Ah, the thrill of the grill! Memorial day is here and Summer is soon to follow. We are headed for prime grilling season and I love to have friends and family over! I love the planning from how to decorate the table, to what to have for dessert. And I enjoy a pot luck, not just because it takes some of the pressure off, but, I love to see and taste what my family and friends like to eat! It is so much fun, just to get together! Today I am offering a guideline on a potluck dinner I recently had with some dog park friends and family.
Dog Park Friends Pot Luck!
I love this vase! I love thinking about how to fill it! My centerpiece is a vase purchased at Safeway floral (19.95), has an interior vase to put the flowers in. This time I chose cherries for the outer vase, then filled with water. Festive and fun!
Assign courses to the guests involved.
Kip is making deep fried Country Potatoes. Recipe adapted from Walt's Hitching Post, in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.
Kippy says, just bake Idaho baker potatoes. Cut potatoes in half, season potatoes with salt pepper and dry tarragon. Add whole garlic cloves.
Linda brought roasted vegetables, beautifully plated, and garnished with fresh Oregano.
Sweet One made some delicious dog themed cupcakes!
Make your favorite basic white or what ever flavor you would like.
Buy fondant and knead it, according to directions. (Sur la Table, Michaels)
Amy (Sweet One) and Laura wanted to make brown doggies, so they added the food coloring.
They kneaded the brown food coloring into the fondant.
Cut the desired shape from the fondant.
Place on wax paper, so they don't stick.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
written and created by Amy Grant (Sweet One)
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups sugar, 10 large egg whites, 7 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into pieces and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
Place sugar and egg whites in a heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing some of the mixture between your fingers and it should feel completely smooth.
Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand. Beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks about 10 minutes.
While the mixture is mixing, cut the butter into cubes.
Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. No worries if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with additional beating. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.
Divide the buttercream into bowls depending on how many different colors you are using. I needed two colors (blue and green), so I divided buttercream into two bowls.
Once you have divided the batter, use a toothpick to add a small amount of food gel (you can find this high quality food coloring at Sur La Table or Michaels Arts & Crafts). It is more concentrated than the typical food coloring sold in grocery stores and meant especially for frosting.
You are now ready to pipe the cupcakes! Fill a piping bag with the buttercream color of your choice. For the doggie cupcakes, I used green for the grass. Use the Wilton tip 233 that makes a grass like decoration. I did not have this particular tip so I used Wilton 89.
Start piping from the edges of the cupcake and work your way in.
Once you have piped all the cupcakes, place a doggie on top of each cake positioning it in the middle. The buttercream will be thick enough to hold the decoration securely.
So cute and Insanely good!!
Now just fill in with the rest of the courses!
I made the Quinoa Salad and used wheatberries instead of Quinoa. They were good, but, much more effort. In the future, I would stick with Quinoa. (personal preference)
I made the Sweet pepper poppers.
I made the Flank Steak with Mango salsa......YUMMY!
There is nothing like friends, family, good food and wine to make for an enjoyable evening!
Even the pups enjoy their brother's company, laying in the sun and relaxing!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Hope you have fun with family and friends!