Saturday, August 29, 2009


I work with the college fellowship at my church and I create events that will offer the college kids a time to hang out every now again. (You know, to keep them off drugs and such. ;)) I've been doing this since I graduated from college in 2002. It's hard coming up with new ideas. BAKE IT DOWN 2009 was one of those ideas and it was a raging success!

It began with dinner. Feeding college-aged boys means that you're feeding twice as many people. Pasta was the only way to go. Special thanks for Yeeeee for helping me out greatly. We would not have eaten without her.

Our dinner menu:
Cubed, Hacked Caprese Salad
Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
Mixed Greens Salad
Mashed Potatoes

The result:
- Hacked Caprese Salad was good to me (I even made my own pesto), but I don't think it worked for my audience. Next time I'll kick up the seasoning a bit though.
- Chicken and Pastina was GREAT. Much love to Giada.
- Mashed Potatoes and Mixed Greens are in my usual repertoire so it was fine.
- Crostini: easy and tasty! Great when topped with caprese salad.

I knew in advance that it'd be harder to rally excitement if people had to think of their recipes and bring their own ingredients, so I chose the three recipes and brought all the ingredients. I made sure to choose things that would be easy because you never know where people with their baking skills. We are lucky enough to have a rec room downstairs with a full kitchen so along with the convection oven and the shoebox's oven, we had access to three ovens.

I printed out multiple copies of each recipe, folded them up into a bowl, and asked people to pick. (Random organization of teams were a good call, until a couple of boys migrated towards the cookies because they thought it'd be the "hardest to mess up." Apparently, it's not. ;))

Yeeeee got a KitchenAid mixer for her 16th birthday and brought it along to help. Love!

The recipes:
Classic Brownie (Team members: Tweedle Mo, Tweedle D, Geek Squad)

William Sonoma Chocolate Chip Cookie (Team members: Yeeeee, Timmy Bruin, KuKu, KaiYay)

Flower Cupcakes (Team members: Yippee, Eleven, The Man)

Floaters: Me, Energy, Mr. Single, K

The result:
- The Classic Brownie is SO VERY FABULOUS. Please go make your own batch now. And then send me a batch.
- The Chocolate Chip Cookie was overwhelmed by our creativity and gluttony. We defeated by doubling the dose of chocolate chips AND adding the walnuts. This is what happens when boys make cookies.
- Flower cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are also drool-worthy. Sweet with a touch of tart. (Though not everyone liked the tart - I thought they were grrrrrreat.)

During the downtime, we kept occupied with Bang and other activities. Mostly, the team baking made great conversation and everyone seemed to have fun. Overall, it was GREAT and when you have 14 people helping with clean up, it goes down pretty quickly. Officially check this one off as a SUCCESS. Thanks to everyone who came!