Sandra Lee Makes The Inaugural Ball Semi Homemade

Today is all about celebrating Andy’s win in the New York governor’s race, and we’re going to do it the Semi Homemade Way! I am going to share with you an exclusive peak at the menu for Andy’s inaugural ball! Now that I am First Partner of New York State, I’m going to do it up right!  We are going to make some fabulous Empire State Buffalo Spiedie Skewers with Thousand Islands Dipping Sauce, a delicious take on fusion cooking– New Yawk City Pizza Steamed Dumplings with Waldorf Salad Dipping Sauce, and for desert we’re making the official muffin of New York State—the Apple Muffin. And we’ll finish up with—what else?—Long Island Ice Teas for our cocktails. And I can’t wait to show you the TableSkapes™ I’ve planned for the big event! Remember, we’ll use 30 percent fresh ingredients and 70 percent premade ingredients. Give or take 20 percent or so. Follow me into the kitchen and let’s get started!

Now, for our Empire State Spiedie Skewers—and just so you know, a spiedie is a New York specialty that’s like a chicken sandwich with chunks of marinated chicken grilled on skewers or spits, and then popped into a soft submarine roll. We’re going to make it really scream New York by adding some zingy Buffalo flavor to it! Now because it’s Semi Homemade, there’s no need to spend hours marinating and grilling your chicken. All you need to do is run by Subway and get their Buffalo chicken sandwich. I’m getting about 700 of them for the ball. But I’ve got a couple here to show you how to make them Semi Homemade. I want you to get some with Italian bread and some with the 9-grain bread for those who are more health conscious. Now, order them plain. That’s really important because you’re going to want to set out platters of lettuce, tomato, and onion. That’s the fresh component to this New York dish. Then, just open a bottle of Thousand Island dressing and pop it into one of the fabulous bowls you have on your TableSkape™. I’ll show you those later.

For our delicious and unique New Yawk City Pizza Steamed Dumplings, I want you to start by ordering a Pizza Hut Big New Yorker Pizza. Then you just want to grab a pack of wonton wrappers—they’re usually in the produce section of your market and you’ve probably missed them because they’re in the outside 30 percent of the market where the fresh foods are, but don’t be afraid to look around while you’re there. Now, you just want to cut pieces of the pizza a little smaller than the wonton wrappers. Pop a piece of pizza onto the wrapper, and then pinch it closed at the top like a little purse. Now I use a bamboo steamer to give them a really authentic touch, but you can just pop those dumplings into a Ziploc steamer bag and pop them into the microwave for a couple minutes.  For the Waldorf dipping sauce, I want you to use store-bought mayo, some apple cider—but you can use plain apple juice if that’s what you have—and some walnuts. Then I want you to pop those ingredients into the blender and then pour your sauce into one of your fabulous bowls from your TableSkape™.

Next for our fabulous apple muffins, all I want you to do is just pop over to the bakery section of your market and grab some apple muffins. If for some reason they don’t have muffins, you can always use Danish. All you need to do is take some apple jelly and I want you to pop it into a saucepan and simmer it until it thickens. Then just take a spoon and drizzle some of that glorious glaze onto your muffins. Then I want you to take a tube of white icing and just drizzle it back and forth over the muffins to give them a real classy touch.

And now for everyone’s favorite time! Cocktail time! These Long Island ice teas will be served in beautiful, antique, sterling silver punch bowls at the governor’s mansion. All I’m doing is taking bottles of pre-mixed Long Island ice tea—Chi Chi’s makes a great one—and pouring them into the punch bowls.  Then I’ll garnish with some beautiful raspberries, mango, and mint leaves.

For a beautiful TableSkape™ you can make at home, I just want you to buy a large silver bowl. Then pop the bowl on top of a tall glass that’s set on top of a small bowl that’s under another glass. This will give your TableSkape™ some height and add interest. Then just pop some gold-colored faux grapes around your table. For our plates, I’ve just used plain white plates and I’ve added gold braid and buttons around them for an elegant touch. Then I just spray painted gold some old cut glass tumblers I found sitting around the mansion. I filled them with cinnamon candies and apple flavored Now-n-Laters for a whimsical favor with an elegant touch. Our guests can take them home as a memory of a wonderful evening.

So there’s our inaugural ball menu! Remember: keep it simple, keep it classy, and keep it Semi Homemade!

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