School potlucks and cakewalks
With the school year fully under way for my two kids, I have been spending time looking for recipes for a range of school events. Here are two new recipes I tried out last week.
The first recipe I tried was for a pumpkin carving party and potluck for my daughter’s kindergartener class. I had to go out of town for work right before the party so I needed to find a recipe that could be completely made two days in advance and then baked right before the event. I also wanted to make something that the kids and adults would both like. I settled on a baked pasta dish and found a recipe for Marja’s Mac-and-Cheese from Food and Wine. Marja is the wife of a famous celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and supposedly he likes this recipe so much he put it on the menu at one of his restaurants. The recipe is very easy to assemble in advance as the only thing to do is boil the pasta and then mix everything together. I put the ready to bake pasta in the refrigerator for two days and then baked it right before the party. It turned out great and it was almost completely eaten by the end of the party. Make sure you bake it in a 10 by 15 inch baking dish or at a minimum a 9 by 13 inch dish as one of the best parts of the mac and cheese if the cheesey top formed by the various cheese melted and browned together.
The second recipe I tried was for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes from Bakerella. I needed something for a cake walk contest and thought the cupcakes looked really fancy so they would get chosen right away. Like the recipe states, the cupcake batter is very liquidy so it is easier to pour in the batter than trying to spoon or scoop it into the muffin pans. The frosting was very easy to make but I had a hard time getting the two different kinds into the frosting bag side by side. I wound up with a lot of peanut butter frosting at the tip of the bag before I got the peanut butter coming out at the same time as the chocolate. Regardless of how the frosting mix came out, the big swirls of frosting looked really good and the women organizing the cake walk were both impressed when I dropped the cupcakes off. Bakerella also made peanut butter cookies for the top of the cupcakes but that was a little much for me so I just left them off. The frosted cupcakes were amazing all by themselves.