Catering to Nobody: 1 Perfect Cooking Staycation

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Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to Catering to Nobody: A Cooking Staycation. Like many travel bloggers, when the pandemic hit, I struggled to figure out what I was going to do with all this time while I was trapped in my apartment.

Fortunately, all the eating I do reviewing restaurants and culinary tours for you has taught me a ton about food. That’s why I decided one of my staycation posts could be about cooking my way though my favorite culinary mystery series by Diane Mott Davidson.

catering to nobody

Diane Mott Davidson’s books are about an unabashedly food-loving caterer named Goldy Bear. Over the course of the series, you will fall in love with her, her oddball son Arch, and her assorted friends and family members. And of course, you’ll fall in deep hate with her abusive ex-husband, John Richard Korman, aka The Jerk.

But most of all, you’ll adore the delicious and unique recipes that are included in each book. That’s why I am going to walk you through an amazing cooking Staycation and show you how to cook each recipe in Catering to Nobody.

I’m not going to post the recipes here because you need to buy the book for that. You can do so very easily here. But I will be happy to share with you exactly what tools you need to cook each recipe and how easy or difficult it was.

catering to nobody

Catering To Nobody

Wild Rice Salad

Our first recipe of the book is the Wild Man’s Wild Rice Salad. I suppose this is a sneaky way to get men to think it’s macho to eat their veggies. But as a wild woman myself, I can tell you that you don’t need any testosterone to enjoy this healthy meal.

However, you will need a food processor to make the homemade mayonnaise that goes into the salad. But it’s worth it because homemade mayo is so much richer and more delicious than the store-bought stuff.

To make the salad itself, you’ll need a pan to cook the rice, knives to cut the veggies, bowls to mix and stir about everything, and a whisk for your salad dressing.

Catering to Nobody: 1 Perfect Cooking Staycation 1

Catering to Nobody

Goldy’s Dream Cake

Even though the title for this cake is “Dream Cake”, it tastes exactly like a lovely raspberry coffee cake. Even though it looks fancy, it’s pretty easy to make.

catering to nobody

See! Look how beautiful this dream cake looks when you slice it open! That’s why I always feel that baking is worth the extra effort. You just feel so satisfied when it is done!

To bake this cake you will obviously need an oven. The free oven that comes with my cheap rental apartment doesn’t work, so I needed to buy this amazing toaster oven. It’s big enough that I can bake pretty much anything in it, except possibly a whole turkey.

Then of course you’ll need your standard measuring cups and spoons, as you would with any baking project, as well as an electric mixer and a springform pan to bake your cake.

catering to nobody

Catering to Nobody

Dungeon Bars

Dungeon bars might sound a little frightening, but there’s a simple explanation for the name. Goldy’s son Arch is very in to Dungeons and Dragons in this book, so she makes Dungeon Bars as a snack for him and his friends. (Later in the series, Arch gets more into performing magic. Arch is a stone cold nerd, is what I am saying, and I love him.)

The only equipment you’ll need for this dish, in addition to the equipment I have already mentioned, is a cake pan. This one is great because it’s non-stick, so it’s easy to get the dungeon bars out of the pan.

catering to nobody

Catering to Nobody

Goldy’s Terrific Toffee

This toffee recipe is my favorite in the whole book. The combination of homemade toffee and chocolate is just exquisite. But you will absolutely need a candy thermometer. It’s not possible to make this dish without it. Also, one thing I like about the book is that she sometimes mentions adjustments you need to make if you are cooking at high altitude because the books are set in Colorado.

You’ll also need glass pans to place the chocolate covered toffee in, so they can set. Finally, you’ll need a special boiler to melt the chocolate so it doesn’t burn.

catering to nobody

Catering to Nobody

Holy Moly Guacamole

This guacamole was actually really tasty. My brother-in-law was skeptical because there’s mayonnaise in the recipe, but he was wrong. (The chips are not part of the recipe; I just bought them. You can buy any chips that you like.)

There’s no real specialized ingredients that you need to make this dish except for measuring cups and spoons and the like. I suggest using this utensil set, which is very affordable and has pretty much anything you might need.

catering to nobody

Catering to Nobody

Honey I’m Home Ginger Snaps

These snappy peppy cookies are absolutely delicious. And they’re so much more moist and delectable than store-bought brittle ginger snap nastiness.

Aside from standard baking gear, you will absolutely need a cookie tin to store these beauties unless you are an actual literal cookie monster or live with a grillion people. I suggest these because they’re cute, they hold a surprising amount, and you can put them in the freezer.

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