Brunch on a Boat: Snack Ideas
As I write this, I sit here not on a boat in California, but at a kitchen table in New Jersey, next to my friend, the bride-to-be, amongst a glue gun, flowers, ribbons, coffee, and a plate of cookies. So far, my trip here consisted of catering a bridal shower and running wedding errands. But it has been nice to spend this time with my friend this week and help where I could, even if it was just to be a listening ear during a stressful time.
And now she’s helping ME out because truthfully, I was feeling REALLY uninspired to write a blog entry. My writer’s block was getting a hold of me. As I whined to my friend, she listened carefully, looked straight at me and said, “keep it simple, stupid.” Dang! California has definitely made me a little soft. I forgot that East Coast people have an edge. So with that said, I’ll jump right into it.
A little while ago, my church asked me if I could prepare some brunch time snacks for a “love boat” outing for our married couples ministry. I immediately began to brain storm about what finger foods everyone could comfortably enjoy outside on the water at room temperature, and with the least amount of fuss.
To make my life easier, I always prep a day or two in advance, even if that means just mixing dry ingredients together ahead of time, or measuring out correct amounts of chocolate chips… whatever saves me a few steps on the day of the actual event.
Then on the day of the occasion, I can quickly and efficiently whip things together, to make sure everything tastes fresh, but without feeling frazzled. We all had to meet for the boat outing in the morning, so I woke up around 5am to make sure I could get everything done on time.
I thought that people would enjoy a mini muffin. So I just took my original banana chocolate chip muffin recipe, filled a mini tin and cut the cooking time down WAY down, since there’s less batter in each cup. I just made sure to watch them carefully every few minutes to ensure that they didn’t over-bake or burn.
After they cooled down, I lined 3 disposable aluminum trays with parchment paper and paper towels. I had to divide all the food for 3 different boats. Why did I use parchment paper and paper towels? I dunno. I thought it looked cute.
After a quick rinse, the muffin tray got a second use. I decided to make little turkey sausage and veggie frittatas. It’s a good way to cook eggs for multiple people in the morning without the mess and worry. Plus, whenever I serve something sweet, I like to have a savory option as well.
Again, all the prep was done the night before, so all I had to do was give each cup a quick spritz with nonstick cooking spray, and plop in all of the individually cooked ingredients. Then I whisked up some eggs with salt, pepper, and milk, and poured the mixture to the top.
After a short time in the oven, they came out light, puffy, and golden.
I stacked them in plastic tasting cups and called it a day.
The last item I made was crust-less curried chicken sandwiches. I cut rounds out of sandwich bread and mixed cooked finely chopped chicken with curry powder, lemon juice, salt & pepper, agave, mayo, dijon mustard, celery, red onions, and golden raisins. Again, I just thought circle sandwiches were cuter than squares or triangles. The mayo acted as glue so that the sandwiches would hold together neatly and not create a mess while transporting them.
Since I was careful to divide all the food into threes, each boat got an equal share of everything. The little duffy boats were set up perfectly because they had tables in the center to hold all the trays, and we sat around the food. No plates or utensils necessary.
Everyone in our boat thanked me for the food and said that everything was cute and tasty. That’s of course music to my ears. I really enjoy cooking for others. That’s worth the 5am wake up call.
Our duffy boats drifted along the water at turtle speed. We even watched random people in their sailboats chuckle, wave, and whizz by us, but it was nice to relax, munch, kick back, and spend time with my husband with good conversation and company.
Now I gotta go back to glue-gunning ribbons.