Cheat Day [cheet dey] – noun: The one day of the week where diet minded fitness freaks throw caution to the wind and indulge only on the most tantalizing, ridiculously calorie dense foods known to man. Often associated with the term, “carb hangover,” which occurs the morning after a particularly fruitful cheat day. Synonyms: Free Day, Fun Day, Fat Day

Sunday, August 28, 2011

State Shoot

So it's been a week since my first official catering gig, and I have to say, it went better than expected.  Of course, little Miss Negativity here figured that I was doomed to fail in a fiery explosion of burned miniature cupcakes and undercooked chicken.  But, to my knowledge, everyone left full, satisfied, happy, and sans food poisoning, so I'm pretty much a happy camper.  And after sampling everything at least seven times, I do have to toot my own horn a little.  On a budget of $500, I had to serve appetizers and desserts to the 200 people who signed up for the event (that's only $2.50 per person.)  I served four hot dishes, three appetizers, two cold dips, and six desserts, all of which turned out surprising edible.  So yeah, toot toot!  I rock.  Go me.

And then I celebrated by eating my weight in sashimi and downing enough beer to drunkenly follow my sister around a nice restaurant chanting "gong gong gong gong" until she succumbed to my not-so-subtle hints, rang the giant decorative gong, broke the mallet, and ran way. 

Were there any hiccups? Of course- that's my life.  I spent two solid days in my kitchen running around like a crazy woman which was only interrupted by me going to the store to forget ingredients (I went to Wal-Mart twice to get green peppers.  Guess how many green peppers went in the chicken salad.  None.  Fail.)  Pretty much everything I made took at least 4 times longer than I thought it would.  My gi-hue-normous tray of cookie bars got broken into by some over eager guests (for serious?)  I got a late start setting up due to the facilities not being ready, and people wanted to eat about an hour early.  Oh- and the kitchen was upstairs, and the buffet was downstairs, and I wore not-so-supportive shoes.

But it's DONE!  I officially did it.  It's behind me!  And I can officially focus on my new and upcoming baking adventures (erm, I might have signed myself up to create a dessert buffet for my friends wedding.  I have no idea how this happened.)

Some of these are new, some of these are old, but all of these have been consumed by the fine shooters that attended the Iowa State Shoot this year.  

Hot Dishes
Italian Meatballs:  I made ten recipes, totaling just under 200 total meat balls.

Barbeque Little Smokies:  Ok, these really aren't my thing- but you have to think of your audience.  And pathetically enough, these were the first thing to run out. I made six recipes, which should have been about 100 servings.

Cheese Dip:  I'm not too proud to admit that I eat Velveeta.  I made three recipes, which was about 75 servings.

Buffalo Chicken Dip with tortilla chips:  This was by far the biggest hit of the hot dishes.  Recipe below.  I made four recipes which makes about 100 servings.  
   2- 8oz. pkgs. cream cheese
   4 or 5 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
   2 cups cheddar cheese – shredded
   3/8 cup buffalo sauce (Franks is best)
   1 cup ranch dressing
   Mix and bake.  (Either in a crock put for a few hours, or at 350F until bubbly around the edges)

Cold Dishes
Dill Dip with vegetables: I made three batches which was about 50 servings.

Chicken Salad served open face on a roll: I made eight- yes eight- batches which should have been 100 servings, but was probably a lot more.  This stuff was amazing.  And there was no green pepper in any of it.  

Here are my proportions:
   14 green onions (a package)
    7 cups celery 
    8 packages (6oz) cranberries 
    30 cups baked, cubed and cooled chicken 
    4 cups pecans
    7.5 cups mayo
 Spices the same (eight times what is listed in the link above.) 

BLT Bites: These were incredibly popular and delish.  I made about 90 servings. 

Assorted Pinwheels:  I made 16 tortillas worth which was about 175 servings.

Texas Caviar with tortilla chips: I made two big batches, but with a lot of modifications, as follows.  

   1 big can of black beans 26.5 ounces
   2 cans of normal black eyed peas 
   1 can of jalapeno black eyed peas
   1 can of tomatoes 
   1 large onion
   2 jalapenos
   1 yellow pepper 
   Double the rest of all the other ingredients. 

Carmelitas:  My favorite thing of the day.  I made three batches, and cut very small pieces to have just under 150 bars.

Cookie Bars: I made two batches- pecan and dark chocolate chunk, and traditional chocolate chip.   

Miniature Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:  I made a single batch with no ganache, about 60 cupcakes.

Miniature Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream: I made a single batch with no ganache, about 60 cupcakes. 

Birthday Cake Popcorn: I made six batches, which would be about 100 servings.   


  1. Meri,

    You are amazing! I look forward to reading your posts. The food always looks divine, and your writing is humorous and enjoyable to read! Just wanted you to know that I enjoy it.

    Can't wait to see what you are up to next! :-)


  2. Thank you Krista! Roz mentioned that you were reading and I am glad you enjoy what I have to say. Really, it's been great for me to keep track of all my recipe adventures some place, and I enjoy writing about it (plus, it always serves as helpful advice on what NOT to do!!)