Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Demand to Be Housewarmed!

** the post title comes from Troy on Community. Don't get me started on the show not coming back mid-season.

Bob and I recently hosted our Housewarming Holiday Party and I would call it a success! If it wasn't for my intended tradition of always having a Harvest Party in October/November timeframe, I would definitely add a holiday party to the annual mix - it was so festive with the tree lights bright and the wine flowing!

As part of "Cookies Across America" campaign, I asked guests to bring baking items to donate to the local pantry. In the end we have 25+ items (and many many pounds) to donate including flour, sugar, baking soda, peanut butter and more. Thanks generous friends! 
Appetizer wise I used a mostly Pinterest inspired menu! First up, these anti-pasto skewers were so easy to make once all the ingredients were purchased. Black olives, green olives, grape tomatoes, mozzerella balls, cheese tortellini marinated in balsamic vinagrette, salami and proscuitto. Don't mind if I do. Original idea featured in this blog.
I re-used the Pear and Blue Cheese Tartlets that went over well at Thanksgiving, but also added in some Brie and Walnut Tarlets to the mix as well. But how to tell the similar looking shells apart? I put them on different platters and was planning on making little tent cards to go along with them. However, once I got started, here's what I ended up with. I had a couple left over tags so I decorated the top with a vintage Christmas sticker and attached a jingle bell through the top. Sorry no photo of the actual food - the one I took is actually a bit blurry now that I look at it on the computer!
Next up, another Pinspired foodie item! After making this spinach dip recipe from (minus the water chestnuts), we hollowed out some 2 inch baguette pieces (making sure not to rip through the bottom) and filled with the dip. A few veggies on the side creates a mini-bread bowl you can eat after you are done! I don't have the actual link to the source, but here's the Pinterest photo.
Finally, for dessert I made my Pumpkin Whoopie Pies at the behest of one of our guests who had them last year and made the request. So easy and so good - unfortunately I didn't eat one myself! (okay, I just re-read my first line here and saw that it contains many rhyming words, not the intention :-)
Bob and I decided to make a signature cocktail for the party and he stumbled onto Vanilla-Rum Colas on Martha Stewart's site. Dark rum, coke and a splash of vanilla was all it took. The garnish according to the recipe was oranges or kumquats. No kumquats in the three stores we went to, so we settled for something called a "satsuma" from Whole Foods. I even splurged and bought a fancy jar of vanilla for the display. I did run out of vanilla so needed it for baking anways. . .The glass coke bottle was just there for display - although I did buy a six pack of the glass coke bottles for myself. I don't drink a ton when we entertain but I wanted something fun to drink out of and am a sucker for the glass holiday bottles!
Soon enough, the new house filled with friends and we showed off the new space in between all of the eating and drinking. We had a great time and, as mentioned above, it was fun to not only show off our newly painted entryway and hung art, but also the tree and holiday decor!

Now that's a holiday card. . .
Another weekend is almost upon us - are you getting some last minute shopping done? Maybe not so last minute considering I am likely going to still be in purchase mode this time next week!

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