It's time for Troy Night Out again and for the past two days we've been running around like crazy getting ready. Caroline and Emily came in to hang their work in the rear gallery and everything looks amazing. The hamburger painting I talked incessantly about in past posts is hanging here with a N.F.S. sticker on it. Know why? Because it's MINE. Allllll MINE! Muahaha! On top of that, I've finally found the very best birthday gift ever for my friend Nabua and I know she's just going to love it. I know she doesn't read this blog so it's safe to talk about. Check it:
Anyway, both girls' prices are extremely reasonable for matted/framed work, and Emily is selling mounted prints for a song. Very cool. Both gals just graduated from The College of Saint Rose art department, my Alma mater and former stomping ground. I made them swear that certain faculty members weren't made aware of their show here simply because my class was chock full of trouble makers and I just know any run-in with the faculty would be, uh, let's just say it would be awkward. Eek!
On the menu this time around:
Caramelized onion dip (this ball and chain of mine is getting mighty heavy)
Sundried Tomato dip (a gigantic hit during last month's TNO)
Smoked Salmon dip (a new dip to try)
Stuffed Peppadew peppers (without the bacon this time around)
Chocolate and vanilla mini cupcakes
Caroline's chocolate chip cookies (I'm dying to try these ever since she told me she makes them with coconut and crunchy Chinese noodles)
Assorted fruit breads
Gigantic fudge brownies
Believe it or not, this is a toned down menu from last time, but I was so overwhelmed, and honestly I feel like I'm feeding the masses when I make so much food. We had people walking in just to eat last month (some people didn't even know where they were and most didn't even look at the merchandise), and while I know that's unavoidable, it's a bit on the annoying/disturbing side. Gotta love people! I've been given the green light by my insurance company to sell my dips (at the request of many customers last month) but I still don't have a mini fridge here yet, so maybe next time. Something tells me that selling dips will help out during the slow season. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, before I end this post, I want to give the recipe for the caramelized onion dip. Someone asked me for it a few posts ago and I totally forgot to share it. Sorry about that. This recipe is one of Ina Garten's and I'm writing this out off the top of my head because I've made this so many times. Her recipe might differ a bit, but this is how I make it every time:
***this is for a single batch***
3-4 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 stick butter, salted
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 brick cream cheese (at room temp)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and begin stirring. Because of the high heat, it's important to keep stirring the onions frequently to prevent uneven browning or burning. Add a decent size pinch of salt and pepper (to taste), and the cayenne pepper (add more if you like things spicy) and stir well. Allow the onions to cook over this temperature for 10-15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 10-15 minutes. This time period might seem excessive, but the longer they cook, the better they'll taste...trust me. Once the cooking time is done, remove the pan from the heat and allow the onions to cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese well. Add the mayo and sour cream and mix to combine. Add the onion mixture (oil and all) into the bowl and slowly mix until fully combined. The onions should be cooled all the way, but if not, it's okay. Allow the dip to chill for several hours. I like to make mine the night before it will be eaten. Allow it to sit out of the fridge for a little while before serving.
I hope you guys like the dip. It's super easy to make, especially in larger batches. People LOVE it, almost too much, I guess. I served it at my Grand Opening and the mayor was so impressed he made it a point to praise me for it. Weird. I wish I could take credit for how wonderful it is.
Anyway, this post has become entirely too long. I'll end it now. Coming soon, though, will be a link for an article I was interviewed for by a local newspaper. They took my picture today. You know how much I hate that.