The Summer of 2’s

This is the summer of 2’s.  Two eye surgeries scheduled next month, two hand surgeries and 2 kids with 2 wedding scheduled 60 days apart.

I have to tell you I am whipped and need to go on a vacation!

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My daughter, Nicole got married last weekend and Jocelyne and I catered the event.  I had double duty in that I catered the wedding rehearsal dinner, then the bride’s breakfast, followed by snacks for the setup crew.  That was basically 50-60 meals.  Right after the snacks for the setup crew Jocelyne and I did a 2 hour pre-ceremony cocktail party for 60 guests followed 2 hours later by a wedding dinner buffet for 60 people!  So basically I had to cook 180 meals in 12 hours! Jocelyne got off easy.  She only had to be involved with 120 of those meals!!! (just kidding Jocelyne you worked harder than I did!).

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In all honesty, I could not have even come close to doing this event without her help. Not only was I the mother-of-the-bride, but I was half of the floral team, half the catering team, and my son and I had to walk Nicole’s 2nd love of her life down the isle!.  His name is Magoo and he is a slobbering, love-able, 150 lb English Mastif who had an orange necklace of carnations around his neck as his “wedding attire”!

The theme for this wedding was boho-chic and hippie.  The bride’s wedding dress was hand-crocheted. The groom’s belt had a peace-symbol buckle! I had to scramble to find a tie-dyed style shirt for the cocktail party that had “orange” as part of the color theme.  (Thank you Soft Surroundings)! The male guests wore their shirts untucked with vests and necklaces or tie-dyed shirts and linen pants.  The female guests got more creative.  There were both boho-chic attire and hippie attire in long flowing skirts, flip flops, open-toed shoes, and lots of jewelry.

This event was pretty much a “gluten-free” wedding except for one item which was the cuban sandwiches.  There were gluten-free sandwiches available but the bulk of those sandwiches were made on some really yummy italian baguette.

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In order to get those sandwiches done on-time I had to round-up my son, Walsh, and one of the groomsmen to help assemble the sandwiches. There were 15, 3-foot long sandwiches to build in 45 minutes, wrap, and label.  Jocelyne had hired a couple of her friends to help her in the kitchen (Janette and Bob) and they were working on the vegetarian and gluten-free sandwiches at the same time Walsh and Dave were building the regular cuban sandwiches.

At the bride’s breakfast we made crustless Quiche as the gluten-free option for everyone.  There was also yogurt parfaits with the pickled rainier cherries in vanilla syrup that I previously posted along with a sprinkle of gluten-free granola and nuts.  We also served a fruit salsa that we had left over from the rehearsal dinner that went with the fish taco’s the evening before.

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The rehearsal dinner was fish tacos with cabbage and fruit salsa and Nicole’s family favorite chiptole adobo aioli sauce, chips and a southwest corn dip.  For dessert we made gluten-free smore’s with chocolate and marshmallows.  They were a hit and the gluten-free guests were thrilled!

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The 2 hour cocktail party had a variety of interesting appetizers.  Nicole made her family favorite Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp Soup with the help of the Groom’s mother (Mary) and Mary’s sister (Kathy).  Nicole actually gave them a prep list with diagrams of what size each of the vegetables in the soup were to be cut!!! Can you imagine Mary and Kathy’s surprise to receive this set of instructions?

Jocelyne made these great watermelon, goat cheese and basil bites and some gluten-free empanadas that were stuffed with picadillo which is a spicy beef mixture with raisins, tomatoes, almonds, cumin, cinnamon, garlic and lime juice.

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We also made one of Nicole’s favorite appetizers which is Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds.  I had hand cured and smoked the bacon a few months ago.

We also constructed a “wedding cake” made out of 4  full wheels of cheese on wine glass risers between each layer.  The cake was decorated like a traditional wedding cake only we used preserved walnuts, marcona almonds, flowers, and succulents on the layers.  We served this wedding cake with a variety of crackers.  The bride and groom used this “cake” as the cake to feed to each other for the traditional photo of the bride and groom eating cake!  The guests loved it!

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The wedding dinner buffet was straight out of Cuba.  There were the Cuban sandwiches that had jalapeno honey pickle relish, ham, swiss cheese, smoked pork butt ( I smoked 40 lbs and shredded it a couple of days before the wedding) and a little mayo-dijon flavored mustard sauce.

The rest of the meal was cuban black beans, cilantro lime rice, apple-fennel coleslaw with a lime-peach vinaigrette.

We will be posting some of these recipes for you in the next 2 weeks so check back to download those.

The dessert menu was the gluten-free key lime pie and french silk pies served in one-half pint canning jars as individual desserts.

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No one could tell that these desserts were gluten-free.  Jocelyne worked on the dough for these desserts for several days doing several versions of the pie/tart dough recipe before coming up with something that was delicious and she could be proud of.  They truly were fabulous. Everyone ended up wanting one of each and we only made enough for everyone to choose one flavor.  Lesson learned the hard way!

Nicole wanted us to serve the pies out of her grandmother’s “hooiser” cabinet. My grandmother, Esther” taught me to cook at this cabinet.  It has a flour mill, cupboards, drawers, an enamel tabletop and is made from 7 kinds of hardwood.  So Nicole’s grandmother was certainly “present” at the ceremony even though she is no longer alive.

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When we were having a taste-test with Nicole she decided that she wanted the key lime tarts to have more lime flavor so we added several drops of Young Living’s Lime Essential oil to the filling. It helped take away some of the sweetness and added more of a zesty lime flavor to the pies.

I am pretty brain-dead from this event and have a feeling that it is going to take a few weeks to fully recover. But alas,there is no rest as a chef.  You just go from one thing to the next.

“2 Chefs & A Wine Guy” has a 4- course Harvest Dinner scheduled in next week!  I am busy dehydrating the “bumblebee” cherry tomatoes for one of the dishes in that dinner because I don’t know if the “bumblebee’s” will be ready to harvest in next week or not, so I am trying to make sure we have some by dehydrating them.

Please check out that Harvest dinner post in a couple of weeks.  Most everything is coming out of my garden for the dinner so it should be a celebration of all the hard work that went into growing most of the plants in the garden from seed.  It will be an organic food celebration of the challenges of being a gardener in Colorado that I am looking forward to.

 

 

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