Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Party Time!

Ahhh...I know it's been a couple of days since I last posted, but I have been super busy. And I've had a little bit of a holiday hangover. My husband and I hosted our first Christmas party in over 7 years and I must say that we pulled it off and it was a great party!

For me a good party is all about having great friends, food and drink and we had all three! The theme was a wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres party...so our focus was most definitely on the food and drink. We provided all of the food and asked each of our guests to bring their favorite bottle of wine to share with everyone. It is a great way to try new wines and maybe find a new favorite one.

As for the food, I went all out. I made stuffed mushrooms, hot bacon cheese dip, sweet onion dip, bacon wrapped pineapple bites, sausage cream cheese rolls, shrimp cocktail, baked brie with cranberries and apples, Jarlsberg cheese dip, fresh pesto for dipping, two kinds of bruschetta, had a large cheese platter and for the finishing touch I borrowed a chocolate fountain from a friend.

We had such a great time celebrating with our friends and hosting the party that I completely forgot to take photos...but the food, the friends and the night really were amazing! I just thought that I would share with you the recipes that were most requested after the party.

The first is the Baked Sweet Onion Dip, which was my favorite item of the night. It was my first time making it and I absolutely LOVED it. It was cheesy deliciousness and the sweet onion flavor was just amazing! The second dish is another dip, the Bacon Cheese dip. It was just yummy! And the third one was actually one of the easiest dishes of the night...but everyone just scarfed it down. The brown sugar leaves such a great caramelization on the bacon that you can't stop with just one...and no one at the party did.

Baked Sweet Onion Dip
from white on rice couple
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese (very softened)
  • 1 cup mayo 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
    Crusty bread or crackers
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, place softened cream cheese. The cream cheese must be very, very, soft (like spreadable butter) to allow all ingredients to blend evenly together. If your cream cheese needs to soften more, place in microwave for a few seconds.
2. Add mayo, parmesan cheese, onions and fresh cracked black pepper to soft cream cheese till everything is mixed thoroughly.
3. Place mixture in ramekins or any oven safe dishes. Bake slowly, for about 30-45 minutes for all ingredients to cook together. When the top crust is brown, almost burnt looking then the dip is ready. The darker brown the crust of the dip becomes, the better the flavors are cooked.
4. Serve with your favorite bread and crackers.

Hot Bacon Cheese Spread
Adapted from Taste Of Home
  • 1 unsliced round loaf bread
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 7 bacon strips, diced and fried
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl & spoon into an over safe dish and bake for 45 minutes or until heated through.
3) Serve with bread cubes and crackers.

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites
  • 1 lb of bacon
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks - drained
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
1) Set oven to 375F.
2) Cut the pound of bacon in half.
3) Put the brown sugar in a shallow bowl.
4) Take a half a slice of bacon and dredge it through the brown sugar. Put a chunk of pineapple on one end of the bacon slice and roll up. Secure with a toothpick.
5) Place pineapple rolls on a rack on top of a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
6) Bake for at least 25 minutes, or until the bacon looks brown and crispy.

All of these appetizers would be great to have at with your Christmas dinner or served at a New Year's party...or just for an evening at home with your family!

Have a great rest of the week!


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