Last year about this time, I wrote about "The Seven Ps of Party Planning." So this is a little reminder to look at your calendar and pick your date for your holiday party, along with booking your chef. Do it now so you don't hear "I'm already booked for that date."
Friday and Monday were my annual guest chef appearances at Carson High School with Chef Penny Reynolds' culinary class.
We have had this demonstration before: "Sushi 101." Sushi meaning "vinegary rice"; sashimi means raw fish for those of you who have not ever tried it. In some cases, it is better not to try it - once you're hooked, it's all over.
When you do, make sure you go to a reputable restaurant. There are many to choose from in the area. However, it is always a hit. So when Chef Penny called and asked if I would return, of course I was delighted.
We sampled the different types of vinegars, soy sauce, raw sesame seeds and cooked sesame seeds, English cucumbers, nori (toasted seaweed sheets) and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) - with the warning it will make your eyebrows sweat.
I almost always teach the "virgin sushi eater" how to make the authentic sushi called Kappa Maki, which is a cucumber roll. It is very easy to eat, healthy and filling. My granddaughters, 6 and 10, have been eating this since they could eat solid food. The youngest one inhales the tobiko (small fish eggs) - my daughter wasn't too happy we got her addicted to Japanese caviar, except it is so good for you she really can't complain.
We also made a German chocolate cake. No, it is not from Germany, contrary to popular belief. The man who came up this recipe's name was "German."
I love this recipe from the first cookbook I remember getting from my mom. Just so you know, it's from 1975 Betty Crocker's cookbook, when they made things from scratch. It is very simple and sooooo good, a very light chocolate cake with a pretty heavy gooey frosting of coconut and pecans.
Also, happy birthday to Linda Marrone, whose birthday was Monday.
German Chocolate Cake
• 1Ú2 cup boiling water
• 1 bar (4oz) sweet cooking chocolate
• 1 cup butter room temperature
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 egg yokes
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 21Ú2 cups cake flour
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Heat oven 350 degrees. Grease three round 8- or 9-inch pans. Line with waxed paper. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate, stirring until it is melted; set aside to cool.
In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yokes, one at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, blend in chocolate and vanilla. Mix in flour, soda, and salt alternately with buttermilk, beating after each additional until batter is smooth. Fold in egg whites. Divide batter among pans. Bake 30-40 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger. Cool.
Fill layers and frost top of cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.
• 1 cup evaporated milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 egg yokes
• 1Ú2 cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 11Ú3 cup flaked coconut
• 1 cup chopped pecans
Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yokes, butter and vanilla in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick, about 12 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread.
n Michelle Palmer is a consultant and "chef for hire." She owns Artisan Eats in Carson City and Absolutely Michelle's in Reno. Reach her at www.absolutelymichelles.com or 849-2333.