Saturday, August 7, 2010

Home at last.....

Well, there will be no more traveling for me this summer.  I have had it!  While I did enjoy visiting my daughters and my little brother and his family and my dearest friend in the entire world...I am pooped!!!!

I spent two weeks in Kentucky helping my best friend with her son's wedding and then went on to Columbus, Ohio for a few days to visit my oldest daughter ( ).  We didn't take care of the reception as the brides family handled that but we had one heck of a party for the reshearsal dinner the night before the wedding!  We ended up feeding about 50 people and had a lovely backyard party. 

I made a simplified version of Chicken Cordon Blue by wrapping boneless, skinless chicken breasts in strips of bacon (hello...this is Kentucky...of course there was pork fat!).  I scattered mushrooms over the top and baked them off then topped with slices of Swiss Cheese.  Once they were lidded up the cheese melts from the heat.  By not returning them to the oven at this point, it insures they'll remain moist and not over cook in the chaffing dishes.

The other protein choice was Seasoned Pulled Pork (Kentucky...Pork!!!!).  It was seasoned with a nice spice blend and braised with sliced onions.  When done (falling apart of its own volition), shred with two forks and ladle pan juices over it before adding the lids and placing in the chaffin dishes.  It was a monster hit!

Sides were out of control...buttered corn, broccoli, honey brown sugar baked beans with you guessed it...MORE PORK...slices of bacon on top.  Herb roasted baby redskins, honey blistered carrots, stuffed mushrooms, herbed cheese balls with assorted crackers and of Kentucky meal would be complete without Mac and Cheese! 

Those of you who know my cooking style well are probably saying..."HUH??" it's no secret that I DESPISE mac and cheese with a frentic passion, wouldn't eat a piece of bacon if you slapped me upside the head with it and in general stay as far away from Pork as is possible and still remain in the same hemisphere.  However, when cooking for must cook what THEY want!

I did fancy the mac and cheese up on them when they weren't looking though!  It began with a simple bechamel sauce to which I added shredded sharp cheddar, creamy fontina, tangy goat cheese and just a bit of asiago.  I might have snuck a little creme fresh into that bechamel but I can't remember for sure...

The dessert table was over the top with a four layer Strawberry Parfait Cake filled with clouds of strawberry mousse and frosted with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.  White cake with mounds of fluffy butter cream and flaked coconut, Triple Chocolate layer cake, one bite frosted brownies with 5 different fillings, lemon cream triangles filled with luscious lemon curd and frosted with rich lemon mascarpone buttercream, cheesecake topped with fresh cream and strawberries.  It was a sugar orgy!

I also made a lovely fruited ice ring for the punch bowl in one of those rose shaped silicone moulds.  It turned out perfectly.  The punch was rather simple; frozen pineapple juice concentrate, peach nectar and Sprite.  While all the children hovered around the punch bowl, the adults were lined up at the back door waiting for more grown up libations.  I made so many pina coladas that I nearly burned the blender up!

A good time was had by all and in the end that is all that matters.  I've known the groom since he was about 5 or 6 years old.  His mother has been my dearest friend for about 25 years and it was such a pleasure to go up there and help with the party. 

I took about 150 photos in all and it is obviously not feasible to post them all but here are a few.

Beginning to set up...sorry the foods are covered but we were outside and the sternos were lit so everything would get hot before the crowd arrived.


  1. hi Jill

    so glad your back!!! It looks like you had one humdinger of a party!!! all the food looks great and I bet everything was a hit with those folks!! I'm not of a red meat eater anymore, but I would have gotten in line for that pulled pork, and of course the mac and cheese!! Now you have to show us a pic of that strawberry cake sliced its sooooooo big!!!!! that would have been my first choice followed by a few more of those lovely desserts! You would have had to roll me out of there!
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post with us!

  2. Thanks Dennis! It is so good to be home! My husband claims he has lost 20 pounds and is suffering from malnutriton but honestly...I don't see We had an AMAZING party..actually it was head over heels better than the reception (oops..did I say that?). I HAD a picture of the strawberry cake sliced but it was fuzzy so I deleted it. In truth, I was running around like a chicken keeping things filled and tending the buffet (keeping the kids from burning the gazebo down by knocking over the candles and sternos) that I didn't get as many pictures of the food as I would like to have gotten. I think most people left there with their arms held straight out beside them so we'd know if they were rolling or walking!

  3. Hey Jilly, all I have to say is you are a good friend-seriously. That looks like a lot of work, and the food looks wonderful. I also recently catered a small wedding, and I was exhausted afterwards too by the way. No one in my family ever really understands why, which makes it even harder ;)!
    p.s. As Samuel L Jackson said in Pulp Fiction 'I just don't dig on swine' either Jilly! *giggle* Sorry if I've used that one on you before. It makes me laugh every time I think of it. I say it to people who ask me with a lot of disdain or hostility why I'm a vegetarian or don't eat pork, etc (smile)...

  4. Welcome back:) What a beautiful party, everything looks so wonderful...I know what you mean about having to cook what others want, I can make some serious meat dishes:) P.S. you site is looking wonderful...

  5. What a wonderful party! They are a lot of work but the rewards are so worth it. Great job!!

  6. Thanks everyone! It was a lot of work but turned out great. My friend said she wished that they had asked me to do the reception as well but that was her parents deal. The caterer was abysmal...not one homemade dish on the entire buffet.

    Who was it that mentioned the blog...Alisha?? Thanks whoever it was...LOL Im too lazy to go back and read! I think Im just going to leave it like this. I like the simplified look...makes me think my old one was too busy. I love the red...think it makes the pictures stand out more. Now I just have to email foodbuzz editorial and have them send me a different sized ad code. THe banner one doesn't work with this layout.

  7. Oh and Stella...Pulp Fiction is a cult classic so I never get tired of the quotes!

  8. What an absolutely gorgeous event! Those cakes are just fantastic. I am glad you get some rest now.

  9. wow what an amazing event wow, lovely presented, and would love to be taste testing !!! Lots of work!

  10. Congratulations on a wonderful party and welcome back! I'm sure it feels good to be in your own home and your own kitchen again!

  11. What an amazing spread of food! Beautiful photos too. And pulled pork - one of my faves!

  12. Wonderful photos of a great event. The food looks fantastic.

  13. Hey Jillyann, good to have you back. Everything looks awesome. You are such a good friend to help with the event. It looks like a lot of fun but also a lot of work.

    BTW, I also like your blog's new look :)

  14. Sometimes there is nothing better than coming home. Your backyard party looks like such a success. I'm drooling over that dessert table...especially the cakes! Well done on it all :)

  15. Thanks everyone! I am on sugar overload...thats for sure!!


Wooohooo, yippeeee...I've got comments!

About Me

My photo
Fort Myers, Florida, United States