The party on Tuesday was a blast. I admit that the preparations were stressful, as I expected, but everything turned out eventually good.
I spent a lot of time brainstorming about what to cook and bake. I even made baking tests last weekend.
I thought it might be a good idea to serve special Christmas cakes. The individual chocolate yogurt cake recipe by David Lebovitz and my star-shaped baking form seemed exactly the right choice but it was too dry for my taste. Don’t blame it on the recipe though, I probably messed something up.
After that I decided to stick strictly to what I’ve already baked before. My greatest success was the cheesecake so last Saturday I went to buy all the ingredients and I got a little extra from everything so that I could make a small test first. I have this nice baking form from silicon with small Christmas tree shapes which I haven’t even used before and it was the perfect first time.
It tasted fantastic but it was just too much work and I even broke a few as I was taking them out of that baking form. The final best option was to bake the traditional round cheesecake.
On Monday all my colleagues mentioned what their wives/girlfriends will be bringing to the party. I couldn’t help but feel that I can’t show up only with a cake and I should also cook a main dish, like the others do.
We spent last New Year’s Eve with friends and one of the highlights of the evening was this extraordinary Coq au Vin served with gratin potato. Since then that delicious dish was constantly on my mind. I even bought Julia Child’s book Mastering The Art Of French Cooking but that was also because I saw the movie Julie and Julia. Nevertheless since I eventually didn’t go to the company’s Christmas party (long story), I looked up the recipe for Coq au Vin and we stopped to buy all the ingredients on the way home from work on Monday.
When the mood is right, I can have great fun in the kitchen. If the dish succeeds, then it’s even better (but if it fails, then just get out of my way!) So at 19 p.m. on a Monday evening I poured myself a glass of red wine, turned on the radio and danced my way into the kitchen.
I started with the cheesecake, quickly broke the biscuits into crumbs for the bottom, mixed it with butter and sugar and while it was baking in the oven, I prepared the cheesecake mixture.
As soon as I placed the complete cake in the oven, I started the Coq au Vin. The recipe is hard and it takes a lot of time but, believe it or not, my greatest difficulty was opening the bottle of wine and I tried for more than 15 minutes and also inflaming the cognac poured over the chicken because I was afraid that I’ll burn down the whole house. I kind of have a talent for such accidents.
Luckily my boyfriend arrived home just in time to do all those and he also cleaned the onions as a bonus.
At exactly midnight, the Coq au Vin and the cheesecake was done. I was exhausted but happy with the result.
The next day passed slowly in the office. I kept thinking about all those yummy dishes we’re going to have in the evening. I had a small and light lunch so that I can have a lot of place at the upcoming dinner party. I was really glad that I did because we have 9 courses!!!
Italian Cannelloni and Hungarian Hortobágyi pancakes:
French Coq au Vin:
Cheesecake and pancakes with marmalade:
This was a great party and everyone enjoyed the food, including what I prepared. My bad reputation is saved!