Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

Yesterday, Matt and I catered a bridal shower for our friend Katy. My wife Kelly and his wife Sara were organizing the event and we were asked (not drafted!) to cook for it. Never having organized such a thing, we took it as a challenge. Matt and I both reckon ourselves as foodies, so we aimed high and made an ambitious but not totally off-the-wall menu. We wanted more than just your typical whitebread creamcheese pinwheels and little smokies and fruit pizza.

We made a list (collaborating via Google Docs) and organized our menu according to party flow and audience tastes. For the more exotic ingredients (the dates, the endive, some of the cheeses) we went to Whole Foods. Everything else was Kroger. We even organized the shopping list for maximum efficiency in the store. Matt came over on Saturday around 3PM and we started cooking after the grocery run around 6PM. A little break for dinner and we wrapped close to midnight. We still had some cooking to do on Sunday morning – mostly for the stuff that needed to be fresh. Overall we split the responsibilities (including cleaning) pretty well while also trying to keep the ladies out of the kitchen.

Here’s our menu:

Bloody Marys

Ciabatta bread
Cheese tray with crackers, grapes and sliced apples (Cabot Cheddar, Dutch Havarti and Red Band Smoked Gouda)
Caprese (fresh, sliced tomatoes with fresh sliced mozzarella and fresh basil leaves)

Cold Foods
Chicken salad with apples and pecans served in endive cups
Whole grain baguette rounds with sliced meats (pastrami and roast beef)

Hot Foods
Polenta rounds topped with hot sausage topped with sauteed scallions, apricot jam and parmesan cheese (recipe)
Medjool dates stuffed with almond and chevre, wrapped with uncured applewood-smoked bacon (recipe)
Mini-quiches in wonton cups (recipe)

Desserts / Pastries
Maple cupcakes with frosting (cupcake recipe, frosting recipe)
Apple cinnamon and strawberry-rhubarb galettes with vanilla ice cream (recipe)

Everything went great and I think Matt and I worked pretty well in the kitchen together. Matt is clearly the more precise and exacting cook than I am, as evidenced by his perfectly-cubed chicken and apple salad and attention to detail. Me, on the other hand, well, I figured hand-made is hand-made. The mark of a custom job is the imperfection, right? Odd how that stuff translates into our web-development “real jobs”.

In any case, it was a real honor and a lot of fun to give Katy a proper shower with good food. Can’t wait for the wedding!

filed under Food,Friends and then tagged as ,
Apr 20 2009 ~ 8:42 pm ~ Comments (3) ~


  1. Another easy appetizer that’s a hit at parties is endive (so useful for finger foods) topped/filled with crumbled feta, chopped walnuts, chopped kalamatas, parsley and lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
    Ooh, there’s also potato pancakes topped with either sour cream or creme fraiche, chives and diced apple. One could also add pancetta bits. And it’s so easy to fry the potato pancakes the day before and then re-crisp in the oven before serving. (they have to cool a bit before one can successfully apply the dairy.)

    Comment by Janice — April 21, 2009 @ 9:30 pm
  2. And by the way, that food all sounds really good. I’m going to have to try the dates thing.

    Comment by Janice — April 21, 2009 @ 9:31 pm
  3. it was delicious an delightful. i am so lucky to have such good friends

    Comment by katy — May 5, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

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