Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Cooking

The Fall Season and especially Thanksgiving are my favorite time of year. The days finally turn crisp and cool, making it okay to spend a whole day inside cooking and baking! Some friends of mine have started a tradition of celebrating the holiday a weekend early by gathering friends, trying to recreate our family favorite and enjoying some much needed alcohol.

Since the dinner wasn't taking place at our house I offered to make some sides, desserts and rolls. I scoured all my recipe books, cookbooks and the internet to find some exciting recipes. Little did I know this would take me all day to create.

I started the day off with my best friend, a hot cup of coffee with milk and splenda. My all time fave. I try to pretend its a starbucks latte...

I'm pretty lucky to have this new gourmet kitchen at our house. This is my view from where I work, I love it.

I started with the easiest of my creations. the cranberry sauce. I had two bags of fresh canberries from Trader Joe's. I added some water, sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice and grated orange peel.

As I was cooking this I added some peeled and chopped granny smith apples. I tried to add them during the process so they would keep some of their crunch. Along with cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and cloves. Tried to make it a little spicy!

Then I turned to my biggest challenge, my first time trying to create traditional stuffing from scratch. I used a sourdough, sausage and apple stuffing recipe that I found on epicurious. I'll put this at the bottom of the post.

While working on my cranberry sauce I made the rustic sourdough croutons for the stuffing.

Then cut up some of my ingredients for the stuffing. I feel like I read the recipe twenty times throughout the day because there were lots of steps!

Chopping the sage brought a great aroma to the kitchen. It is so spicy smelling, if that makes sense?

I browned the sausage in my favorite pot. This was passed down to me from my Great Aunt Geri, I love using it, it's so durable and it makes me feel good everytime I use thinking of her. Another thing I love to cook with is my grandma's two handed potholder that she made. She used this all the time, my Mom gave me this last year and I cherish it. It brings back so many memories from childhood.

Once the sausage was removed I browned the vegetables. It smelled so yummy.

This was the remnants of the pumpkin bread I had just made the day before. I was so glad I made it because it was what my boyfriend had to eat all day since I was a little preocuppied. It was a good thing he had a new project in garage he was working on, left me and the kitchen to ourselves!

Then I added the sausage and vegetables to the croutons, looked amazing already.

From there I added the chicken stock and eggs and baked for over an hour.

After that marathon thought I was done but I still had pie and rolls to make! I used my old trusty kitchenaid pie crust recipe that uses 2 1/4 cup flour, 2 tbs chilled butter, 3/4 cup shortening and ice water. whip it in the kitchenaid and its easy as pie!

I like to use sugar pumpkins, thankfully I had roasted and mashed a small sugar pumpkin the day before so that was one less thing I had to do. It turned out looking great.

And last but not least the homemade rolls. I was bummed I couldn't find the recipe I used last year that were the best rolls ever. But these were a close second.

And done!! It looked alot darker in this picture because it was dark outside!! It was a fun day and I'm ready to celebrate all over again with my family.

Here the recipe I used for the stuffing if you'd like to try! Enjoy!

1 1 1/2-pound loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 13 cups)
2 pounds bulk pork breakfast sausage
2 large onions, chopped (about 4 generous cups)
2 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
6 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Granny Smith apples (about 28 ounces)
3/4 cup golden raisins (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large eggs


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bread to very large bowl. Sautésausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with back of fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes. Add onions and celery to drippings in skillet; sautéuntil golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread-sausage mixture (do not clean skillet). Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread mixture; mix in raisins.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage; stir 30 seconds. Add sage butter to bowl with bread-sausage mixture; toss to blend. Season stuffing with salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk broth and eggs in medium bowl; add to stuffing and toss to mix. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake stuffing uncovered until top is golden and crisp in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sunset Magazine Savor Weekend

...We have been so busy the last few months with the catering business, it always shocks me that our busiest time of the year always seems to be fall, not christmas, but that works for us. Bonnie Marie's Catering was recently invited to be involved in an exciting event for our community, Sunset Magazine put on an event called Savor the Central Coast in which they celebrated everything that the central coast of California has to offer.

It was alot of work, I'm not going to lie, but working with such a big publication was an amazing opportunity. We cooked breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning consisting of a menu that the magazine provided us, it was a little different than what we would have done ourselves, but it turned out great just the same. Preparing a gourmet breakfast for 175 people to be ready at 8:30in the morning only means one thing....getting up at 3:00 am! ouch.

This is Bonnie and I leaving her house before 4:00 am on Saturday  morning. Wouldn't be that big of a deal to just roll out of bed and head to start cooking at the shop, but we had to look presentable, ahh! To meet with the editors, Katie Tamony and Margot True, you can't look like a hot mess...so needless to say blowdrying hair and putting on make up in the middle of the night was new for me.

Preparing the Sunset menu took a little time! Cooking 40lbs of bacon, making over 200 biscuits by hand, grilling polenta rounds and last but not least poaching 200 eggs....all running on a constant caffeine drip. But the final product was worth all the hard work, it looked beautiful.

Beginning of the buffet. We searched and searched for cute enough chalkboard for our menu, when at the last minute Bonnie spray painted an old rusty tray she had picked up at an antique store with our handy chalkboard paint. It was the perfect touch for our rustic yet gourmet breakfast.

Bonnie's "chalkboard" Project. It is great to be able to use something in such an unusual way...she's so crafty

The centerpiece containing of local produce used in the meal. Those beautiful heirloom tomatoes and fresh eggs are from our neighbor Sue Andros. Her amazing garden provided us with so much for this breakfast.

Bonnie even squeezed in time to make some amazing preserves for the breakfast including strawberry-basil, fig and native peach. We also showcased local honey from Rock Basin Vineyards here in Margarita. People loved it!

The Assistencia at the historical Santa Margarita Ranch hosted this event. It looked beautiful and it was so different working in the morning there, we are so used to night time events in the barn.

Bonnie, owner of our business, on stage with the editor Katie Tamony. Bonnie is wearing one of our vintage aprons we created especially for this event for the whole crew to wear. So much work, but looked great.

After this whole weekend it was just back to work and onto the next project...never ends

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dunbar Brewery Beer Pairing Dinner

Just last night we catered our third annual five course beer pairing dinner for our local pub Dunbar Brewery in Santa Margarita. It is so fun to cater these because we work closely with the owner, Chris, on creating the menu and someone actually gives us creative liberty, its awesome!! It is also nice because they've kept it small, around 20 people, so we get to create unique and fun food for a small number.

We pair each course with a handcrafted ale, oftentimes it is paired, but we also try to use the beer in sauces or marinades, etc. An amazing recipe we've come up with it to make our own homemade beer ice cream, it is so yummy. Here are some pics from the night, below you'll also find the recipe to our own homemade beer ice cream for you to try out!

Bonnie's Hot and Sour Soup

Handcrafted Pulled Pork Sliders
with homemade bbq sauce and coleslaw
served with freshly made pickles from the
Santa Margarita Ranch Garden

Fresh Pizza topped with goat cheese, marinated artichoke hearts
and chipotle goat sausage with a crisp salad topped with zuchinni slices

Rose's Blueberry Pound Cake topped with
homemade beer ice cream

Rose's Homemade Beer Ice Cream Recipe

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 large dark beer (40 oz. or more, a darker beer with heavier flavor works best)

1. Reduce beer on stovetop by simmering slowly and at first adding a little bit of sugar. This will take time, it reduce and the flavors will instensify.
2. mix eggs, sugar and milk in a blender. then add the cream, vanilla and reduced beer that has cooled. whip all together.
3. pour into ice cream machine and will usually take about 20 minutes to a half hour

This is great for adult celebrations of any kind!!

It's time to recuperate before our next big event in Paso Robles next week. Bonnie and I stopped by the local and amazing fabric store, Birch, and picked up some great fabric to start some new projects. Going to try and squeeze it all in.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bobbins and Buffets

Welcome to Bobbins and Buffets! We are two sisters, Bonnie Loftus and Rose Bardin, juggling the pressures of everyday life including new motherhood, running a successful catering business, Bonnie Marie's Catering, and also creating a new line of handmade accessories and children's clothing on etsy.com, Bobbins and Beagles.

Growing up in Northern California on our family's ranch we were surrounded by amazing agriculture, wildlife and family. So it just made sense when my older sister Bonnie started her own catering business cultivated by her love of good, fresh food. This has grown into a blossoming business with our own store and kitchen in Santa Margarita, California. All the while, we haven't forgotten our craftiness passed down from our grandma and began to create handmade crocheted items, accessories, jewelry and children's clothing and launched our line on etsy.com.

All of this means one thing, our lives aren't boring at all!! We hope that you enjoy learning about our daily ventures and projects as much as we do.

Daily you'll find tips, projects, recipes, pictures,stories and just about whatever is going on in our lives! You can find our handmade accessories at http://www.bobbinsandbeagles.etsy.com/. Here are a few of the first items!

Midnight Blue Twilight Rosette Necklace