03 January 2009

My three Brads.

Hello from 2009! I must say, these may be the laziest, least productive two weeks of vacation I've ever had. But I must also say they've been glorious. I have no qualms about sleeping in until 10 am every day and watching at least 400 hours of various CSIs. I'm certainly not looking forward to returning to work on Monday, but at least we had one big last hurrah via a Very Churchy NYE -- our very first NYE party. Even though I missed some of the party (yeah yeah... insert various jokes and snickers here!), I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all, and Brad and I enjoyed ourselves, surrounded by our friends and loved ones. Thanks to everyone for making this a very special 2009 already.

I love to throw a good party, and I spent a few days planning and prepping. For snacks, I settled on a quick bean and cheese dip, olive dip, artichoke rolls, meatballs, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and chocolate chip oat cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels.

I threw the bean and cheese dip together based on a low-cal dip I made for Xmas -- I heated up two cans of red kidney beans and smooshed them, then spread them on the bottom of the bowl. I topped it with a layer of sour cream, then a handful of both low-fat cheddar and regular cheddar. Then a few sprinkles of cilantro on top. I've made the olive dip a few times before, and it never disappoints. It's a Rachael Ray recipe, minus the garlic. I also used low fat ricotta and cream cheese. The cookies were an old Cooking Light recipe I've had around for a few years -- thought now was a good of time as any to finally try it out. I can't find the recipe online, but the cookies turned out super tasty (they have oats in them, too). I can send the recipe if anyone is interested. The artichoke roll was a recipe I found in a cookbook I actually bought on accident, Better Homes and Gardens' Off the Shelf Baking. It's really just a premade crescent roll, rolled out, topped with artichokes, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper, rolled back up, baked, and sliced into bite sized pieces (again, if anyone wants it, I can send the recipe along). I thought these were super yummy and I'll definitely make them again. The chocolate covered pretzels were pretty straightforward, although I got the specific recipe from Martha Stewart (pretty in pink pretzels) -- this isn't the exact recipe (can't find it), but you get the idea. It always surprises me how much I like chocolate covered pretzels, but these were super yummy, too. Finally, the meatballs. Mmm the meatballs.

I was very excited to use my new party crock, which Brad got me for Christmas. I stole this recipe from Lisa and Kristal -- Trader Joe's frozen meatballs, in Kristal's ketchup and brown sugar sauce. I cooked these on the stove top (in the actual crock! exciting), then kept them warm throughout the evening on the warmer. Very exciting stuff. And everyone loves some 'balls.

Mmm balls.

Now that we've got the food covered, what's a NYE party without some fancy cocktails? For this, I got inspiration from Merry Kitschmas, a book I picked up in the bargain bin just after Christmas last year, as well as from my sister-in-law, who served a delicious cocktail on Xmas that went along well with the two drinks I pulled from the book. I knew I'd never remember the details, so I printed up drink menus for the "bar."

Pictured above... Rudolph the Rehab Reindeer's Nose. My drink of choice for the evening. When planning cocktails for the evening, I didn't even realize that these cocktails were straight hardcore booze... Silly me! Delicious but brutal. And, of course, Lisa Z was kind enough to bring a bevy of delicious jell-o shots. Mimosa, rum and coke, lemon drop... Classy jell-o shots, my friends, classy!

Food, drinks, friends, and even pooches that behaved... It was the perfect way to ring in the new year. Happy 2009, everyone. Thanks for joining us, and we wish you nothing but the best in the coming year.

No comments: