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Monday, January 9, 2012

Once Again, the Party is Over

My buddies from Girls Night Out.  We've been together for somewhere around 20-25 years!

Last year we had miserable weather.  Cold, icy, slip and fall and break your tookus weather. Somewhere between 125 and 150 people attended our annual open house.  It started years ago when Connie said, "Let's have a party."  I said, "Sure."  Did you expect anything different?  We had the party in Connie's old house.  That entailed dragging coolers back and forth as I really needed to do the cooking in my kitchen.  Finally, we bought OUR house and the party moved here.  It grew over time.  This year the weather was perfect.  We had 180 attend.  Going into the party we had 188 yes rsvp's.  (Editorial comment:  RSVP means respondez sil vous plait - please respond whether or not you're going to attend.  Many folks don't understand this, much to our chagrin.)  Thirty plus didn't show and twenty plus didn't rsvp and tell us they'd be here but showed up anyway.  A total of 180 showed up.  Now, we don't have a big house so we use our garage as the bar.  Last year we opened the door from the family room first thing Friday morning.  We ran heaters all day and finally got the temp up to 62 degrees.  This year, the heater was turned on as the party started and turned off shortly thereafter.  The garage temp?  62 degrees. 

Here's my working menu:

Bill of Fare

Meats, Fish and Seafood

Turkey breast with Grand Marnier Cranberry Compote

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel

Pork Tenderloins with Scallion Mustard Mayonnaise

Beef Tenderloins with Red Wine Mustard Sauce

Honey Glazed Ham with Spiced Citrus Mustard Glaze

Gingery Chicken Satay

Smokey Chicken Barbecue Skewers with White Barbecue Sauce

Teriyaki Flank Steak Skewers

Cameroon Suya (Flank Steak dusted with Peanut Spice)

Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

Bourbon Brined Salmon

Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce




Ham and Cheese



Fresh Herb and Caper Tapenade

Creamy Basil Pesto Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip


Baked Potato Dip

Barbecued Chicken Dip

Blue Moon Cheese Spread

Bourbon Bacon Marmalade

Brie with Cranberry Chutney

Deviled Cheese Ball

Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream

Gorgonzola Cranberry Cheeseball

Greek Layered Dip

Hot Chipped Beef Dip

Pulled Pork KC Style Dip

Hot Bites

Bacon Crescents

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts in Chili Sauce

BBQ Bacon and Cheese Mini-Meatloaves

Green Olive Poppers

La Brea Tar Pit Chicken Wings

Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce

Pesto Crescents


Slices of Happiness

Wing Eggrolls with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce


Chicken Chili Cheese Dip

Mexicali Salsa

Rum Soaked Black Bean Salsa

Smoked Salmon Tartare

Antipasto and Cold Bites

Antipasto Platter

Deviled Eggs

Cheddar Cheese Wafers

Chesapeake Snack Mix

Cream Cheese Olive Pecan Bites

Crispy Salami Rolls

Peppadew Hot Shots


Apricots Dipped in Chocolate with Almonds

Butterscotch Brownies and Chocolate Brownies

Caramel Dream Bars

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

Pirouettes with Cheesecake Sauce

Pumpkin Walnut Bars

Salted Peanut Bars

Tequila Lime Bars

What was most popular?  These items:  crab cakes, pulled pork dip, teriyaki flank steak skewers, Mom's cheese wafers, gorgonzola cranberry cheese ball, gruyere olive poppers, butterscotch brownies and tequila lime bars.  A couple of dishes never made it to the table.  This year it was the jellied cranberry sauce with zinfandel.  It was taken to my brother's in-laws Sunday evening for dinner.  It's now been requested for holiday dinners.  So, one of those side notes pops into my mind.  When my niece Samantha was a little shaver she didn't like any fruits or vegetables.  So, at ever meal red jello was served.  Red jello that was really canned jellied cranberry sauce!  This was a couple of steps up from the canned version. 

Did I take photos?  Nope.  I spent solid days cooking and cleaning and didn't take more than a couple of photos along the way.  Knowing that the weather was going to be wonderful and that we had more yes responses than ever I knew I had to keep my eye on the ball - and not the camera!  One evening though, Connie whispered that I really had to take a look in the family room - camera in hand.  Seems that Gracie Ann thought it was really cool that Connie'd left his water glass on the coffee table:

So, I'd be remiss if I didn't show you a couple of photos from the party:

Mom talking to my colleague Chuck and his wife Karen.  Mark, the guru of all things computer, is behind Mom.  He's one of the funniest guys I know - and he keeps our computers in great shape!

My wonderful friend Lauren talking to Chef Joseph.  She talks like I do - with her hands.  Connie jokes that I'd never be able to talk if I had to sit on my hands... He's right!  Her hubby, Bob and Joseph's partner, Juan are watching.

See the gorgeous gal waving back there?  That's LizzyDo from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Last, but not least, some of us got to relax and enjoy the sunshine during the clean up phase...

For recipes go to Kate’s Kitchen blog:


Lizzy Do said...

Oh, I'm cracking up!!! Glad there wasn't a close up ;)

I am here to testify that every single dish was amazing! I hovered over the salmon...and Bill had his share of beef and pork! I woke up full...all was so very delicious and irresistible.. I could never imagine cooking for 180 without having a nervous breakdown, but you were cool as a cucumber!

Thanks again for the fun!!!

The Mom Chef said...

I want to go to that party! I know, I know, you invited me. We just missed it by a couple of days. Next time we head up to Chicago though, we are stopping by. Seriously. We do go through Indianapolis (or Columbus, depending on our mood).

Anonymous said...

impressive menu-looks like you had a great time!

Anonymous said...

The party was wonderful, great people, conversation. . . and, of course, great food. Thank you, Kate and Connie. . .so delicious!!!