Wow, what a long day. I gotta think back hard to this morning!!
I arrived at work and joined my coworker for a drive to the elementary school where we were working a reception. We didn’t have many details about what to expect.
When we arrived, Jim, a supervisor and chef in child nutrition, told me I was running the show!! We had a looooong list of foods to prepare – plus set up and decor and only about TWO HOURS to pull it all off!! The snow days had left less preparation than ideal.
First step: don a hairnet
Begin to lay things out..
Roll up flat-out wraps
Cook marsala sauce
Jim, Lisa and I worked nonstop until showtime and it turned out to be a really pretty event for…..Joy Jenkins, the Northwest Region Teacher Of The Year! I could tell by all the emotions in the room that she is quite a rockstar teacher 🙂
Here’s a list of the foods that we served (which I had already conveniently typed up because I had to do a plan around an event for my internship checklist!)
- Assorted deli meat tray
- Warm rolls (Herb, Poppyseed, Sesame, Plain)
- Mustard and Mayonnaise
- Assorted cheeses and crackers (pepperjack, Colby, havarti dill and cheddar with Triscuits and Wheat Thins)
- Vegetable platter (celery, carrot, broc, cauliflower, olives, pickles) with homemade ranch dip
- Mixed nuts
- Chicken poppers
- Mini quiche
- BBQ meatballs
- Chicken marsala with fettuccini
- Hot dog in a buns
- Fresh fruit tray (kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple)
- Finger sandwich pinwheels (3 kinds – red pepper, provolone + turkey, cheese spread + salami, cheese and ham)
- Assorted cookies and pastries
- Pink Punch
- Coffee + hot chocolate
- Chocolate spoons
- Congrats cake
[And if you’re wondering, no this was not all cafeteria food and this was not the planned school lunch menu for the day! The child nutrition dept. is also the school catering dept and Jim does a fantastic job coming up with menus and recipes 🙂 ]
Loved Lisa’s touch of the flowers throughout instead of in a vase 🙂
I really LOVE catering. The food as artwork, the displays, watching people oodle at the food choices.
But I really do not love having to wait to the very end to eat. I was Starving with a capital S when noon rolled around and everyone had left and all the kids had passed through the cafeteria. Luckily we had lots of food left!
I employed "pick your battle" strategy and had some of what I wanted most: marsala + noodles, a bratwurst (added item), a huge pile of veggies, 4 pinewheel rollups, a crack, 3 tastes of cheese, a cookie and a small end piece of that cake!!
And mmmmmmm fruit! I thought to put it in a cup so I could leave room on my plate for cake 🙂
My coworkers gave me a hard time about eating the cake, but I don’t think they know that I LIVE for FROSTING! I went back for one more small rectangle – so two small = one average (see below on this detail).
Lisa and I each enjoyed a chocolate spoon while cleaning up!
I got in a lot of exercise today – swept the whole cafeteria myself!
However, not an hour later I realized how OFF I felt. I didn’t feel like I ate that much sugar, but I felt all the classic effects of too much: woozy, lethargic, couldn’t focus. It was nuts and I do not want to eat cake again! Gimme vegetables.
Clearly another sign I probably ate too much (but again, I didn’t feel like I did! I think my body is just off sugar or something?) was that I didn’t really want to eat all afternoon. No hunger for a snack what-so-ever.
I had planned on taking today off of exercise anyways, so it was good timing to feel kind of blah.
Matt and I had to walk to the grocery store for an egg to put into dinner, so the 20 minutes outside actually did make me feel better.
We walked in the RAIN for that egg!!
Thanks to Foodbuzz‘s Tastemaker Program, we had a coupon for that egg too!
A tastemaker taste of Eggland’s Best. According to the materials that joined my coupon:
"The Best Just Got Better"
Compared to regular eggs, Eggland’s Best contains
- 4 times the Vitamin D
- 75% more Vitamin B12
- 10% more Riboflavin
- 50% more Vitamin A
- 25% less saturated fat
- 3X the omega-3s
That’s a pretty nutritious egg!
Tonight was another one of Matt’s Husband Soups (he was assigned to cook a soup once a week while I’m interning)
Hot + Sour Tofu Soup
Tonight’s soup came from this cookbook, which we bought at Barnes & Noble in 2005 when we moved into our first apt. It’s a great one and the recipes really are very easy:
can can’t read that!
The soup was awesome. We didn’t have corn starch (or arrowroot) so he thickened it with AP flour instead and it worked really well. I cannot believe how much this tasted like a real hot + sour soup!! And the big chunks of tofu were incredible. I don’t know why they say tofu has a bad texture – the texture is my favorite part!!! Topped with some sriratcha…
I put a cherry in my water to match my cherry blossom bowl!
We are actually expecting ICE again tomorrow!!! CA-RAZY! And I didn’t get much sleep last night because Matt was at a homebrew club meeting and came home late, so I’m going up to read in bed now and hopefully fall asleep before 9:00.
Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) says
Looks like such a fun time!! I worked in foodservice for a litlte while, and enjoyed it too…although we didn’t prepare anything HALF as fancy as you guys. Everything looks wonderful! 😀
Oh my goodness all that food looks so good! I would love to get to eat all those leftovers!
Mara @ What's for Dinner? says
That’s an amazing spread for a fabulous teacher!!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says
That’s an incredible spread! I love the idea with the FlatOut wraps – we eat them all the time!
Heather @ Side of Sneakers says
Wow what a spread!!
Janna (Just Flourishing) says
That display looks wonderful! Good job!
Hot and sour soup is my favorite. Same with my boyfriend’s. Thanks for (not) sharing the recipe 😉
Jessica @ The Process of Healing says
Wow what a day! But it actually looks fun to me. Hard but fun and rewarding!!!
Your coworkers gave you a hard time about the cake?! What’s life without cake every once in a while? I would’ve had some too. Icing is God’s gift to mankind (one of them). Sign me up 🙂
Dinner looks yummy!!!
I’m crossing my fingers that we don’t get a big ice event. It’s already sleeting and snowing though 🙁
Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope says
How fun Kath! That menu sounds so amazing!
They gave you a hard time about eating cake after they ate donuts yesterday….?
Lisa @bakebikeblog says
Kath- what a wonderful post – thanks for sharing! That lunch spread looks fantastic! YOu did a great job 🙂
Sam (Merit to the Carrot) says
Wow! What a day!! The spread looks fantastic, good work 😉 You and Matt whipped up a fantastic looking supper too!
Enjoy a nice, long night of rest!
Wow, that spread looks amazing!
Shannon (The Daily Balance) says
wohooooo! you sure accomplished a lot! everything looks awesome!
Food Makes Fun Fuel says
I love your plate–gotta make sure it’s all tasty 🙂
DAVE FARMAR QUESTION! for kath or any other followers-
has anyone used his podcasts off of the website “podcastdirectory.com”? i have only used itunes so far but am looking for some new classes and am a little worried about the recording quality?
I have not used that – I go to DaveFarmar.com
Estela @ Weekly Bite says
I WANT THAT CHOCOLATE SPOON!!
What a great spread! 🙂
Danielle (Coffee Run) says
Omg all these pictures of beautiful food are making me hungry!
Nicole, RD says
Looks like an awesome event at the school — and delicious!!!!
Annie @ stronghealthyfit says
That soup looks delicious! I love tofu, and my husband recently went from despising it to loving it so that makes me very happy!!
I can’t eat cake like that anymore- it makes me feel sick too! I used to love stuff like that, I could eat the frosting by the spoonful. Now I pretty much only eat cake on my birthday, and it’s always homemade. I blogged about my birthday cake this year, which was made by my mom and actually has creamy tofu frosting, you might like it!
Going there now!
Madeline @ Greens and Jeans says
You are such a busy bee! That spread looks fantastic!
melissa (fitnessnyc) says
stunning spread for a school especially! nice job running the show. and thanks for always being so honest and reflective on the blog. very sorry I missed you in nyc. I may be in south carolina at some point, so maybe I can pop over.
Kaite@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle says
I was impressed with the spread in the AM post and I’m even more impressed that you were in charge of it all!! Everything looks gorgeous- great presentation!
I would have such a hard time waiting to eat while sitting around all that food!
lynn (The Actors Diet) says
what a spread! i often think i would enjoy doing catering/prepping.
Lauren @ eater not a runner says
Wow quite the spread! Hope you get a good nights sleep 😉
I’ve never understood people disliking tofu’s texture! It’s so creamy.
Aha, I love those chocolate spoons.
i am definitely going to make that soup sometime soon!
quick question: who pays for these lavish spreads? it’s great to reward the teachers, but i kind of hope they don’t take it out of the school budget for the kids…
I believe the school board does, but I hardly thing a nice reception for a hard-working and well deserving teacher is a bad cause.
Run Sarah says
Wow, the spread looks amazing! I love the idea of homemade tofu soup, I’ve never tried it!
My favorite cookies have always been the Schoolboy ones mm mm mm
What a day!! I am SUCH a frosting girl as well – sorry it got you feeling a little off though.. desserts should make you feel happy not ill!
Great job on the presentation 🙂 Those wraps look delectable, and I love how they’re bite-size.
It looks like you’re having a lot of fun in food service! We just started our clinical rotations in my dietetics program — I think you’ll enjoy it when you start yours 🙂
I think I will too 🙂
Heather (Heather's Dish) says
what a great spread! i love the chocolate-dipped spoons…SOOOOOO good in coffee!
The soup looks amazing. I’m jonesing for snow peas now.
Ha! your soup looks awesome. On another note, I saw the pigs in a blanket, and thought, please Kath, pick one of those….JUST ONCE. Alas, I didn’t see one on your plate. You have a will of IRON. Bravo! 🙂
lol I thought that too!
I am not tempted by those at all!!
Mama Pea says
What if I told you you could make icing/ganache (sugar) out of tofu (bean curd)?! 😉 🙂 😉
Then I would say let’s make it and eat the whole batch!
Wow! That spread is FANTASTIC!
Hot and sour soup has got to be one of my absolute favourites! Also, if I went to an office party that had baby pickles, raw cauliflour, and chocolate spoons, I don’t think I’d ever want to cahnge jobs, ever.
Kath, wow! Congratulations on putting that all together in such a short span of time! Amazing!! It is absolutely gorgeous!
That lunch spread looked delish!!! I love flatouts!!! And that cookie you had le petit ecolier – it’s French, and they are so good!!!
You’re awesome Kath – every blog post you make never fails to brighten my day/night 🙂
I especially love reading in the morning and seeing the characters in your coffee 😉
Keep up the great work – and what a BEAUTIFUL spread!
Thanks Meg 🙂 I needed the pick-me-up today 🙂
Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) says
Everything looks scrumptious! What a busy — but hopefully fun — day.
It all looks great kath!!
Jenn (www. j3nn.net ) says
That soup looks so good! I love the texture of tofu, it reminds me of paneer and I looooooooove cheese. 🙂 If people expect it to have a meat texture, they probably don’t like it though.
What a gorgeous spread!! So happy that you’re doing something you feel so passionately about. I love cooking and have been dying to get into catering. Kudos to you!!
Dude. I have that SAME experience when it comes to sugar. I was at a bday party the other night + the same thing happened. I really don’t eat much sugar…don’t sweeten my oats/tea/coffee etc and I usually cut back like 1/2 the sugar when making breads like banana + pumpkin. So, when I do eat sugar a little goes a long way and I usually feel cruddy after. Maybe I should have just said “I can relate” but I wanted to expand 😉
Haha. I love your long explanations!! I’m the same way.
that food looks wonderful! hope you are staying sane throughout your internship!
[email protected] says
What a spread!!! That looks like it was a lot of work to put together and a lot of fun to eat! That soup looks really delish as well!!
I love that spread- absolutely gorgeous- especially the fruit! And that chicken marsala fettucine looks delicious!
I love that you love the tofu in your soup too! It seems a lot of bloggers mainly eat baked tofu but to me, tofu is best in SOUPS!!
Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com says
wow what a post!! That whole spread looks AMAZING, you must be so proud! I know I sure would be 🙂 I’d love to be a caterer…just seeing it all look so beautiful at the end, it must be great. Definetly the right day for a day off too!
That soup looks soo good too – I’m going to cook that this week as I’ve got a block of tofu lingering about somewhere..thanks for the idea! Sleep well 🙂
christie @ honoring health says
I’m also curious why they were giving you a hard time about eating cake? As someone who’s food choices have been scrutinized my whole life by family and friends, I just wonder why people think it is OK to give people a hard time for what they eat.
Teri [a foodie stays fit] says
Good work on running the show!
I agree – tofu has the best texture, especially baked. yum!
I woke up to snow in Winston-Salem land.
Yummo! All of that food looks delicious!!! It reminds me of last semester when I was in Med. Nutrition Therapy class, we had all of these projects and presentations to do. One of them was to do a presentation to a group of 7th graders (about 200 to be exact!!) on the importance of being healthy and active, the day we were supposed to do it, my partner DID NOT SHOW UP!
I was at the front of the room having to rush and make the food that we would serve as snack, and then drag my sweaty and tired self up to the front to talk…it. was. crazy. But I did it, and it made me happy to see them eat the food and listen to me talk 😀
Anyway, that soup looks delicious! And you guys are dedicated..walking in the rain for an egg lol. Jason would never do that, if I asked he would look at me like I’m a crazy person.
Yikes! Girl, you should be getting your R.D.!
very nice picture report and
fine treats you prepared your
Was the cake from the grocery store? Grocery store cake always makes me feel awful. It is so full of chemicals and fake-y things. Cake from scratch no problem but those sheet cakes = feeling lousy.
It was actually homemade by one of the cafeteria managers, but I think the frosting was storebought
ah yes, that is what probably accounted for the sick feeling 🙁
What an awesome spread. You did a marvelous job!!!
your dinner has117 calories! weren’t you feeling hungry after that?
I think I probably had about 2-3 servings. It was a huge bowl. And I was stuffed.
I think it’s safe to say you have one of the greatest jobs ever!
Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries says
i dont get the bad tofu texture thing either. i LOVE it in soup! dare i say better than when it’s baked?
Hey Kath, just read your blog and saw the chocolate spoons… (awesome spread btw).. made me think of what I used to enjoy the spoons with – coffee or any other hot beverages… the chocolate melts in your mouth!! It’s heavenly! My mom used to make these when she owned her own chocolate business back in the day. You’ve got to try it if you haven’t yet. =)
I feel the same same way after eating sugar and carbs.I don’t even have to eat that much sugar.Your spread looked delicious!!There is something about fruit trays.They are just so bright and pretty:-) cc
Kristilyn (My 29th Year) says
Wow! Your day sounds crazy! I can’t believe how delicious that whole lunch spread looks – those pinwheel sandwiches look great. Too bad about the effects of the sugar and the large meal.
Dinner looks amazing! I bought some tofu the other day but haven’t opened it yet. I haven’t had it in such a long time and I wonder if I’ll even like it. Never hurts to try. 🙂
The Healthy Apple says
What a fabulous post…and a beautiful spread of foods….great job, Kath! Good luck with the snow/sleet this weekend….and keep up the great work in the cafe…love the hair net!!!! Brings back those good ‘ol school day memories!
Amy(Super Healthy Kids) says
Beautiful spread! Everything looks so appetizing.
I get the same way with too much sugar, it just makes me feel sick and I regret it! Re the chocolate spoons – are they just pure chocolate or is the chocolate combined with anything to make it almost like a ganache or something?
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