Monday, November 22, 2010

Open House cooking!

I will start my chronicles of my cooking Homemade Gourmet with my first experience and that is my Open House. I made a menu of Taco Soup, Dip made with the Taco Soup mix, Texas Cornbread, and Cinnamon Sopapillas. I made these selections based on what I got in my starter kit (Taco Soup), what looked good paired with it (cornbread) and what I have been told is a great seller and just looked yummy (cinnamon sopapilla).
What I did not realize when I scheduled my open house is I would be busy until noon that same day. So this became a real test of the simplicity of the products! I started with gathering the ingredients to be sure I would not have a last minute run to the store (did I mention I was also busy the whole day before the party, and half the day before that). Once I knew I had everything together (Thursday night) I made my game plan. I decided I would do the Taco Soup (literally a dump and heat) the hour before the party started. The cornbread and the dip would somehow be made before I went to bed on Friday. Last the Cinnamon Sopapilla was put together the day before and cooked literally minutes before the party.
The cornbread was my actual first product I made. It was a very simple put the ingredients (eggs, milk, butter and the HG mix) in a bowl stir portion into the pan. I used mini muffin pans since this was for a tasting. Then cook. Simple! I will admit I overfilled the muffin cups, but that is no fault of the product just me. The mini muffin tins actually belong to my mother and grandmother and I don't borrow them too often so I don't know what "full" looks like on them. The cornbread still turned out great. I am not a huge cornbread fan, but these were moist and the right amount of sweet. I had no problem eating the leftovers!
Next on the list was the taco dip made out of the HG Taco Soup Mix. This was also very simple and I used the recipe on the back of the box. This calls for Taco Soup Mix (half a packet) Sour Cream, Salsa, Mayo and Cream Cheese. I dumped it all in a bowl and stirred. I then left it in the fridge overnight to set. I don't know about you, but I have a couple of dips that when I find them I can't stop eating them, this was one of mine! I am so excited to now have the recipe and it's simple!
I then prepared part of the Cinnamon Sopapillas. I lined my 9x13 with crescent rolls, mixed the HG Cinnamon Sopapilla Dessert Mix with one brick of cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat) and then topped with another tube of crescent rolls. I refrigerated this overnight.
When I got home at 12:15 (Open House starts at 1:00!) I started my taco soup. I dumped one can of corn, one can of tomatoes, one can of green chilies, one can of pinto beans and one can of water along with some precooked chicken I had sitting in the fridge and of course the HG Taco Soup Mix into the crock-pot and turned it on high. I did realize this would not heat it fast enough so I took a little more than half out to heat on the stove which took less than 15 minutes to a good warm temperature.
After dumping the taco soup together I melted some butter and mixed with the second packet from the HG Cinnamon Sopapilla Dessert Mix. I poured this on top of the 9x13 I had prepared the night before stuck it in the oven for 30 minutes and waited for the result.
Now if you aren't already impressed with the ease of making these things, I will tell you in my humble and honest opinion it was all really good! The Taco soup, which I am not typically a fan of was just right. I might add more beans next time and less chicken, but that's my preference. The cornbread as I stated before was just the right amount of sweet and moist. The dip was my problem all day I had to control my staying away from it! The cinnamon Sopapillas, well let my sales of that product speak for itself - of the 12 people who came to the open house 10 ordered some, the total order for the Sopapillas including 1 order that came from a friend at a Bible study the next day totaled 15. I would say they were a hit!
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