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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes, We Had a Party, Here's the Menu

And, such a party it was.  It was our sixth annual holiday open house.  It's on the first Friday after New Year's unless that would fall on the 1st or 2nd.  Then, it's on the 2nd Friday.  Got it?

The first year, we had it at Connie's old house.  He convinced me that the smartest thing to do was to hire a caterer to do part of the spread.  The guy did a pretty good job on his part but I wasn't totally thrilled.  We probably had 50 guests over the course of the evening.  The next year, we'd moved into OUR home.  It was a bit bigger than Connie's house so we invited more people.  And, again, Connie talked me into having a caterer do part of it.  He brought a sundried tomato and goat cheese dish that was incredible.  But, he was late and not dependable.  The next year, he showed up as the party started with a couple of partially cooked turkey breasts and rolls that hadn't been split.  That was the end of using a caterer for any of the party. 

We now invite almost all of my clients, our families, friends...neighbors, Kiwanis buddies, you name them, we invite them.  It's a great way to tell my clients how much I appreciate them.  So, this year 170 rsvp'd yes.  Yikes.  That was a new high. 

Over the years, I've tweaked the menu.  Added, subtracted.  During the course of the year I cut out recipes that are potentials for the party.  Some we try during the year, some we don't.  But, the basics have pretty much stayed the same for the last few years.  Here's the menu from this year's party.  I've included a link for those recipes that have appeared on here before.  The others, I'll work on getting on here.  May take a while since the list is really long so if there's anything you'd particularly like to see, please let me know.  I've already had a request for the butterscotch brownie recipe so I'll do that soon.  It's one of my personal favorites too!!

One thing I'd love for you to notice in the photos is the "name tags" for the dishes.  My talented husband made those and put cute little icons on each.  Horseshoes for our Colts, owls since I'm a Kappa, a hockey player for his beloved Bruins.  Lots of fun things that mean something to us.


Turkey, brined and rubbed with onion and rosemary

Grand marnier cranberry compote

Pork tenderloin, marinated in bourbon, soy sauce and brown sugar

Scallion mustard mayonnaise sauce

Beef tenderloins rubbed with garlic, honey and thyme

Horseradish sauce

Ham with lemon and rosemary

Dijon mustard

Chicken satay with peanut sauce
Flank steak skewers marinated in teriyaki sauce

Cameroon flank steak

Shrimp and pineapple skewers, with cilantro spicy baste

Sassy marinated shrimp

Smoked salmon with onion, whipped cream cheese and capers

Bourbon cured salmon






Bell peppers


Pesto dip

Crackers, baguette and bagel chips

 Brie with cranberry chutney

Clam diggers dip

Crab rangoon dip

Eggplant caponata

Blue cheese spread

Mushroom truffle pesto

Pimento cheese

Pistachio covered cheese log

Greek layered dip

Buffalo hot wing spread

Goat cheese with rosemary cream


 Black bean salsa

Mexicali scoop
Mexicorn dip

Smoked salmon tartare

Hot Bites

 Crab cakes with remoulade sauce

Ham and cheddar bites

Pizza bites



Wrapped water chestnuts

Mustard and ginger sausages

Cold Bites

Cheese wafersCream cheese olive bites

Marinated mixed olives

Smoked oysters

Rolled salami with cream cheese filling

Eggs with crispy anchovy crumbs
Deviled eggs with smoked salmon
Caesar deviled eggs

Marinated provolone

Caprese skewers

Greek salad stackers

Antipasto plate

Marinated artichoke heartsMarinated asparagus


Rolled anchovies
Salami etc


 Christmas cookies

Chocolate brownies

Butterscotch brownies

Butterscotch oatmeal bars

Special K bars

Pirouettes with cheesecake sauce

Chocolate, peanut butter etc dipped butter cookies

Smores cherries



egbkid said...

It all sounds so yummy! Can I request the recipe for the S'mores Cherries...two things I live combined!!
Thanks for sharing!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Wow, that is quite a spread. I will have to plan my calendar better for next year! He he So many things to choose from, your guests must have been over the top excited. Sounds like everything was great. Hope you have recovered, that is a lot of work.

Monet said...

I so wish I could have attended this holiday extravaganza. What an amazing spread of food. I don't know how you did it...but you pulled it off beautifully! Thanks for sharing, sweet girl! Have a terrific Thursday.

cake said...

Oh wow! What a feast! Everything looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

I did attend and it was tremendous. Once again, Kate and Connie outdid themselves!!

Lizzy said...

I was one of the lucky guests, too...and let me tell you, the food was superb! The butterscotch brownies were my favorite dessert...and I'll be copying a bunch of these recipes to try (starting with the yummy pork tenderloin). I'd love the recipe for the bourbon cured salmon, too...I think I went back for thirds!!!

Thanks so much, Kate!!!

Carla said...

looks amazing! I love the idea of an open house for so many..... can't wait to have a house so I can hold one... we max out at about 40 in my apartment

Dee Dee's Delights said...

The food looks so good wish i was there!

Lo-mo said...

Wow! So much food, so much work. Looks like everything turned out amazing. Wow again Kate, pat yourselves on the back!

Tastemonials said...

What a ridiculously amazing spread! How could anyone turn down an invitation to this??!!

sara @ CaffeIna said...

This was indeed a great party! The spread looks fantastic! i would have loved one of the brownies :)

Veronica Gantley said...

Do you ever watch the Barefoot contessa? When Ina has a party she sometimes buys things instead of homemade. People dont care if things are not homemade. Keep it simple. Did you have fun with your clients or did you spend most of your time in the kitchen? Something to consider next year. By the way everything looked wonderful.

Becky said...

This was a magnificent party with a wonderful menu. Unbelievable the amount of work involved, but you were able to have a wonderful party.
Kudos to you and Connie!

Kita said...

And I thought my party this year with 30 people was a lot! Where did you put everyone?
Kudos on all the food, you really know what it means to throw down in the kitchen.

Christina said...

That's some feast! Everything looks fantastic!

Kate @ said...

Oh my goodness, what a menu! Those guests must have felt so lucky to be there. Amazing feast!

Lindsey said...

What a decadent arrangement, nicely done! It all sounds so delicious. I'm now craving about twenty different things after reading the menu. :)

Tes said...

Oh what a party! What a feat! Everything look so delicious :)

Jason Phelps said...

That is indeed a ridiculous spread, but having exchanged notes about your zest for entertaining I can't be that surprised. Our parties never get this big, but if they did I don't know if I could pull it off.