Veggie Platter Gone Wild

14 Sep

It’s about time we let you peek into the catering side of 2 Chicks Cakes and Catering, isn’t it? Did you think we forgot or were pulling your leg about catering? Naw. We were just engulfed in buttercream for awhile. Now that we’ve scraped that off, let’s do something that’s on the other end of the caloric spectrum. After all, cakers need their veggies, too.

Most veggie platters look like this:

Okay, so it’s symmetrical. It’s recognizable from across the room. This particular one is a nice arrangement. However, are you anxiously pushing your way into the buffet line for it? Is the room buzzing about its beauty? Are people taking mental notes so they can reproduce it for their next shindig?  Probably not. You know what it is with a passing glance. You’ll let guilt put a few on your plate.  You think it’s nice but you think it’s “just another veggie platter in a long line of veggie platters that are present at every party for who-knows-what reason.” What do you say we spice this up a bit and create a platter that will make your guests gasp, nay perhaps faint, with one glimpse of its awesomeness?

What you need:

 The usual plus one.

 Yes, get out your assortment of veggies, your dip recipe and ingredients, and the ol’ workhorse standby: the glass platter. For mine I used carrots, celery, red, green, and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.

That’s the usual part.

 

Happy Hour: Dollar Drinks. Your choice of glass.

Happy Hour: Dollar Drinks. Your choice of glass.

 The plus one is this:

 A Large Martini Glass.

 These are available at craft stores like Michaels, Joann Fabrics, or Hobby Lobby. Go crazy and use your 40% off coupon and snag yourself one of those babies. After you’re done goofing around with it (you know you will), wash, dry, and set aside. Make your dip and give the veggies a bath.

With the exception of one tiny foray into the wild side you will cut your veggies as usual. To account for the craziness, set aside 7 large carrots and 7 stalks of celery.

 Cut the remaining carrots and celery into sticks. Personally, I like my peppers cut into wedges so you can use them like scoops but you can cut wedges or slices, or both- your choice.

To swank up the cukes, pull out your tater peeler and peel off only part of the peel before slicing into rounds. A zester also works spankin’ good for this. After all, it’s not like that particularly nifty tool is in danger of getting worn out, is it? Whichever you choose, it should look striped. If not, you did it wrong. S’alright though. If it doesn’t turn out, just go back and take off the rest of the peel. Slice the cukes into rounds.

All done? K-let’s get to the good part. The wacky part. The out-of-this-world-look-how-creative-part.

Cut two carrots and 2 celery stalks in half across the width and once more down the length. Cut the remaining carrots and celery in half down the length. I’ll wait while you talk your way through it. Acrooooss the width. Dooooown the length. Then dooown the length once more for the rest.

Cool? Funky part coming up!

You’re going to shape half the length of each piece. Position your knife at one of the corners and then angle the knife so it comes out on the other side about half way down the length. You’re going to cut it on an angle, like this:

diagonal veggie drawing

(but without the line in the middle. That’s just there ’cause I’m too lazy to figure out how to make it go away.)

Ah, AutoShapes are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? Anywhoo, cut them so they resemble the picture. It kind of looks like a paring knife, doesn’t it? Alright, alright, I’ll get back to work. Cut the remaining long veggies and the remaining short veggies this way.

At this point, everything is done but the final assembly. You can assemble it now or assemble it at the event. Remember, if you assemble it now, it’s a bit tricky to transport. It can be done, but you’ll have to be tres cautious by holding it on your lap with one hand on the platter and one hand on the top-heavy martini glass. No, you cannot be the one driving, too.  

Assembly:

Place the dip in the martini glass. Clean up the smears. Yes, I know all and I see all. Clean those up, pronto, por favor. Presentation is everything! Set the filled glass in the center of the platter. So far, so good.

Now, arrange the veggies around the glass onto the platter per usual for veggie trays. Think symmetry and creativity. Don’t use the specially cut veggies or 8 of the cucumber rounds just yet.

Once that’s done, arrange the 8 cucumber slices on top of the dip at the top of the glass, sitting against the side. Alternating long and short, arrange the specially cut veggies in a circular pattern inside the ring of cucumber slices. Step back to see the “big picture” and rearrange as needed. Man, this is so much better than regular veggie trays, isn’t it? Ooh la la! Tres chic!

Now, you want short cuts, don’t you? *Sigh* Okay. I guess I can do that for you- but just this once. You can buy pre-cut veggies and premade dip, if you really have to. You’ll still need to do the cucumber and the diagonal cut veggies yourself. Do me a favor, though: don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep a little mystery in catering, shall we?

July and August 2009 077

Don’t forget to take a picture of your awesomeness. Prepare yourself for the clamor that is bound to happen when guests see your creation. They’ll be so astounded by your talent they won’t notice your gray hairs or that extra 10 lbs. you’ve added since they last saw you. All they will notice is the platter, they will look at you “in a new light,” stars will shoot out your eyes, and you can ride this victory all the way through the bake sale you forgot about so-you-didn’t-donate-anything-even-though-you-said-you-would. They’ll just assume you’ve been too busy catering events all over town to have participated. Bonus social points all around!

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One Response to “Veggie Platter Gone Wild”

  1. Bill Bartmann September 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    I don’t know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann

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