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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Party Time

We had a Christmas Party!  I'm sorry I couldn't invite everyone.  I'm not like my buddy who doesn't want to leave anyone out.  I think she invited over 70 people and told them to tell everyone who wanted to come, to come!  Of course, my own little invitation plan backfired just a bit.

A Christmas party is not something we do every year.  In fact, we hosted one for our neighborhood the first year we lived here and only a handful of families showed up.  So, we thought we'd expand the guest list a little.  Turns out we had 80 people in our humble abode and over 30 of those were kids!

We enjoyed having everyone and wishing a "Merry Christmas" face to face.

Friends brought yummy treats like homemade Christmas cookies, the famous and always-devoured artichoke dip and even an adventurous and  strangely-devoured cheese fudge.

But to me, one of the best parts of hosting a party is serving my favorite foods.  Here was the menu:

Peppermint Punch
Marinated Shrimp
Olive Tapenade with Fresh Baguettes
Homemade Peanut Brittle
Fresh Fruit 
English Wassail
Candied Fruit Slices

Read on for some of the recipes.

Olive Tapenade: pulse to desired consistency 4 cups, drained, pitted Kalamata olives with 3 garlic cloves and 5 sundried tomatoes in olive oil

Peanut Brittle: (Yes, in the microwave!)
• 1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Grease a baking sheet, and set aside.
2. In a glass bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt.
3. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes on High. Mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned.
4. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
5. Quickly stir in baking soda, just until mixture is foamy.
6. Pour immediately onto greased baking sheet.
7. Let cool 15 minutes, or until set.
8. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Marinated Shrimp: Combine the following ingredients and pour over 4 pounds cooked, peeled shrimp.  Marinate overnight. 
1 cup oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 bottle capers
1 bottle chili sauce
1 T garlic salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp blk pepper
1 sliced red onion

Peppermint Punch
1/2 gal peppermint ice cream
2 qts eggnog
2 qts hilled ginger ale
1. Place ice cream in a punch bowl, and allow to soften slightly
2. Blend in eggnog and ginger ale; stir until frothy
3. Serve at once, or keep chilled until ready to serve

How's that for merry eating! 

Ava's little belly was so stuffed by the end of the night.  We couldn't watch her every second, but I'm pretty sure she ate the entire bowl of candied fruit slices all by herself!  Every time I looked up, she was reaching up over the table to grab one. (I was just glad she never accidently reached into the meatball dish.)

Let me know if you try any of the recipes or if you were here and especially liked one of them.  

What are you having at your Christmas party?


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful time. I can't say the thought of Scott's cheese/fudge even interests me.

    We never host a Christmas party, but I have a dream of an annual Christmas Vacation theme party. Really! Maybe one day. And I would hope that someone brings a jello mold with cat food sprinkled on top! (hope you know what I am talking about)

    Merry CHRISTmas to you and the whole "sock" family!