Without a doubt, I would have to say that this was the most successful dinner I've pulled off yet. The food was all ready on time and I wasn't running around the kitchen trying to get things together at the last minute. It's partially thanks to the menu I chose, but it's also due, in part, to my time management skills. Do as much as you can ahead of time and then you can actually greet your guests when they arrive.
The day before:
- I started my "No Knead" bread dough and let it rise overnight
- I baked the pecan tarts and prepared the pudding eggs
The morning of:
- I baked the lemon tower cake and the breads
The afternoon of:
- I scored the ham and started it cooking
An hour before:
- I finished the ham
- Chad peeled and diced the sweet potatoes
- I roasted the asparagus (it kept well in the toaster oven on "warm")
- Gabriel prepared the salad
- I cooked the sweet potatoes (done in 10 minutes thanks to the pressure cooker)
The ham was incredible! We chose a pre-cooked (always choose a pre-cooked ham), 7.635 kg (that's 16.83 lbs for you imperialists) shank cut of ham. There were so many left overs that I sent doggie bags home with each of the diners! I would definitely do a ham again, as it was much less work than a turkey and much more yummy. There's also the added benefit of a pre-dinner snack when you remove the rind from the ham (tastes like bacon).
Once I've typed up the ham recipe, I'll post it. In the mean time, here is the chocolate pudding egg recipe I promised.
Jell-O Pudding Eggs
• Jello-O Instant Pudding (chocolate or vanilla)
• butter or margarine
• boiling water
• Baker's semi-sweet chocolate (8 squares)
• Baker's white chocolate (4 squares)
• icing sugar
Place 1 package of Jell-O Instant Pudding in a large bowl with 1/3 cup softened butter.
Add 1/3 cup boiling water to the bowl and stir until butter is completely melted and mixture is well blended.
Gradually add in 3 cups icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition and until the mixture forms a ball.
Shape small tablespoonfuls of the mixture into small egg shapes and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until eggs are firm.
Heat 8 Baker's semi-sweet chocolate squares in a double boiler or in the microwave until almost melted. Stir until completely smooth.
Dip eggs into the melted semi-sweet chocolate and completely cover. Place on waxed paper or on draining rack.
Melt 4 Baker's white chocolate squares in squeeze container and drizzle over top.
Allow eggs to cool and harden.
Original Source: Kraft Canada - JELL-O Pudding Eggs