For Valentine’s Day we decided to smoke a brisket. In fact, we had two separate, very informal, Valentine’s Day–brisket smoking–soirées. (Hmm I wonder if you pluralize “soirée.”)
For starters, I preplanned my menu in advance. I also made the desserts and some of the appetizers the night before. I set the table and the photo backdrop the night before as well.
I cooked my ground beef stuffing and, once cool, I stuffed my mushrooms and left them prepared on a baking tray in the refrigerator so I can simply pop them in the oven once family began arriving.
I made the bbq chicken bites that night as well, once cool, wrapped them in bacon and placed them on a baking dish to also place them in the oven.
I washed and cut the hard tips of my asparagus then wrapped them in bacon and also placed them on a baking tray.
I peeled my shrimp and marinated them with A-1 sauce and sealed them closed because I didn’t want the refrigerator smelling fishy.
I cooked my meatballs and, once cooled, placed them on a tray to also simply bake them as family arrives.
I marinated my brisket that night as well.
Preplanning and prep work takes a lot of the pressure off and gives you more time to do everything else.
Appetizers: (I warm up appetizers and arrange them a couple of minutes before they arrive.)
Cheesy ground beef stuffed mushrooms
A-1 Sauce shrimp
BBQ bacon wrapped chicken bites
Meatballs–I use bell peppers, A-1 sauce, onion, salt, pepper ground beef and lamb and cheese balls.
Cheese Platters and mini bowls: (I fill bowls and take out cheese about 10 minutes before family arrives.)
I used 4 types of cheese
3 types of olives
Desserts: (I take some out early and others out after dinner.)
Cheesecake cups–so easy to make!
White and Milk Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Fruit Salad (mango, 2 types of melon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, jicama and pineapple)
Costco purchased mini-ice cream desserts
I make a fruit drink and simply added non-alcoholic Sparkling Apple-Mango juice.
For one event:
Double baked potatoes, fully loaded with oven baked bacon.
Mashed potatoes with gravy
Macaroni and Cheese with baked bacon crumbles.
For the second:
Cheesy Mashed potatoes
The day of the event:
I cleaned the house early in the morning. It takes me about 3-4 hours for 3000 sq ft. No matter how much I clean during the week, the day of the event still needs a through clean–I do have 3 kids. We eat a quick breakfast, such as toast with peanut butter, fruit and cereal to get us going. I also set the music I will be playing for the event at this time to give me motivation.
2 hours before the brisket was ready, I wrapped potatoes in foil paper and baked them for an hour. Once ready, I created an oval shaped cut on top of the potato and removed the soft inside of the potato, while being careful to not puncture the outer skin, and placed it in a bowl and mixed sour cream, cheese, salt, pepper, bacon, a tad bit of butter then topped it off with more cheese and bacon and left them in the oven. 30 minutes before the brisket was set to be ready, I baked them again to melt the cheese.
30 minutes before the brisket was ready, I peeled, cut and boiled the potatoes then mashed them. I then placed them on a baking dish and placed them in the oven to keep them warm.
30 minutes before the brisket was ready, I made the Mac and Cheese and placed it in the oven to keep it warm.
Once the brisket was ready, I placed foil paper on top of it and let it rest for 15 minutes. While that was resting, I placed the asparagus in the oven.
After, I’m toast! I am beat and ready to sleep. I always pre-make what I can and set the table a day before. It makes life so much easier.