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Monday, March 18, 2013

Chili Cookoff Roundup Photos

Let's start with the desserts.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest.  I ordered the cheesecake pans on line from Sur la Table.  The pans are deep cupcake sized and have 12 cups.  But, they have a metal disk at the bottom of each cup.  When your treat is finished baking and cooling, you simply push up the metal disk from the bottom of the pan, and up pops a finished cheesecake.  I bought two pans, so that I could make 24 at a time.  Since the office parties usually require me to make 48 treats at a time, I found that I need two more pans.  When reading the recipe, I realized you need to let the cheesecakes cool, then refrigerate them for a minimum of 4 hours.  The next step was to put whipped cream on top of each one.  I found out from Pinterest that you can make cream that stays firm by doing the following recipe:  1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon confectionery sugar,  1 tablespoon of vanilla instant pudding powder.  I doubled this recipe for a pint of cream.  It covered 24 cheesecakes.  Those are tiny Oreo cookies on the top.  


Since a part of this blog is about trying things I've found on Pinterest, when I saw a photo of these strawberry shortcakes on skewers, I really wanted to try them.  These are not picture perfect, but of the 48 I made, there were zero left.  I decided to put them in these little cups the office supplies for easy grabbing.  I made Bisquick dough with sugar in it.  One batch made 48 treats because you are cutting the dough with a 1 and 1/2 " circle cutter.  Michael's sells these.  The grocery store actually sells the extra long tooth picks.  The directions called for you to cut the tip and bottom off of each strawberry.  Then you are to slice the strawberry middle section into two pieces.  I soaked the strawberry slices in sugar water, but because I had to do things ahead of time, they soaked for about 4 hours.  This made them too mushy.  But, they tasted and looked great.

I also found these horse cake pop directions on Pinterest.  I hesitated making oval cake pops for awhile.  I worried that they would fall off the sticks while dipping in chocolate.
They did not.  I always clear a whole shelf in my refrigerator to keep a baking tray full of pops while I am dipping them.  When they stay cold,  there is less likelihood of them falling off their sticks.  I dipped the sticks in chocolate and put them in the cake pops in the refrigerator to set up.  I had two corrals of ponies or about 40 from one cake mix and 1/2 can frosting.  I used chocolate chips and ready made candy eyes (which Michael's sells).

You put those on while the chocolate is still wet.  While they were drying on two rectangular styrofoam sheets, I made up my egg white/cream of tartar/vanilla and confectionery sugar recipe of frosting.  I learned from my Olivia the Pig disaster to add a teaspoon of confectionery sugar to each bowl of frosting I am adding food color to--even paste food coloring.  So, I added just enough brown to make the horse mains.  I used my grass decorating tip (it has lots of tiny holes) and held the bag up in the air over the cake pop pony.  The frosting dropped in strands between the ears and down the back.  Then I colored another bowl of frosting with orange.  I used a standard hole decorating tip to make the circle around the mouth.  Then I just piped the side striped to the back of the ears. 
                         
 I found a clipart of a corral.  I printed it front and bac, glued the pieces together, and pinned them to the styrofoam.  I put my green paper through my double shredder to make the grass.
I used three different cowboy clipart pieces to make this guy.  I had planned for him to be mounted on a big piece of cardboard to greet guests, but the staff liked him on this column in the main lobby.  Here is out accountant posing with him.



My husband wanted the eight large cows I ordered online (5' tall each) up on the edges of the half walls.  The rest are marching down the main hall.  The clients thought this was hysterical.  

          


 Here are two of the window graphics to show you how much character they add to the theme.

Every roundup needs a covered wagon.  I used this one I found on Etsy.com as a centerpiece for the long table I set up for guests to take a "sit down" break.


This is Aunt Polly.  She is holding her basket of vegetables.  She is a centerpiece that lets you know that the chili on this table was meatless.
I made her from four different cliparts.  Here she is if you ever need her.


Here is our band.  They followed through and played my favorite round up song--the theme from an old western series entitled "Rawhide."    We gave away colored cowboy hats as favors this year.  The green ones were the most popular because the party was only days away from St. Patrick's Day.  It would have been fun to have you see the crowds at the party, but I am always too busy working it to take pictures.  If you'd like to grab the graphics for your own round up, they are on a previous post.



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