Dec 28, 2010

I Have Lost My Ever-loving Mind

I'm having a sit-down New Year's Eve dinner for 24 people.  In our little rancher.  Friday night.  When I work all this week, including Friday.


Yesterday I went to Cost Plus World Market, Carolina Pottery, HomeGoods, Target, A.C. Moore and Tuesday Morning in search of 12 cheap gold chargers.  No luck.  I try other locations today after work.

Moving on to more interesting and appetizing topics- the Menu!

An assortment of cheeses, nuts and olives to start
Baked Fontina

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Frank Stitt's Old Fashioned Potato Gratin
Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad

Homemade Chocolate Bark

Now, for the almost daily Spice and Sass reader poll.  Hubs came up with the brilliant idea of serving some sort of carbohydrate laden munchie around midnight to help slow down the champagne consumption.  He suggested sausage balls or their ilk.  MOH suggested a ton of Krystals (passed on a silver tray, naturally).  What do y'all think??

Dec 23, 2010

Santa Paws is Coming to Town!

These dogs are far more well behaved than mine.  I'm in love with this canine nativity.  Genius!

Merry Christmas! 

Safe travels to those of you who are visiting family and friends.  We're spending Christmas Eve here, then heading to North Carolina with Hubs' family.  After my eight year old at camp for the first time frequent involuntary crying last year, we decided it would be best for me to have Christmas Eve at home for at least the time being.  Until I can behave like an adult.

So probably never!

Buddy's stocking is stuffed with a two foot long bone.  I am trembling in anticipation for my entertainment in watching him try to eat this thing!

I hope you have a joyous, loving, and cosy holiday! Love to all!

Dec 22, 2010

Chili and Chilling

 Here I am with a bunch of lovely young mamas.  Babies were invited to the party, but everyone decided more fun would be had if wee ones stayed home with sitters.  Can you believe all these ladies have had babies in the last year and a half?  And the gorgeous gal next to me in white is gearing up for number two!

I love the centerpiece for the appetizer table- Mama's wise men.  If she will make anymore, I would love a set someday. . .

 Finally, a somewhat decent picture of MOH and myself.

 I'm glad to see that Abby's daddy gets into stories as much as I do!

Emily will get her antlers next year when's she's officially my sister!  Hurrah!

I hope y'all all have a wonderful Christmas, full of laughter, stories, good friends, family, chili and cheer!!

Dec 21, 2010

Earning Your Antlers

Well, the chili party Saturday was a success, with about a hundred guests in and out, and lots of laughter.  Mama and I inadvertently wore coordinated outfits, which is a concept (mother-daughter dressing) we have never been huge proponents of.  However, matching antlers are essential and are helpful for spotting us hostess shorties in the crowd.

I have to tell y'all about these delicious little things which Kate gave me the recipe for-

"Every time I make these, I get bombarded with requests for the recipe - they are SO easy and this could easily be doubled! My family has a "chili party" too... Chili and Tamale Night, which our Christmas with my dad's side of the family. We usually have about 40 people and this amount is just about right... you might want to make 1.5 of the recipe for 60-70!

1 Pound Ground Sausage (I like the spicey kind)
1 c. Monterrey Jack cheese - shredded
1 c. Cheddar - shredded
1 c. Ranch Dressing - (I use Fat Free)
1 finely diced red pepper
1/2 c. finely diced black olives (optional - I don't do the olives)
5 packages of Phyllo Cups (in the dessert frozen food aisle)

Brown sausage - drain fat. Combine sausage and all other ingredients in a bowl. Fill cups. Bake 15 min at 350 (or 25-30 if frozen).
I always assemble the cups and then put them back into their little trays and then freeze for easy transport to my parents' house!"

In case you didn't already realize, Kate is a genius.  These things are amazing.  I doubled the recipe, using one thing of mild sausage and one of hot. 

Do y'all have Wamplers outside of Tennessee?  It has this jingle which is impossible to get out of your head once stuck there- "Wamplers Wamplers it's good sausage, made on a farm in Tennessee, don't say sausage just say Wamplers, for the best in quality!"*

Anyway, a couple of bell peppers, which I diced.

2 cups of sharp cheddar, and 2 cups of Monterey Jack.  And gasp, against all my lofty principles I used pre-shredded in the interest of time (and the amount of cheese I had to hand grate for chili topping, and spinach artichoke dip).

Then I added 2 cans diced black olives, and 2 cups of refrigerated ranch dressing.  I used full fat because that's how I roll lately (hence the growing roll around my middle, bygones!).
Spoon the mixture into your little phyllo cups, wrap in plastic if you are transporting, and stick back in the box if you like for easy transport.

Hot out of the oven- vultures were already gathering so I had to snap a quick poorly lit photo.
Dasher and Prancer hard at work.
I made 150 of those things.  Our table was groaning with spinach artichoke dip, crudités and curry dip, fruit, cheese, cured meats, and cheese dip.  About an hour into the party the sausage tart platter was as shown above.  These things were devoured!  And as Kate promised, everyone wanted the recipe!

Now, just as last week, I did a lot of talking at this party- I believe that ALE is in a particularly good tale here from my expression.
Luckily I had the presence of mind to request so pictures of me smiling as opposed to reacting this time.

I'll be back tomorrow with more recipes. Oh, and next year I'm going to make three hundred of those tarts. 

*Why can I remember this song yet not to take my dry cleaning?  Ahh, the mysteries of life.

Dec 15, 2010

Jumping Out of My Skin

Buddy got so excited when we saw AK while running errands yesterday that he decided to give her a kiss.  While he was chilling in the backseat of the Barbie Dream Car.  I have a pulled shoulder, so wrestling him back in was quite a spectacle.

So I'm trying to get ready for our family's chili party this Saturday.  Luckily Mama is lifting a heavy load and doing the majority of the work, but I'm handling appetizers.

Our meal is chili with Frito's, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, and all the other fixins, with lemon cookies for dessert.  Mama is making a cheese dip which is similar to pimento cheese.

So suggestions for the rest?  I'm thinking spinach artichoke dip, crudite with a curry dip, and maybe mini quesadillas?

We normally expect 60-70 people, so shoot me suggestions for a casual party!
This is chili party a few years ago- we wear antlers every year, so you can always find a hostess.

Dec 14, 2010

Walking in a Winter Weekend

This is while decorating the Christmas tree.  If I only had my makeup and hair fixed, this could be a Christmas contender. If I only had a brain.  Which clearly I don't, as I mailed 10 invitations the other day sans postage.

Anyway, Buddy does not like a Hubs-Samma hug.  No- if there is hugging going on he has to be right up in there.  We were laughing about it, and had to demonstrate for Mama.  

Saturday was a double header with Hayes one year old birthday party.
 His buddy Fletcher is almost one himself.

 Between having to change half the invites for my family's chili party to include new family members, and all the babies at the party, the amount of friends who have procreated in the past year was really brought into perspective.

Not pictured- Baby Benton, born Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and Baby Wiley, born Saturday after Thanksgiving (and their mamas).

So we scurried home and got dolled up for Christmas cocktails.  I said goodbye to my baby, who was dying to scratch up my polka dot tights.
And did not take a single picture at the party, which was very photo worthy.  Why?
Well, according to this pic ripped from Facebook, I didn't stop talking the entire time.  It looks like I'm in the middle of an excellent story here, no?  Hee.

Sunday night got super cozy with a fire, Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and SNOW!
This is what we woke up to Monday morning.  I was too much a weenie to drive the Barbie Dream Car, so Hubs had to take me to work.

I should have sledded there.

How was everyone's weekends?  I love parties, especially holiday ones!  Any snow in your neck of the woods?
And here is one more gratuitous picture of my sweet blonde boy-

He does not like holiday parties.  He likes his parents to be home playing with him at all times!

Dec 9, 2010

Holiday Happenings

We have been trying to learn how to use the invisible fence.

 Watching squirrels and waiting for Santa Paws to arrive with a sack full of bones.
 Dance parties in the kitchen with new sisters.

 Christmas wishes
Christmas trees (plural- it was snowing and we couldn't resist).

Playing in the flurries with our little Buddy.

This weekend is chock-ful of parties of all sorts- I am bouncing with excitement.  What has been going on with y'all?  Waiting on Santa Paws? Decorating trees?

Dec 8, 2010

We Have a New Addition Coming!

Nope, not a baby.  Or another golden retriever adoption (if only Hubs would let me . . .)

I'm getting a SISTER!

Brother and Em are getting married this Memorial Day weekend (an excellent date- it will be Hubs and I's second wedding anniversary weekend).

I am too tickled! Yay for new members of the clan.  Also, I am so glad that i don't have to keep an upcoming proposal secret anymore because it was killing me! Mama was having problems too, as she would get a silly grin on her face whenever she was around the pair.


Dec 6, 2010

HELP! I need Christmas Gifts!

For me!  I'm so bad at this!  We send out lists to my in-laws and exchange our gifts.  I'm terrible at producing such wish list.  Last year I asked for donations to the Opera, and this year I'd like to do the same, as well as the Blount Mansion.  However, I'm not sure how well that went over, so I need to come up with some tangible things this year.

I'm asking for new Southern Living and Garden and Gun subscriptions, but what else can I ask for that's around thirty bones or under?

I wouldn't mind asking for a golden retriever salad plate-
I could get one every year, so I won't have to go through this rigmarole.  They would look great with my simple gold rimmed fine china.  Have I lost my mind?

Probably, since I told Hubs that i really want a Dyson for Christmas.  The animal hair one.  But it has to be his present from me as well.

Asking for a vacuum cleaner for Christmas?  No wonder I have a fantasy life involving too much costume jewelry.

Y'all, please give me ideas besides dog china!!

Dec 3, 2010

Another Wishful Thinking

Images from Kate Spade

I'm a chi-chi book editor with a trust fund, who's Southern accent is thicker in NYC than it was in Georgia, with the magical ability to stay super slim on a diet of fried chicken, who doesn't look ridiculous while wearing either smurf tights or a redundancy of glitzy costume jewelry.*

Who are you this weekend?

*For my real life and ensuing need to live in a fantasy world, please see my previous two posts.

Dec 2, 2010

I'm Alive (barely)

Felled by a massive migraine that took a few days to recover from, Thanksgiving excitement, and a golden retriever who has had a week-long case of rainy day boredom, exhausted but alive.

I'll be back asap.

And no, I'm not up the stick. Promise!