Archived entries for past forkable events

Forked! Hipped!

Our evening of food and fashion went off without a hitch and perfectly timed to coincide with Chicago Fashion Week. So many awesome new friends mingled under soothing candle light and we all generously imbibed from everyone’s favorite frugal wine finds; red lips ensued!

We all had a wonderful time and we here at were very proud of our French Provincial inspired 3 course prefix. Check out the menu.

Menu designed by Painfully Hip Design

Thank you all so much who came to support Amber and my evening of fashion and foods. We hope you had as good of a time as we did!

There are much more pictures to be shared and recipes to be served up, but at the moment we have a messterpiece waiting for us yet in the kitchen.

Thank God, in my drunken stupor last night, I downloaded Moonstruck to watch while we clean. I’m actually looking forward to it. To the dish piles!

Party of Dips

Our party for Alee was a success even though I was totally unmotivated on Saturday. I finally got out of the house and rode my bike to Cermak Produce, one of my local neighborhood stores. It was already 3 p.m. by the time I got home with all my necessary groceries. Because I didn’t have much time, I stayed with tried and true recipes which I know I could make quickly. I went for simple flavors instead of fancy alternatives to save time and money.

The food included (pictured from bottom clockwise) good ol‘ guacamole, spinach artichoke dip, curry apple chutney dip for vegetable tray (olives are pictured in place of the dip which was not out yet), mushroom walnut pate spread, a basket of bread and crackers, a bowl of grapes, black bean dip, hummus, Shrimp Dip, chocolate covered strawberries, and a 7 layer taco dip which you can only see the edge of in the above picture.

I did have some help. Shayna showed up with her first ever pie in tow, an amazing strawberry and rhubarb she grew in her own garden

It looked as good as it tasted!

Although I was able to get everything done on time, I did have to resort to asking the guest of honor for a bit of help. Thanks Alee!

Please excuse my messy room! Cleaning in here was one thing which fell through the cracks.

But that is Alee in a nutshell. She’s so great, I am not going to be the only one to miss her!

ForkFest Fun!

My first food event has come and gone! That sentence is punctuated with a large sigh of relief. Everything went well, with very few major catastrophes. Of course being the perfectionist I am, I have many small critiques of everything, but my guests were very complimentary on the food quality as well as the atmosphere. I want to thank everyone who attended for supporting me and making my first event special and fun!

I wanted to have my first event be a relaxed and down-to-earth environmentt so all my guests would feel welcomed and comfortable in my space eating my food. So of course, a menu of Southern comfort food fit the bill, especially as my date sat only two days after the 4th of July!

(Pictured here as in a traditional Southern BBQ, slaw is eaten on sandwich )

My menu included:

For the Appetizer
Jalapeno Corn Bread with Whipped Butter and Homemade Pomegranate Jelly.*

For the Entree
Pulled Pork Sandwich with a North Carolina Mustard-Vinegar BBQ sauce
BBQ Homemade Seitan with Kansas City BBQ sauce**
Peanut Asian slaw with red and pablano peppers, fennel, and carrots**
Yogurt Potato Salad with Dill*
Cheddar and Chihuahua Macaroni and Cheese *
Green Beans with Bacon and vinegar.

For Dessert
Peach Melba Cobbler with Vanilla Ice cream and Raspberry syrup.*


Any room for dessert?

I served food in two seatings; 4-6 and 6-8. My biggest concern, in that I have never worked professionally in food before was the timing of food for each seating and the turn around for clearing the first seating in time for the arrival for the second seating.

Allison, Chris and Frank of the first seating.

Everything went very smoothly in terms of food prep. I had prepared as much as possible before hand.

Here I am preparing the pulled pork for the oven on Saturday.

By serving cold salads and pulled pork, I could have almost everything prepared a day or two ahead which gave me time on Sunday to set up the dining area in my dining-living room as well as take care of last minute details.

The dining area before the guests arrived.

The turn around of the two seatings also went well. I had everything ready to serve so each of the courses were brought out as punctually as possible. By the second seating, we had a more streamlined process of how best to plate the food in large batches.

Plating up dessert.

I wished I had given 3 hours for the first seating instead of two to allow guests more after dinner visiting time. However I asked different guests from the first seating and they all assured me they didn’t feel rushed.

I planned for 15 people per seating allowing for a total capacity of 30.

I had 11 guests for the first seating, and I sold out the second seating with 17 guests! (pictured above)

Citrus slices and water were served in old fashion glass gallon milk jugs on each table

I definitely could not have done this without my three helpers. Ira served as our host and server as well as keeping track of the cover donations. No photos of Ira because he was behind the camera on Sunday. Above and below shows his station for taking money and keeping track of the Rsvps.

Laura, my good friend and coworker pictured below on right, did an amazing job of assisting me in the kitchen and problem solving to keep all the last minute problems from becoming crises.

Eric, my neighbor across the hall, was incredibly generous in allowing me to invade his kitchen to make use of his stove and fridge for the past week. (I promise I’ll get my stuff out of there tonight!)

Eric is looking embarrassed as I presented him with a very expensive crown in gratitude!

All in all, after I subtracted all my expenses from my earned donations and divided by my man hours, I discovered I had earned $3.25 an hour. Do I have a career in front of me or what??

Fourth Of July ForkFest

We (as in I) are proud, excited and nervous to announce our first food event. On Sunday, July 6, 2008 we will be hosting the Fourth of July ForkFest. Here you can feast in real life on our Fabulous Forkable foods. (Ira said after this I am not allowed to use any more fork puns so I am really gonna do it up)

Please come by for our SOUTHERN FOOD EXTRAVAGANZA! Fork on delicious pulled pork and fixins. Vegetarian and vegan options will include homemade BBQ Seitan and sides. Dessert will be included. Oh my God, what a deal!!! BYOB!

$15 suggested cover for online reservation. $20 cover at door for any available spaces.

Two time slot options will be available at 4-5 pm. and 6-7 pm. Spaces are limited. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in reserving a spot for our Forkfest, please email me at with your time preference. I will respond to your email with more information. Hope to see you there!!!

Better Homes & Gardens Meets Pee-Wee’s Refridgerator

On Saturday night, we hosted Bernhardt and Stacy’s “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish Get the Hell Out of Chicago” going away party. As I said in my previous post, I wanted to do something very kitschy. I made as many animal shaped food items as I could with good ingredients like olives, cream cheese, Velveeta and jimmy dean sausage!! I wanted to make the housewives of 1968 proud!

The menu included a pair of Red Velvet Lobster cakes.

Here are the guests of honor. What a pair of Lobsters!!

Whenever Bern knows you are taking a picture of him, he always looks like he’s going to prison.

Anywho, the menu. Yes, we move on to our next course of olive and cream cheese penguins with a cream cheese, ham and green onion cheese ball igloo.

With a strawberry topiary in the background.

Next we have deviled eggs with Octowieners!!

OK, sure, you’ve seen those before. But have you ever seen squidogs??

Pictured with canned squid in ink from the Richwell Chinese market and squid jerky from Mitsua Japanese market. The jerky has a weird consistency, like chicken and beef together. I sort of felt like it might be similar to human jerky but that’s kind of gross, so forget i mentioned that.

OK, on with the show! I also served a shrimp cocktail dip with cream cheese (AGAIN!!!), shrimp and yes, cocktail dip sauce. How complicated! I served cocktail wieners wrapped in bacon in a brown sugar, whiskey and ketchup sauce. Yum! Jimmy Dean sausage toasts, with Jimmy Dean sausage smothered in Velveeta on rye cocktail toasts, which are always a hit. We had a bowl of cheese cubes and tooth pics. Classy! There was a Gruyere cheese fondue with french bread and assorted vegetables to dip, as well as a basket of assorted crackers.

The food after it’s been attacked by the starving masses, with my Aunt Dottie and my friend John in the background.

Aren’t we looking good!!

It was a beautiful night, so everyone wanted to hang out outside!

All in all, we had a great time, and drank a ridiculous amount of beer, wine, and of course whiskey! Here in one of our mass group shots, we toast to a quick and easy exodus out of Chicago to the promise land of Charleston South Carolina!

Much drunken offerings of “I’m gonna miss you sooo much” were slurred!

You guys aren’t going anywhere without some goodbye kisses!

The evening went way into the wee hours, with no complaints from the neighbors even though we were dancing away at 3:30! I’m glad I gave them warning! Click here for a our slide show and click here for Stacy’s slide show of all the party drunkenness.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful evening! Bern and Stacy: WE’RE GONNA MISS YOU!!

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