Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
ronnie_suburban

eG Foodblog: ronnie_suburban - A high volume week

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

Just realized that I'd been tagged for this week. For some reason I stopped receiving notifcations about last week's blog thread and forgot to check in. :sad: Frankly, if my head weren't screwed onto my body, I'd probably leave it somewhere. Once I count on not having to remember something, I generally don't.

guajolote mentioned that I was having a crazy week and it's true. My wife and I are hosting a holiday open house for 150 this weekend and we've been cooking and prepping for it every night since last Friday. This is, I think, around the 22nd year that this holiday party has taken place, my wife used to host it before I came into the picture.

But, before I get into that, I should probably review the more notable 'regular' food moments. As some sort of crazy self-punishment, I've been back on Atkins for the few weeks leading up to this party. Because of that, I've been eating a lot of salads, meats and frankenfood bars. When the party starts on Saturday, Atkins will be officially over through January 2 at least...:smile: I love Atkins and I hate Atkins...more on this later (hopefully).

But, Tuesday was a good food day because for lunch we had some delicious carnitas from a place at 41st & Ashland (in Chicago) called Kiki D's Carnitas (don't go breakin' my heart). The carnitas were amazing and so were the huge pieces of home-made pork rinds they make on premises. From an Atkin's perspective, this is about as good as it gets. While a couple of my co-horts indulged in the corn tortillas, I and another guy in the office (who seems to be permanently on Atkins) indulged in a 2 pound order of carnitas...I solo'd a small portion of the pork rinds since no one else would go near them, but that's nothing out of the ordinary. At the end of lunchtime, there was probably still at least a pound of carnitas left but no one could eat another bite.

I took them home but didn't get to them last night. My wife had made a small rib roast and some steamed broccoli with butter and fresh lemon. I wasn't really hungry :shock: because of my carnitas indulgence but I muddled through it and put most of the roast in the fridge.

Going back to Monday, I have nothing spectacular to report. I had a Chef's Salad with caesar dressing from Seul's, the tavern across the street from our office. For dinner, we had Han's brand Chicken Sausages with spinach and feta. That was it...other than a caffeine-free diet coke. No bun, no side dishes, no nothing. Because of all the party work we have to do each night, the regular meal schedule is suffering a bit.

BTW, I almost never eat breakfast during the week, so this blog will be comprised of lunches, dinners, snacks and party prep. Each morning starts with an iced, venti no water, Americano from Starbucks unless I happen to have scored some better beans or been given some by a friend who roasts his own. :wink:

It's getting a little crazy here at the office, so I'll bow out for a bit and be back later with some more.

=R=


Edited by ronnie_suburban (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the other day on NPR I heard an interview with a guy from a company that makes pork rinds. Apparently sales are up dramatically across the country, thanks to Atkins dieters who are looking for a crunchy snack to replace potato chips!

I too am prepping for a holiday open house this weekend (for a few less people, though), so I'll look forward to reading about yours!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Frankly, if my head weren't screwed onto my body, I'd probably leave it somewhere.

I wonder why? :hmmm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Frankly, if my head weren't screwed onto my body, I'd probably leave it somewhere.

I wonder why? :hmmm:

:biggrin:

LOL, no comment!

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just the other day on NPR I heard an interview with a guy from a company that makes pork rinds.  Apparently sales are up dramatically across the country, thanks to Atkins dieters who are looking for a crunchy snack to replace potato chips!

I too am prepping for a holiday open house this weekend (for a few less people, though), so I'll look forward to reading about yours!

That's interesting about the pork rinds. At the stores, most every brand now proudly boasts "A Carbohydrate-Free Food" on their label.

The ones from yesterday were great, but the pieces are so big that they curl up when fried so that the very centers of each piece are kind of soft and grainy as oppoosed to hard and crunchy. I'm sure this is, for many folks, the best part but for me, that's usually the point where it's very easy to stop eating them.

How many are you having over Tammy?

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We sent our invitation out to a whole lot of people, but didn't require RSVPs back. My guess is that we'll end up with about 50-70 individual people, but never more than 20-30 at one time.

I'm making up a bunch of finger foods, and will be putting out lots of cheese and veggies and dip, etc. And cookies and other assorted sweets. What's on your menu?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The menu for our party doesn't change too much from year to year. Here's a (not too) brief overview of the items I can remember right now:

jambalaya

meatballs

mini hot dogs en croute :biggrin:

mini spanikopitas

rumaki

cold boiled shrimp

baked brie in puff pastry

lox and mini bagels

smoked ham (from Nueske)

Euro-style deli tray (we get this at a German deli near us)

toasted chick peas and pistachios

spinach and artichoke dip (hot)

queso fundido

stuffed grape leaves

hummus

avocaodo and goat cheese dip

veggie krudite

roasted red pepper dip

chex mix (home-made, my MIL's recipe)

assorted pretzels and chips

chocolate mousse cake

carrot cake

cheesecake (still haven't decided what type I'm making)

sugared pecans

assorted cookies (biscotti, linzer, rugelah)

brownies

Holiday Harvest Punch

Assorted beer and wine

Cocktail station

It's been one hell of a week and there's still a lot of work ahead for us. We spent last weekend prepping the hardest items -- at least the ones that could be made ahead. Here are a few pics:

minis-001.JPG

~500 mini vienna beef dogs (12# of dogs). After they froze solid, we wrapped them all up tightly to avoid freezer burn.

500_meatballs.JPG

~500 par-baked meatballs. This was 10# of meat (veal, beef, pork and sausage) plus the additional ingredients. These will be cooked and served in a beefy-bbq-type sauce.

spanikopita_mini.JPG

~180 mini spanikopitas. This was about 8# of filling and 4 boxes of phyllo dough.

We've also been scurrying around with some more fundamental prep and decorating the house too.

It's loads of holiday fun. I love having this party. Every year we try to do a few more things and usually make ourselves crazy doing so, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am In Awe. Do you have a second fridge, or an extra freezer? Or an army of kitchen help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My list is like a little subset of yours...

meatballs (although I haven't decided on a recipe yet)

mini spanikopitas (plus some phyllo trianges with a mushroom filling)

cold boiled shrimp (good idea - I should pick up a shrimp ring - my husband will be happy)

baked brie in puff pastry

lox and mini bagels (we're doing something similar, but with baguette instead of mini-bagels)

veggie krudite

sugared pecans (mine are actually spiced pecans, with lots of good black pepper)

assorted cookies (ginger, chocolate snowflakes, brown sugar drop, maybe some candy cane and tiger bark)

Assorted wine and soft drinks (we're skipping beer this year because no one really seems to drink it - but we'll have Izze, and awesome fizzy fruit juice)

Also - lots of good cheese, some unusual cured meats, a bunch of devilled eggs, and probably some assorted dips and things from Whole Foods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am In Awe.  Do you have a second fridge, or an extra freezer? Or an army of kitchen help?

Well...counting the mini fridge near the tv in our bedroom :blush:, we actually have 4 total units...1 in the kitchen, 1 in the garage and 1 in our basement.

As for help, yes we will have a few 'hired hands' to help us keep the food stocked, the drinks flowing and the coats in check. We didn't used to do it that way but we found that, after trying it once, we enjoyed ourselves way more when we had help, so now we always have it. No point in having a party if one can't converse with the guests :wink:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
where do you get the juice for the punch :wink: ?

Busted! I stole them from our sample freezer at work and then immediately placed myself on probation. :biggrin:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My list is like a little subset of yours...

meatballs (although I haven't decided on a recipe yet)

mini spanikopitas (plus some phyllo trianges with a mushroom filling)

cold boiled shrimp (good idea - I should pick up a shrimp ring - my husband will be happy)

baked brie in puff pastry

lox and mini bagels (we're doing something similar, but with baguette instead of mini-bagels)

veggie krudite

sugared pecans (mine are actually spiced pecans, with lots of good black pepper)

assorted cookies (ginger, chocolate snowflakes, brown sugar drop, maybe some candy cane and tiger bark)

Assorted wine and soft drinks (we're skipping beer this year because no one really seems to drink it - but we'll have Izze, and awesome fizzy fruit juice)

Also - lots of good cheese, some unusual cured meats, a bunch of devilled eggs, and probably some assorted dips and things from Whole Foods.

Cool! Yeah, I forgot to mention the devilled eggs (with bacon). We'll make those right before the party -- bought 6 dozen eggs for that. Also forgot to mention the bow-tie pasta salad with grape tomatoes (or roasted red peppers, haven't decided yet) and peas...

The meatball recipe I used was an improvisation off a Lydia recipe. I worked it out in my head, then checked her recipe and found that mine was almost identical. After that, I basically split the difference between the 2 recipes and the testers turned out great.

I do think that the eggs are probably the hardest thing labor-wise, but people tend to love them so we always include them.

Hey! The andouille (6#) and tasso (4#) for the jambalaya just showed up at the office. :smile:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, back to single servings for a moment--just had a chicken caesar salad for lunch from Viccino's pizza--a place in our building. It was pretty good actually. Sometimes the chicken is too salty and tastes way processed. Today, it tasted like a real person made it with a real chicken. Ah, the wonders of technology. With that, I had the requisite caffeine-free diet coke. I'm currently going through about 6 cans of that per day.

Probably making the jambalaya, about a 15 pound batch, tonight. History tells me that Wednesday is a fine day to make it in advance (for a Saturday party). In a perfect world, I make it the day of the party but that's not realistic in this case. Regardless, it is one of the few items that always disappears completely at this party.

Not sure how much eating there will be tonight, but there will be food a'plenty. The thought of having dinner tonight just doesn't appeal to me at the moment. :wink:

Did I mention that I'm taking THU and FRI off from work this week? In the past I've only taken the Friday before off, but I decided to double up on that this time around. I think we'll need the additional time.

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about a little background on yourself for those who don't know you (like me, for instance)?

What's your food background? You say you got the juice for the punch from work...what kind of workplace?

I take it you're in the Chicago area which makes me think of deep dish pizza, hot dogs or just meat (from the packing plants). Set me straight as to the regional cuisine of your area, if you have time.

Inquiring minds want to know! :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the deviled eggs, do you pipe them in with a pastry bag or spoon them in by hand?

Soba

I do use a pastry bag because:

a) I have one

b) the finished product looks better that way

c) they go much faster

Usually, I mix the cooked, chopped bacon into the filling but this year I'm planning on just topping them with the bacon because I think they'll be better that way--hopefully, the bacon will still be totally crispy when I serve them.

Also, in the past, the pieces of bacon have obstructed the flow of filling from the bag. There's always a workaround for it but the topping concept just seems better all the way around.

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holy mmmmoly Ronnie...

when you guys throw a party, you really do it up!

Looks great, have fun! :biggrin:

Thanks PK...that's why we only do it once a year and not 3 or 4 times... :wink:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about a little background on yourself for those who don't know you (like me, for instance)?

What's your food background? You say you got the juice for the punch from work...what kind of workplace?

I take it you're in the Chicago area which makes me think of deep dish pizza, hot dogs or just meat (from the packing plants). Set me straight as to the regional cuisine of your area, if you have time.

Inquiring minds want to know! :wink:

Coming up Toliver...a little later this evening. :smile:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you planning to take two days off to recover?

LOL, I wish I could...but we're going to another big party on Sunday (so that will be somewhat relaxing) and then Monday I plan on doing nothing more than going through the motions here at the office :biggrin:

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
where do you get the juice for the punch :wink: ?

Busted! I stole them from our sample freezer at work and then immediately placed myself on probation. :biggrin:

=R=

i'm going to tell your boss :wink:

could you tell us a little bit about what your son eats? does he take a lunch to school or get it there? does he like to help you cook?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I get on the guest list for next year ? What an undertaking... the prep pictures look like it's going to be amazing amount of food & fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Duvel
      Prologue:
       
      Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region …
       
      But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
       

    • By Tara Middleton
      Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
       
       

    • By KennethT
      OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe....  After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me!
       
      This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia.  Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food.  Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship.  Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later.
       
      Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them.
       
      Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary.  When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese!  As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!?  Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree.  Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany.  As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does.
       
      While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed.  We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later.
       
      So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali...
       
      Beef noodle soup:

       
      The interior:

       
      This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender.  Good bite to the thick chewy noodles.
       
      Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):

    • By KennethT
      Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013.  At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak.  Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it.
       
      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×