Most of the boxes have been unpacked, at least the important ones. We can all find our clothes, our toothbrushes, the cereal in the morning, and the milk. We even get junk mail already, so we must be settled in enough to have friends and family over for a little get together.
Thankfully our new home is a "bit" bigger than our old one, so fitting 40 or so people in was not a problem, we had lots of room for everyone. Including the pile of boots and coats that come with a winter party!
But what would a party be without including my blogging friends as well? It would be a party without good food, that's what it would be! So I invited you all over to come join us in celebrating our new home.
Here are some of the goodies that fellow bloggers brought to the party, such wonderful "housewarming" presents!
Fellow Daring Baker, and an amazing writer, Kelly from Sass & Veracity brought us a divine looking Orange and Almond cake, or Sformato di Aanci.
You can find her entire feast, a family dinner, ending with this lovely cake, here.
Kelly is right, where food and family are concerned, the more the merrier!
Newish to the blogging world, and new to me, is the blog Zaayeka, hosted by Navita over in Hong Kong. Boy the blog world is small, that someone would come to help us celebrate all the way from Hong Kong!
Zaayeka means Taste, according to Navita, and with this Creole Baby-Mac Salad with Coriander Viniagrette, she's right! I love the flavor combinations in this salad and wish I had bowl right now.
Enough of this healthy-ness for now, though, let's get back to the sweets!
How about some decadent brownies, with caramel? Oh yes, two of lifes joyful flavors, together in one scrumptious dessert! Oh yes, I like those flavors together.
So I am very thankful that Tart Reform brought some for me to the party!
I wonder if I put some of these in my children's lunch boxes, would I get a "mother of the year" award from my boys, or a "please don't send these to school again" from the teachers? Or maybe a "only send these to the teachers" note instead. Yum, yum, yum!
Chocolate and caramel cannot make the world go round, no matter how much we might want it to. No, indeed, for that, we need bread!
How about this wondeful looking bread, an Oatmeal bread, made with fresh yeast and love, just for me, from my good friend Mary! Mary who has been so patient with me, teaching me long distance how to make her signature sour dough, and is godmother to my starter, Marvin.
I'm so glad Mary included the amount of dry yeast needed to make this bread in her post, since I have yet to see fresh yeast anywhere and would like to make this bread. As soon as I buy some steel cut oats. And whole wheat flour. I'm out of both, how did that happen?
Feeling full yet? No? Good, because there is more delicious items to come.
When I sent out my invitation for the party, I let all my fellow Daring Baker's know that I would welcome their variations of the January challenge to the party. I knew it would be tuiles, they knew it would be tiules, but lots of people didn't know it would be tuiles and I'm sure their curiosity was peaked by that invitation.
Well fellow Daring Baker Deeba, from Passionate About Baking, took me up on the offer and brought some gorgeous tuiles to the party! For some very drool-worthy pictures, go visit Deeba, and tell her I said hi!
Just don't go with an empty stomach, or if you are on a diet. You'll be hungry, fast!
Here, have a seat....
This is going to be such a lovely place to sit in the summer time, in the cool of the shade, with a book.
Not so much right now, with the snow on it.
I can picture myself sitting there, reading a book, enjoying one of these bacon, ramp and mushroom swirls, brought to the party by my friend Jasmine. Her oven, affectionately known as Beelzebub, must have decided to behave for her so she could bring these for us all to enjoy.
Jasmine and I sometimes have a similar cooking style, putting something together we like, and then afterwards saying, "Recipe? I was supposed to have a recipe?" Fortunately for us, Jasmine was able to mostly remember what went into these, and what she did to make them.
I had the good fortune to meet up with Jasmine last summer, in a whirlwind tour of breakfast and shopping in downtown Toronto, and look forward to being able to meet up with her again - Jasmine, you want to come explore the market with me downtown in Ottawa this summer?
I wish I could extend this same invitation to another blogger friend, Meeta, who brought this scrumptious looking Tarte d'Alsace to the party all the way from Germany. Alas, Germany is a bit far away to have a fun food and shopping day here in Ottawa.
Meeta doesn't know it yet, but she's my Indian food guru, who I will turn to if I have a question about an Indian dish, such as her chicken Tika Masala that I made a few weeks back (and just realized I haven't blogged about yet - so many yummy dinners, so little blog time!)
Thank you so much, Meeta, for bringing this tart. I think I will not share this with my children, who likely would not appreciate it anyways.
Speaking of not appreciating, here is one I wouldn't even have to hide from my oldest son, who dislikes mushrooms, though he has never really tried them to have that opinion. I, however, love mushrooms, so I was thrilled when Sara brought me some grilled Teriyaki Mushrooms! My inner Hobbit was jumping up and down with joy, tasty mushrooms for me!
And Sara, don't worry, there are still boxes left to unpack, there are rooms to paint, smoke detectors to replace, oh, a looooooong list of things to do (and hardware departments to visit), so you have lots of time to unpack your last boxes!
One of the benefits of blogging in the foodie community is the "friends" you make, all through sharing food and experiences in the kitchen. During this last year I have been fortunate to make a few more friends through my blog, one of which is my pal Megan of My Baking Adventures, and her cooking children, Sabrina and Alex. Her children have actually set a lovely example to my own Alex (the oldest), and have inspired him to get into the kitchen as well. But not to make these tasty fried mozzarella balls, I get to make these, since I am not ready to set him loose with a deep fryer yet.
Though it is his birthday coming up, and he has decided I need to buy a deep fryer for myself for his birthday, so I can make him lots of mozzarella balls. And beer battered fish and chips. He's a boy who knows what he likes, isn't he?
Back to the sweets, how about this amazing looking treat, brough to us from the other side of the world, the upsidedown side, Australia!
Steph has taken a few things I love, and combined them in one decadent bite: a Dorie Greenspan recipe and chocolate. Sorry, not just chocolate, but Quintuple Chocolate! That's FIVE chocolates in one square, alot of chocolate.
Do these not look simply amazing?
Oh my, oh my, oh my, what a way to end a party....
Oh wait, I've forgotten something!
How about my own dish! I can't have a party without making something good and tasty for all my friends, can I?
Seeing how much I love chocolate, and caramel, okay, and butter and cream..., it will probably come as a bit of a surprise to see that I did not make a dessert, but instead a soup. Alot of soup. Enough to feed an army.
It is cold outside, and has been for awhile, so I wanted something warm and hearty, to welcome my guests and make them feel all toasty inside. Which is why I chose the Barefoot Contessa's Cheddar Corn Chowder.
I admit, small lapse in judgement on my part - doubling a recipe that makes enough for 10-12 people was probably too much soup. But it did give me enough to send some home with family, and still have some for dinner the next night.
And, to be really honest, I also forgot to add the cheddar to the soup. And the half and half cream. I know, how could I forge those items? Easily - and you know, it didn't matter, it was still a very good soup! I served it from my big crock pot, with garnishes of green onions, bacon and cheddar cheese. So the cheese made it into the soup, just not the way the recipe was written.
Cheddar Corn Chowder
from the barefoot contessa cookbook, pae 74-75
8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric (I didn't add this either)
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled
10 cups corn kernels, 10 ears fresh or 3 pounds frozen, I used frozen
2 cups half an half (or not)
1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (again, or not, or saved for a garnish)
In a large stock pot on medium high heat, cook the bacon in olive oil until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and save for topping the soup with later.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and the butter to the bacon fat, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper (and tumeric, if using), and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bringing the mixture to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the frozen corn to the soup, stirring well. If using the cream and cheddar, add both to the soup, cooking fo 5 more minutes so the cheese can melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot with bacon (and cheese).
Note: If you don't add the cream and cheese, this soup heats up very well the next day.
Thank you all so much for coming to our housewarming party! I hope you enjoyed yourself. Please feel free to come visit us again.