What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Instead of a focus on the ingredient or dish, let's try a different focus: garnishes. It is so important if you want to look pretty! Yes, Pretty! To be a garnish, it should be edible as well as complimentary to the food it is decorating. I made a lot of the garnishes for this party. I made candied orange rind and dried pepper/vegetable confetti and used chopped parsley, chopped dill, mint, basil leaves, strawberries, raspberries, almonds and chocolate covered espresso beans, all as garnishes. We also made crème fraiche and clotted cream to top several other things. Everything on every plate was edible, except the cups holding the truffles. I'll follow a recipe for candied orange peel. The menu was all finger food. Sorry, I didn't get pictures of everything.

The Menu:


Puff Pastry Wrapped Shrimp stuffed with Crab Meat
Asparagus Wraps
Smoked Salmon Spread on Brown Bread
Baby Potatoes with Crème Fraiche & Caviar

Three kinds of Biscotti: Almond Anise, Parmesan with Pine Nuts & Green Olives, Orange with Pistachio & Black Olives

Bruscetta with two toppings: tapenade & fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil


Chocolate cups with three Mousse Fillings: Chocolate, Raspberry & Amaretto

Chocolate Truffles

Cream Tea Scones with Raspberry Jam & Clotted Cream

Recipe for Candied Rind, in this case Orange

Rind or zest of one orange, but into pieces. Nice strips are nice, 1/3" x 1 1/2", but any size will do. Boil rind gently for 10 minutes. Drain, run under cold water and dry on towels.

Boil 1 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water to 230 degrees. Remove from heat. Stir in peel and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Let peel stand in syrup for at least 30 minutes. Take out and cool, separated on wax paper until dry. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. It keeps a few months in the freezer.

We are submitting it to weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by the newly married Anna at Morsels and Musings. Send her a note congratulating her then go check out the round up on Sunday night or Monday. It is always worth the time.

Try it and enjoy!

For more recipes check out our website or better yet, hire us for your swank party! Cheers!

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  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger Kalyn said…

    Just wonderful sounding. I am no good at all at this type of fancy food prep, but I love it when other people do it.

  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Helene said…

    I´m just with Kalyn, no good at this type of fancy food. But there´s ever a first try and for the Easter holidays perhaps a nice way to spend time with my daugther in the kitchen. :))

  • At 10:42 PM, Blogger Pookah said…

    Kalyn and Helene,

    I am a appetizer and main meal kind of gal. I can make desserts but since I for the most part, don't eat them (no sweet tooth) usually don't. My neighbor and the 'cake' lady in our business usually does them. This is the second or third time I have used a pastry bag and once you start, it is easy! I made a few flubs, but for the most part, turned out great. Give it a try. You are both so gifted, I am sure it will be perfect.


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