What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…
A new year, a whole new set of Bakemasters events – I’m super excited. We started off with a White Elephant party. Have you ever had a White Elephant party? I’ve been to many over the years. Scores of awkwardly wrapped kitsch “gifts” opened with fervour, and traded with gusto.
But as you know, Bakemasters events are really about the food. A White Elephant party is a game of lucky dips. So all of a sudden, the theme was obvious – dips, for both dessert and dinner. And so food first.
For dinner I made Mediterranean Dip and White Pizza Dip. The Mediterranean dip was a cold layered dip. It was delicious and a big hit. The bottom layer was standard hummus. Next came a layer of homemade basil pesto, then a tomato tapenade. It was garnished with chopped cucumber and sun-dried tomatoes. I served it with whole wheat pittas, carrot & celery sticks, and some mediterranean spiced crackers.
The white pizza dip is from my Tempting Tidbits baking resolution list. In contrast to the Mediterranean dip, it is hot and comforting and can’t even pretend to be healthy. It’s a lot of cheese and I love a lot of cheese. I stuck to the recipe, except for swapping out light cream cheese and light gouda. I mean, come on. I had to save at least a couple of calories for dessert =p.
Speaking of which, for dessert, I crossed another Tempting Tidbit off my resolutions list with Cookie Dough Dip Balls. You see, I realised that it was the same recipe and THIS. And there it was, a perfect storm – an opportunity to cross two things off my 2013 resolution list, score! The recipe is simple: butter, brown and white sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and then whatever you want. I made 2 balls. One had speculoos cookie bits, Oreo bits, and chocolate covered toffee. The other I made with lactose free butter and dark chocolate chips for a friend who can’t have milk. I covered both in one of my favourite caramel sauces – decadent I know, but it’s Bakemasters. What I learned with this one is that the quality of your butter REALLY matters! You want a good tasting butter or your cookie ball is going to taste like bad margarine… We dipped pretzels, speculoos cookies, and just plain old spoons. =p
And then on to the games. There are loads of different ways to play the White Elephant game, but these are the ones I decided to go with.
Once it’s done of course everyone can trade at will. Something funny happened when we played, something I’ve never seen happen before: almost everyone got something they actually wanted. I got a fun and quirky purse.
What’s the best/quirkiest gift you’ve gotten in a secret santa/white elephant exchange?