Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ever have one of those days....

Okay, so I believed I'd thought of everything. Considered every possible disaster scenario and worked out a plausable solution. Boy was I ever wrong. Because nothing could have prepared me for meeting Tyler Bennedict.
It happened the night I was catering my first major event for a woman who’d fired some of the biggest names in the business. This was my chance to prove myself. For me it seemed the world literally brimmed with possibility.

I’d certainly spent enough years preparing. I’d attended all the best culinary schools in Paris, New York and Texas, put in endless hours, worked multiple jobs in preparation for the time when my small pride and joy, my baby, Carrie’s Creative Catering would finally become a success.

For someone on the brink of thirty-five, single, and living in Austin, one of the most exciting cities in Texas, success was all around me. But so far, it remained just out of my reach until tonight.

And then it happened.

Disaster struck.

Martina Hilbert, the woman hosting this little get-together for a few hundred of her closest friends informed me I lacked any redeemable talent whatsoever as far as crab puffs were concerned. My skills in any other area were still questionable.

Once Martina finished my thorough dressing-down in front of most of her guests, not to mention all three of my staff members, she proceeded to simply walk away and politely smile, as if she were merely commenting on the weather, not my condemning my best hors d’oeuvres as garbage. I wanted to disappear right there into her spotless Italian marble floor.

This party was supposed to be my big moment. A client like Martina held parties like this all the time, according my best friend Stephanie Monroe-Jennings, whom I’m embarrassed to say got me this gig in the first place.

In Steph’s opinion, if I got in good with Martina and all of her well-to-do friends, it could really put Carrie’s Creative Catering on the map.

Now utterly humiliated, I know if I didn’t escape to some quiet place soon, then everyone here would be witness to my childish reaction to Martina’s less than flattering insult. That’s when I all but ran into Tyler Bennedict’s arms. And for me, well, it was lust at first sight.
Oh and Martina's crab puff snark? Well you be the judge.
Check out my crab puff recipe and let me know what you think.

Puffs (miniature cream puffs)
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. flour, sifted
3 or 4 eggs, unbeaten

Add butter and salt to boiling water and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Lower heat, add flour all at once and beat vigorously until mixture leaves side of pan. Add one egg at a time beating thoroughly after each addition. Shape on greased cookie sheet using one teaspoon pastry for 1 puff, depending upon size desired.
Bake in hot oven, 400 degrees, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 30 minutes longer, or until well browned. Remove from oven and place on wine rack to cool. When cool, make slits on side. If there is any soft or spongy dough inside of puff, scoop out. This makes about 4 dozen small puffs. If you have extra puffs after filling with crab or shrimp filling, you can freeze them. Can use pastry bag to insert filling.


1 (7-8 oz.) can crab meat, drained & flaked
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1/2 sm. onion, minced
1/4 - 1/2 c. mayonnaise (enough to make it creamy)
Salt & pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste (1 tsp. - 1 tbsp.)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce or to taste

Mix all ingredients together and fill cream puffs with filling and refrigerate.


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. salad dressing
2 tbsp. shrimp juice
1 (4 oz.) can broken shrimp
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. onion, grated

Cream thoroughly. Stir, put in refrigerator until cooled then insert into cream puffs.

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