Monday, April 06, 2009

Cooking up a storm

On Saturday night, Darby and I had our preacher and his wife over for dinner. Their daughter is our friend Katy. She came, too; her husband was working, so he couldn't come. They invite us over for dinner with their family all the time, so I was glad we could return the favor at least once.

Now, whenever we have company, I go a little crazy with the prospect of cooking for more than just two people. After deliberating for HOURS over the menu, I finally settled on poppyseed chicken, squash gratin, and homemade crescent rolls (my mother-in-law's recipe). For dessert, I knew I wanted to bake a layer cake. I usually take desserts to other people's houses, so I have to make things that can be easily transported. Layer cakes don't fit the bill. So, I decided this would be the night for a layer cake. I made a marbled lemon blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting.

Now, I thought I had made homemade buttercream before, but apparently I hadn't done it the "right" way. The right way involves boiling sugar and water, and gently pouring that mixture into eggs. You then beat that mixture for 20 minutes. (Thank goodness for my Kitchen-Aid!) Then, with the mixer running, you add 3 (yes, 3!) sticks of butter 2 tablespoons at a time. I added lemon juice at the end. When I tasted the frosting, it tasted pretty much like butter. So I added more sugar and some vanilla. It was still a little too buttery for my taste, but everyone else liked it. I think I'll stick to the normal butter/powdered sugar/vanilla buttercream from now on. It was a little too much work, and didn't come out very smooth. I don't think I softened the butter enough.

But, if I can brag on myself a little, my cake turned out beautiful! The layers all came out even and stacked perfectly. I forgot to get a picture before it was almost gone, but here's the remains:

Not professional quality, but pretty good for me!

My rolls turned out pretty well, but not as good as Debby's. I still need practice! It was a very fun day of cooking, and we enjoyed eating and playing games with our friends.

On Thursday, I'm cooking dinner for our college group (about 15 people). This is the largest dinner I've ever cooked, so I'm excited and nervous. I feel like this is kind of a test of whether I could even consider doing catering.


Jamie, Jenn, Sean and Baby Lance said...

My goodness! That all sounds so delicious! We put a fraction of thought into dinners with friends... man, I need to be more creative!!!

Sallie said...

That dessert looks beautiful--wish you had gotten a picture of the whole thing. I am too impressed!

Matt said...

How can you taunt me like this when I'm here with the Bean?

Carolyn said...

So my Dallas friends have a tendency to make fun of me for being "too domestic." However, the next time they do that, I'm going to read them this to prove that I am far from your level! But hey, you go girl. I wish I could be there to enjoy your love of cooking/baking all the time. Darby is a lucky man!