the first one held at a house and not a business...therefore partying can actually be pure Zwycewicz/Hanly style. I say Zwycewicz because as my sister just pointed out in her blog... Anatomy of a Party...we Zwycewicz's know how to do it up right.

Anywho, the steps we have already done are:
  1. Shopped all last weekend for food and raffle prizes.
  2. Cleaned and decorated our garage.
  3. Cooked all last night and from 5:30 - 7:30 this morning. (more about what I did later in this blog)
  4. Planned what needs to be done tonight and tomorrow:
    1. Cleaning the house...our house is embarrassingly dusty it's not funny...just embarrassing.Vacuuming has to be accomplished as well as cleaning the guest bathroom. The door to our office, master bedroom and guest room will be tightly shut.
    2. We need to fill our guest bathroom medicine cabinet with stacked doggie biscuits and a note that says something to the effect of: "We knew you'd look in here, we wanted to make you smile. Please help yourself to a dog biscuit." Because you know that every person walking into a bathroom is going to check the medicine cabinet...I do it to you and every one of my if I'm coming over, hide your Xanax, Viagra, and the meds to treat herpes.
    3. Finish cooking, which I will be doing tonight.
    4. Set up the tables in our garage and chairs and tent, move the BBQ to out in the driveway. Set up the raffle table.
Let me get to the menu...mind you our party is a Hawaiian Style party. So our garage is decorated in all kinds of Hawaiian style stuff...the typical: pineapples, leis, colorful table coverings, nets with seashells. We also bought lots of goggles and put those around the garage, colorful flip flop style plates we bought from Big Lots, tiki torches, etc. I'll post pictures. The point is that I am going with a Hawaiian Style menu:

Mayo-Free Coleslaw (It is super good! I made it last night and it's just getting better the longer it sits)
  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, and mix well. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, and mix well.

Spicy Pineapple Spread ( OMG! This stuff is a must have! I couldn't find pineapple preserves so I used freakin' good!)

  • 1/4 cup apple jelly
  • 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
  • 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • Assorted crackers
In a saucepan, combine jelly, preserves, horseradish and mustard. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Spoon over cream cheese. Serve with crackers.

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs (The marinade is wonderful, I can't wait to grill this. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breast because I think the dark meat will be more juicy, but they are much harder to clean and cut.)

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • skewers
In a shallow glass dish, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic powder. Stir the chicken pieces and pineapple into the marinade until well coated. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken and pineapple alternately onto skewers. Grill 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until chicken juice runs clear.

FRUIT AND COOKIE-CRUST PIZZA (I haven't made this yet, it will be tonight when I make it)
1 18-ounce roll refrigerated sugar-cookie dough
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
Sliced fruit (such as hulled strawberries, peeled kiwis, peeled bananas, peeled cored pineapple), plus whole raspberries
Purchased caramel sauce, warmed
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12-inch-diameter pizza pan. Cut cookie-dough roll crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices; arrange on prepared pan. Using wet fingertips, press dough evenly into pan to form pizza crust.
Bake crust until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack. Using edge of metal spatula, press in crust edges to form even round. Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme. Spread filling evenly over crust, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. (Crust with filling can be made 45 minutes ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Top with fruit as desired; drizzle with warm caramel sauce and serve.

Carol's black bean salad (I didn't use cilantro because I don't like it, so I substituted Flat leaf Parsley...this is awesome! I made it last night so I can let the flavors meld together.)
2 - 15oz cans of Black Beans rinsed and drained
2 - cups of frozen corn kernels thawed (sometimes I used cans of corn rinsed)
1 - red or green bell pepper chopped
1 - 4oz. can green chilies
1 - pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
3-4 scallions chopped
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
Savory Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon - Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup - red wine vinegar
1/4 cup - H2O
1/4 cup - Soy Sauce (or soy amino alternative)
Several dashes of Tabasco sauce

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (I bought frozen meatballs from costco to save time. I make the sweet and sour sauce this morning and boy is it yummy! Messy because I quadrupled the recipe...yes, 16 cups of ketchup, etc.)
1 pound cooked and frozen meatballs, thawed
2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 diced red or white onion
1/2 cup chopped green onion
6 cloves chopped garlic
Sweet and Sour Sauce, recipe follows
Coarse black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In deep non-greased baking pan, add the thawed meatballs. Top the meatballs with the pineapple chunks. In a medium bowl add the mustard, red and green onion, and garlic. Mix well. Top the meatballs and pineapple with the mustard sauce. Add the Sweet and Sour Sauce and season with black pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven; add the remaining pineapple juice, stir to combine, and place back in the oven for the remaining 30 minutes. Serve while hot.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
4 cups ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
Black pepper (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice

In a saucepot, mix all ingredients together. Cook on high heat. Keep your eye on it. Do not walk away. Cook for 2 minutes and stir. After 3 to 4 minutes, take it off the heat and mix for 2 minutes. Use it same day or keep in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 weeks at the maximum.


I double, tripped or quadrupled each of these recipes depending on the quantities they serve. I am also having crudités, jalapeño artichoke dip, mini quiche in phillo dough (frozen from costco), veggie and onion dips and fruit. We have a keg on tap and will be making one signature drink...Rum Punch.

I think that should be enough. We are having a "left overs" party tomorrow for our neighbors and friends to use up all of the food. So if you are in the Reno/Fernley area and you want to stop by for a left overs party on Saturday, I'm sure there will be plenty o' food to eat!

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