The egg nog was a vision- egg whites frothed to perfect peaks with a sprinkling of nutmeg. As I've mentioned before our annual party is going on its 18th year. RULE: Stick to a menu you know and that you are known for. Vava's would not be Vava's without:
Gala Pecan Spread
8 ounces cream cheese (soft)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 (2.5 oz) jar of dried beef (slice it up)
1/4 cup green pepper (finely chopped)
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Combine cheese and milk. Stir in beef, green pepper, onion flakes and rest of seasonings.
Mix well. Fold in sour cream. Spoon into an 8" pie plate.
Saute pecans in melted butter, then salt lightly. Sprinkle nuts over cheese mixture.
Heat in 350 oven for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with crackers or raw veggies.
This is a staple "hors d'oeuvres" of Vava's!
(From my very first cookbook purchased in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia 33 years ago!!!)
THE Best Artichoke Dip EVER!
2 cans (14 ounces each) non-marinated artichoke hearts - drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons sherry
Dash of cayenne
Dash of paprika
Mix and mash the drained artichoke hearts, the mayo and the parmesan cheese with a fork. The mixture should be thoroughly mixed but with a few lumps. Do NOT puree. Add garlic and sherry. Mix thoroughly. Put mixture in a small souffle or casserole dish and top with dash of cayenne and/or paprika.
Bake uncovered 15 minutes at 300.
(Recipe states: "It will be eaten before it cools.") Pretty much.
2 cans Mexicorn or Fiesta corn - drained
1 cup mayo
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups grated cheese
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
Mix, let chill well and serve with Frito scoops or crackers.
None of these are gourmet material...but here's another RULE: serve "plain/ordinary" stuff in your pretties. Crystal bowls, pretty serving pieces dress that corn dip up. I'm just sayin'.
We couldn't possibly have squeezed another human into our kitchen. Why is this always the case? We DO have other rooms in our home. The noise level was VERY loud which translates FUN times.
RULE: Invite interesting people. There won't be a lull in conversation.
Both our sons are home and were "working" guests last night! #1 Son and My Guy made a second batch of nog in the middle of the party. Cracked 12 eggs, separated whites from yellow. They hovered over my huge mixer reading the recipe line by line. It was adorable.
RULE: put the fam to work!
We're casual especially at home and some have a bravado and sense of humor
that ummm, some may not "get."
#2 Son (restored, happy & content) with #1 Son (wearing his "Tacky Christmas Sweater Party" attire from a party in Austin last week.) Needless to say he got a few laughs
RULE: Shop vintage and make the most of it!
The party started with a bang early on. And all were gone fairly early...considering. I looked at our kitchen and was overwhelmed with the remains of the day. But My Guy rolled his shirt sleeves up and started the process. Together we whipped our kitchen back into shape.
RULE: Have a spouse that loves hosting as much as you do and cleans BETTER than you do!
As we end 2010 I'd like to wish each of you blessings galore. Two days left until His birthday. I hope we all get a minute or two to slow down and honor HIM.
Kisses to you!
Vava and Her Guys