1st ever Mas-Giving Dinner

Baked Asparagus

One day my friend Shelly (another major foodie) and I got to talking and decided it was only right to try making a Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner feast for a group of our friends. We enlisted the help of our friend Evelyn and went to work planning out our first Mas-Giving event.

By far the hardest part of all was the menu planning process. We literally spent hours talking about what we wanted to cook, how much we would need to cook to feed 20 people, and the timing of everything to see if it would work. I knew being a chef was hard work, but going through the menu planning process gave me another level of respect of how much work really goes into making a menu – especially for a restaurant that updates their menus daily. Simply amazing.

The cooking process itself was a blast, probably because I like to cook. And it was fun doing it with friends, for friends, and getting compliments that the food tastes delicious (I just hope they were genuine!). Overall, the event went very smoothly and everyone loved the food. The biggest problem we had was portion control; as this was our first time cooking for a large group, we had a lot of trouble judging how much food to actually cook. We obviously didn’t want to have a shortage of food, but we absolutely made TOO MUCH. I think we were a little ambitious with the menu and got too carried away because we wanted our friends to have fun and eat the best we had to offer. Next time, definitely cooking less!

Below are some pictures from the event. If you would like a recipe to any of the dishes featured, leave a comment and I’ll post the recipe for you!


Crab Artichoke Dip

One of our work areas

Lobster tail for the lobster mac & cheese

Lobster shell broth for the paella

Bacon wrapped scallops

Brussel sprouts and asparagus

Seafood and chicken paella

Shelly in Real Life!!!

Slow cooked ribs with plum & apricot BBQ sauce

Candied yams

Lobster mac & cheese, with hand-grated cheese and truffle oil

Duck lettuce wraps with hoison reduction sauce

Mushroom grits with truffle oil

Chocolate fountain

About eatingwithderek

Just a guy eating his way through life.


  1. shellyinreallife

    LIKE! =D I’m so glad that we got to host Mas-Giving together and we definitely have a lot to work and improve on for future parties. The best moment was when we were working in the slave kitchen, just the two of us bs-ing and cooking 🙂

  2. Pingback: Recipe: Surf & Turf Paella « shelly in real life

  3. Pingback: Recipe: Surf & Turf Paella « shelly in real life

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