Posts Tagged ‘party’

Miss Claus

December 19, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Every year for Christmas, my girlfriends and I organize a Secret Santa gift exchange. The punch flows, the holiday music plays and the stories are shared. I am truly blessed with the best friends in the world! This year, everyone had to buy something that fit within the theme of “patterns” and each gift was so unique and really amazing. 

It was a busy week so I asked everyone to bring a little something for the buffet. Michelle and Lara brought shrimp, a cheese platter and delicious phyllo treats, Carly and Lisa brought Edamame (which we actually didn’t end up cooking because the table was too full), Tricia brought her delicious pita chips and hummus, Wesleigh  brought Prociutto wrapped asparagus (yum!), Liz and Elyse brought chips and pretzels and Ariana brought the most AMAZING homemade mini strawberry shortcakes.

I decided to “kick it oldschool” and stick with some of the easy classics. Chip dip and bruschetta…mmm.

Chip dip has been a tradition of ours since the beginning. I mean who can resist a good layer dip with nachos? Here’s how I make mine:

  • 2 containers light cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp light sour cream
  • 4 tbsp light mayo (adds a nice tang)
  • Salsa
  • Chopped bell peppers
  • Chopped green onions
  • Grated cheese

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo (I use a food processor, but a hand mixer also works well). Spread evenly on a platter. Add a layer of salsa, followed by the chopped veg. Top with grated cheese. Easy as 1…2…3.

(Someone snuck a bite before I could get the beauty shot!)

I love bruschetta. Especially when it’s made fresh, with good ingredients.

  • 6-8 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and it’s ready! Serve with a fresh baguette, curstini, crackers or tortilla chips.

The spread was truly fantastic. I think we all agreed that we should have a Secret Santa every month. After all, who doesn’t like presents!



Tea Time!

December 13, 2009

I just had the most amazing Sunday ever!

I was graciously invited to go to my good friend Carly’s 25th, girls only, birthday party. She had decorated her party room with traditional tea sets, cups and a buffet of decadent desserts. We each had a place setting, complete with a loot bag and access to a “make your own headband” craft station.  Clearly, this is every 25 year-old girl’s dream come true! Too much fun!

I offered to bring along a little appetizer. I thought about what would be a good accompaniment and I immediately decided on tea sandwiches and devilled eggs. I blame this choice on the many memories I have as a child eating this exact same thing at old Latvian functions (apparently, it was a very nostalgic type of day).

The sandwiched tasted great, but I wasn’t happy with the presentation so am not going to share them with you this time. Man… is it ever  hard making each one the same size, getting all the crusts off and getting them to stick together (it’s a lot harder than it sounds, trust me). I made three different varieties – smoked salmon with cream cheese and chives, cheese and salami and cucumber with cream cheese. I even used a brown bread layer and a white bread layer to try to add some visual appeal, but they just weren’t quite what I had envisioned. Oh well!

Devilled eggs on the other hand, are super easy. They don’t smell amazing, but do taste good.

For mine, I kept it super simple…

  • Boiled Eggs, cooled, shelled and sliced in half
  • Mayo
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Splash of White Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Chives and Paprika for garnish

Place all the yolks in a food processer and add mayo (I used about 3 tbsp for 8 eggs), 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 1 tbsp White Vinegar and Salt and Pepper.

Mix until smooth. Add more mayo if needed to adjust the consistency.

Scoop back into the egg white halves, or use a pastry bag (I don’t own one).  Garnish with paprika and chives.

Thanks so much for the party Carly! It was so wonderful!

Here’s a shot of my own personal creation. Carly supplied all the hairbands, ribbon, feathers etc. and everyone came up with something so amazing and so unique. I think some of the works of art could have passed for Dior.

For more pics from the party check out Carly’s very own blog : )