Tuesday, December 11, 2012


We had an action packed weekend!  My crazy sister (right), mother(middle), and I(left) spent several days in the kitchen preparing for a couple of exciting parties that  just so happen to all fall this weekend.  I am so tired!!!...BUT, we had a great time.  We work well together and I enjoy the time I get to spend with them.  My mother is the originator of all things “over the top”.  If a little bit will do…a whole lot Is better!  I am crazy about certain details because of the lovely mother I have been blessed with.   She has spend the better part of the last 40 years entertaining everyone she loves.  Her love of fun and family has taught me a treasure trove of valuable secrets.  She would let us help her in the kitchen and prepare for her parties.    I love her for the exposure to her art of entertaining.   She is why is am crazy.   Truly this CRAZY didn’t fall far from the tree!
 There are so many layers of preparation to this weekend..we shall begin with the table. Simple bows on the chairs, filled glass jars, and no table cloth.  This party was for a group of teenager going to a Christmas Formal Dance.  They came to the house for dinner instead of going out to eat.  We didn't want to add too much by way of table cloth because the girls would be in formal dresses.  Sometimes a table cloth really gets in the way of a formal dress! We had to move the coaches in the adjoining  room and bring in another tale.  It worked well.
Next, appetizers!  YUM!!! They were a little work, but all of these appetizers were  things we could do the day or two ahead.  I like things that can be prepared ahead of 
Every party should begin with eggnog!  This is the same recipe that I used in an earlier post...actually...it is the only "Nog" recipe we ever use!  DELISH!  We also had bottles of sparkling apple juice for those who don't  like eggnog. I am sorry to say there are those who do not see the extraordinary beauty  in "Nog"...SAD!!! Cheese Balls are a fantastic way to "appetize" your friends and family.  We like to do three different recipes.  Each is rolled in a different topping... the red, green, and white effect of these tiny balls is super merry!  I have not met a cheese ball I have not liked, but these little guys are to die for.  They are rolled bite size...perfect for a cracker! They can be prepared several days ahead...LOVE!  A cheese ball is a  superior appetizer by far!

     I would like to personally thank the appetizer "Caprese".  not only are you beautiful,easy, and yummy...our colors lend themselves to the season!  A Caprese is a simple salad of sorts. It consists of Mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil. Typically it is served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.   Here we are serving it on skewers.  Instead of the traditional dressing, we have drizzled pesto on the little guys!  What can I say..we are a fan of pesto!
 Who doesn't love a meat ball? RIGHT!?!  I have to admit the meat balls are always the biggest crowd pleasers.  Never a single one left!  The kids had a great time standing around talking,eating, and laughing.  It was a great start to any Christmas Dinner. These would be easy appetizers for a New Year"s Eve party!
While they were mingling we prepared a wedge salad for each plate.  The best part of the wedge salad is the homemade ranch dressing and croutons.  It is a recipe my mother got from her mother.  It is killer ranch..seriously, don't buy it...make it!  The croutons...I can't say enough about them...no salad necessary...they are dangerously good! This is a beautiful and easy to prepare salad...no chopping!
After we had the salads in place we called our guests in.  They love the salad and were delighted by the table.  I love when it works!
Salads were followed up by "glass ringing".  I love a teenage group...so self entertaining!  While the ringing continued...finished loading up their plates.  During the salad we grilled stakes.  My mother has a fantastic stake marinade that quite honestly is to die for.  We made sour cream and buttermilk twice baked potatoes, rolls, and creamed corn.  What the plate lacked in color it made up in flavor.  The highest level of deliciousness.  This was such a hit we will be serving a similar Christmas Eve Dinner.  Nothing is better than a great cut of meat, homemade roll and a perfect potato!  NOTHING!
Last, but certainly not least...DESSERT! A lot o care went into this tiny quad of tasty treats!  The nice part is all the work was done the day before these are all items that are actually better the next day.We served an Oreo and cream cheese cake pop (easiest easy), a rice pudding with topped with cream and a candied cinnamon sprinkle, red velvet cake  shots with layers of fluffy filling, and a tiny hot chocolate!  The perfect ending to a great meal!  
 Each tiny dessert tooks it's place on a perfect little plate....this dessert was screaming tiny little screams  to be eaten! HOW CUTE!!!!! It was a good moment.

 We lined the plates up on the counter and loaded them up.  When you are serving a sit down dinner this is the easiest way to load up the plates!
They loved the dessert! What an adorable group of kids.  We planned our menu well in advance, did all the work the day before, and really enjoyed the evening. After eating, the kids went along to the dance and we took our shoes off and started on the clean up. We s pent the majority of the clean up process hashing and rehashing even the most minuet details of the meal.  Plus there were several killer pairs of shoes that came to the dinner tonight, we hashed that too! Girls didn't wear shoes like that when I was in high school...JEALOUS! This entire menu would make a great Christmas Dinner.  We might just do the entire evening over...no extra brain work...now that is a Merry Christmas to ME! I hate brain work!! :]
After the kitchen was clean and all the tiny little dishes were put away, it was right to bed. The next day would bring another party…but, that is a whole new blog post! I’ll save that for another day… I wouldn’t want to come down with a case of “over- bloggness”  I hear that can be serious!  :]

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