Dinner parties hosted by my family are a curious thing. I grew up with a Mom who prepared for them with the same enthusiasm that sportsmen would train for the Olympics. She would spend weeks planning and revising elaborate menus with no less than six or seven courses to be served. Because we had a restaurant, it was easy for her to borrow some of the cooks to help out. She would set up “stations” at different areas of the house. One time there could be a grilling section where steaks were cooked to order for the guests. Another station could be the carving station where she would serve maybe a suckling pig, or a turkey and a ham. Inevitably, the night would also end with a post-dinner commentary among ourselves about how the dinner went. The assessment would go at length about whether the guests enjoyed the food, who went back for seconds (or thirds), who wore what, and god forbid, who didn’t show up when they said they would. Then the wrap-up would end with a critique on what could be improved on for the next party.
Posts Tagged ‘cake’
Posted in Bake, tagged broccoli, cake, carrots, custard, easy recipes, eggs, food, Julia Child, mushrooms, recipes, salad, vegetable cake, Vegetable Gateau, vegetarian on February 13, 2011 | 36 Comments »
Being invited to someone’s house for dinner always poses a problem for me. I often wonder, what’s the best thing to bring? Given a choice between bringing the standard wine, flowers or food, I’ll inevitably resort to bringing food. Then there’s the dilemma of what dish to bring. Do I bring an entree or dessert? And God forbid if I bring the same dish that the host is cooking! Being asked to guest blog is just as nerve wracking. Especially when the one asking has such a beautifully written and photographed blog like Xiaolu from 6 Bittersweets.
After much internal debate, I managed to settle on this Frozen Brazo De Mercedes, a very much loved layer cake from the Philippines. I wanted to make a dish that showcased one of the most unique (and delicious) desserts that the Philippines had to offer. What to take a guess as to what the layers are made of? Well, I’m not going to spoil it for you – just head on over to Xiaolu’s blog for the recipe of this Frozen Brazo De Mercedes Cake. And while you’re there, make sure the check out the rest of her lovely blog!
When I was a kid I wanted to be a gymnast. I remember watching a movie on Romanian Nadia Comaneci and how she scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars in the 1976 Olympics and thought to myself that I was born to be a gymnast.
So my best friend and I started teaching ourselves cartwheels, back bends and once even decided to create our own dismount station on the side of my brother’s bed so we could practice somersaults (I shrudder at the thought of our bravery then!). During long car trips my Dad would play classical music and I would close my eyes and pretend to do a floor routine to the music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky.
So the logical thing to do was ask my parents permission to take proper gymnastic lessons – and I was devastated when they said no. I am assuming they thought it was too dangerous. Maybe they thought I wasn’t ready… maybe, they weren’t ready. I brooded over what to do next for months. Finally, I decided to write them what I thought was a tear jerker of a letter asking them to reconsider their decision. And what a letter it was. I’m pretty sure the phrases “this is my dream” and “please, please, please” came up many times. The next day, they relented.
On my last trip to New York I stumbled upon a book called Cakes and Loaves by Ilona Chovancova. It’s been seven months since I managed to use a recipe from it! I remembered the other day that the book had a basic savoury cake recipe that I wanted to share for The Cooking Basics series. This is a fantastic and delicious basic recipe from which you can vary ingredients depending on what you feel like eating, what’s available or what’s in season. Making the cake is effortless – no need for multiple bowls, no need for a mixer (a grater and wooden spoon will do) and I promise it would probably take you less than ten minutes to put together. These cakes can be eaten any time of the day – great for breakfast on the go, for lunch, an afternoon snack or even a light dinner with a salad.
Some tips should you choose to make your own savoury cake: