The promises to which my title refers are the promises I made to try and post more regularly! Unfortunately, life got too full of baking and parties to have any time for posting!
This past week I held one of my Pampered Chef tasting parties! Each new season I get a new recipe book and I need to test the recipes to see which ones are actually doable in a short enough time to make them for a show, and which ones taste yummy enough to serve! Instead of incorporating them into our weekly meal plans, I've taken to hosting parties where I whip up 7 or 8 recipes, everyone comes and tries them, and I get the whole job done in one day!
This time around I made Mexican Fajita Bites (spicy chicken, herbs and cheese stacked on pepper wedges and baked like nachos), Tangy Gouda Gems (in phyllo cups with sweet pepper jelly), Savory Parmesan Thumbprints (with a roasted red pepper and apricot filling), Orange Blossom cupcakes (with cream cheese topping), Mini Cherry Cordial Cups, and a German Chocolate Lava Cake. The Fajita Bites were an unexpected sensation. I didn't think they'd be bad, I just didn't think they'd be that good! It was a bit tedious stacking the pepper wedges, so after the first round of those, I put the rest of the mix on top of tortilla chips and made Fajita Chicken Nachos. They were wonderful!
The gouda bites were great, but that didn't surprise me; warm melty gouda in phyllo cups topped with sweet pepper jelly? Perfect.
The Parmesan Bites were more popular than I thought they'd be, and I was given a license to play with the recipe more to add some herbs and depth to the flavors.
The Lava Cake was a guilty pleasure (not for me though, I don't do lava cakes).
The Cherry Cordial Cups were a bit of a marachino cherry overload, but still yummy.
And the Orange Blossom Cupcakes? I had to fight my natural urge to tweek the recipe as I went. It called for two small oranges, zest and juice. I thought for sure they wouldn't be tangy enough, but I'm glad I stayed my hand. They were declared beyond improvement - absolutely perfect.
The recipe were all from the Fall/Winter Pampered Chef Season's Best recipe book, except for the Tangy Gouda Gems, which were from the Cooking for Two or More recipe book.
On Wednesday I had a meeting, at which I served the leftover cupcakes, and then Thursday I had a birthday dinner at my parents' house, where Matt surprised me with the Persuasion metal cuff bracelet that I've been fawning over for a year!
My mom asked me to come over the next day to help her get some cleaning done since they had just come home from holidays this week, but when I got there I noticed very soon that something was up - especially when a houseful of people started singing happy birthday to me! My parents threw me a surprise 25th birthday party, complete with some of my favorite people and my favorite foods! It was a great evening, and there wasn't even any cleaning for me to do! And as a gift for me, my parents asked everyone to bring me a spice! I FINALLY HAVE SAFFRON! I'm so excited!! I never wanted to pay the $15 for a few tiny pieces of it myself, but for 3 years I've asked for it for Christmas, and no one was willing to get it for me! Now I have three bottles of it, a bottle of cardamom, and some vanilla beans too! YAY!
Today I hope to get around to making some muffins since it's such an ugly, windy day, but we'll have to see! Perhaps I'll get sidetracked with my new spices and make up a homemade chai tea?
Mrs. VanderLeek ;)