Saturday, February 21, 2009

Auction Dinner - An Opportunity to Give Back

My husband and I attended our nephew’s school auction in 2008 and we decided to donate our time and talents to help raise money for the school. Wanted to translate my passion for cooking and entertaining to tangible funds for the school, so I decided to offer a seven course tasting menu at our house as an auction item. Five couples decided to go in as a collective group to purchase the dinner for $1,000. Took a bit of time to coordinate everyone's busy schedules but finally held the dinner at our house in early 2009.

The dinner was such a hit with everyone that they asked the "chef" to come out for a toast! It was a bit surreal for a moment, that I was the chef. The group even joked that they would tell everyone it was "not that good", so they could win it again this year. What a rewarding experience to do something that I have such passion for and at the same time, raise money for such a wonderful cause.

This year’s auction is around the corner and I am planning to design another tasting menu to have as an auction item to help raise money for our nephew’s school. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to earn $1,500 for the school? Stay tuned...... (Quick update - we earned $1,300 for the dinner and will schedule soon - not too bad considering the challenging economy.)

Tasting Menu

Crab Cakes
Lemon Aioli, Avocado Jicama Citrus Salad
(Caymus Conumdrum 2005)

Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad
Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Toasted Pistachios
(John Anthony Sauvignon Blanc 2006)

Zucchini Bisque
Crème Fraiche, Handmade Petite Chive Biscuit
(D.R. Stephens Chardonnay Hudson 2004)

Palate Cleanser
Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Prosecco

Seared Alaskan Salmon
Parmesan & English Pea Pure, Lemon Scented Free Range Chicken Stock with Shallots
(Barnett Vineyards Pinot Nior 2006)

Petite Lamb Chops
Mint-Cilantro Relish, Assorted Roasted Vegetables
(Spencer Roloson Syrah La Herradura 2003)

Braised Short ribs with Orange Hoisen Sauce
Roasted Garlic Potato Puree, Green Beans
(Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2004)

Warm Molten Chocolate Cake
Handmade Caramel Sauce Accented with Berries
(Artisan Lattes, Cappuccinos and Coffee)


Special note: Gave everyone a small white box with a black/white ribbon tied around it which was filled with my famous toffee (recipe under "Cookies and Candy"). Topped it off with a pretty little white card tied to the ribbon that said "tomorrow". By the next week, I learned that not too many people waited until the next day and were inquiring about the recipe.