Last week I shared about keeping hot food – hot and cold food – cold. And how to make decorative ice cubes with flowers or herbs. I always have my eye out for new tips or techniques. I wanted to add to last week’s conversation another trick for keeping food cold. This one was new to me and had to share. But I am thinking – why didn’t I think of that!
This tip comes from Diane Phillips an entertaining expert. She suggests hollowing out a round loaf of bread and putting it in a freezer bag. Store the bread bowl in the freezer until you are ready to use it. When it is time to serve just pour the dip into the bread bowl. Your dip will stay cool for 4-6 hours! How great is that – and you have 1 less dish to wash! I always think of bread bowls for hot dips such as spinach/artichoke or others like that, but spinach/artichoke dip can be served cold as well. Or just think of all the other things you could put in that bread bowl and keep them cool!
And she has another tip that I also had to share because I have never tried this. For me it depends on where your washing machine is located. If you do not have large tubs or coolers to get drinks cold, or you run out of room in your refrigerator (or refrigerators), she suggests filling your washing machine with ice. I know for me personally – I usually run out of room in both refrigerators so cooling drinks takes a back seat to the food. I am always trying to squeeze everything in without damaging my food or food trays. Fill your machine with ice in the morning of the party and chill your drinks in there. Then you either can pull drinks out as you need them or as it gets closer to the party time – move them to a tub or cooler for easier access. As the ice melts it will drain out of the tub. Diane claims you can use it with front loaders too!
The last tip I want to share this week has to do with dessert. Yum yum! I know we are getting into fall, but in Southern California we still have plenty of hot days to come. For dessert why not have an ice cream sundae bar. The tip here is to pre-scoop your ice cream into cupcake wrappers placed in muffin tins. This is something you can do ahead and works well for any age at your party or any type of party. Just scoop the ice cream into the tins and freeze until you are ready to serve dessert. Pre fill bowls with all kinds of goodies that can go on ice cream – sprinkles, nuts, crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cherries, berries – I could go on and on! Make sure to have all sauces too – chocolate, strawberry, caramel! Hot fudge can be kept hot in a small crock pot. Whip up your own whipped cream or use the kind that comes out of the can. Pretty confident this will be such a big hit that you may want to prepare several more scoops of ice cream than you have guests. For those who prefer sherbet – pre-scoop your sherbet as well. Once again a pre-party task – put all the toppings in bowls, cover and pull out when you are ready. While there is a little more work in putting all the pieces together ahead of time, the day/night of your party – you can let your guests just help themselves. And with plastic/paper bowls and plastic spoons – nothing to wash!!
Happy Planning! What’s your next party?
“Ice cream is the perfect buffer because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” Jerry Greenfield