I am now officially 27 years old and how can anyone age another year without a party, food and drinks to celebrate?! Of course I celebrated in style and went overboard with food, but I would rather have too much than not enough. Ok, I'll run down the menu with you and break down the menu items that you may not know.
A party is not a party in the Zubarik household if Taco Dip isn't present. The only thing that I have learned to do differently because I hate cutting tomatoes, is to buy ones that are diced with green chilies mixed it. I just drained the can and then scoop out some of the tomatoes mixture and sprinkle over the top. Chips and Salsa was also present with the additional diced tomatoes with chilies added to the salsa. People raved about it!
Next I had a veggie tray complete with baby carrots, celery, cauliflower, green pepper and cucumbers. Tiffany's mom bought this dip called "Spinach Finach" in which you just add the mix to 16 oz. of sour cream. It had a nice zesty flavor which contrasted against the veggies perfectly.
Beer Dip was by far the favorite item on the buffet. And it was probably one of the easiest. 2 pkgs. cream cheese (I use the neufchatel 1/3 less fat variety), 1 pkg. dried ranch mix, 2 cups shredded cheese (the fancy, thin shred works the best) and about 6 oz. of beer. Just mix the ranch mix into the cream cheese by electric mixer (to save your arm), the slowly mix in the cheese and lastly add the beer about 2 oz. at a time. I used the "new-old" Schlitz and you could definitely taste that it wasn't just a Miller Lite in there. Just refrigerate for about an hour so it thickens and serve with pretzels.
Cheese and summer sausage with crackers is also a must have in the Zubarik's because it's easy and pretty much everyone will eat it. For some sweets on the table, I bought the Pillsbury premade cookies (with pumpkins and cats on them) and had a candy bowl. Chips and french onion dip was another easy table filler that I knew people would enjoy!
Then I decided to make some fun and yummy treats, so I made homemade (soft?) pretzels and Conky Wonks. I'll start with the pretzels:
1 tube Pillsbury breadsticks
1 egg, lightly blended
kosher sea salt
2 tbsp. milk
Unroll the breadsticks into the 12 pieces of dough. Cut each of those pieces in half lengthwise. Then roll the dough to make a 10 inch long string. Loop it around into a pretzel shape and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all 24 are done. Brush them with the egg, sprinkle the salt over them and cook in the oven for 15 mintues at 350 degrees (or until lightly browned). Unfortunately, in my oven they ended up a little harder than the soft breadstick-like pretzel they were supposed to be. But once you warm up the cheese sauce and thin it out with a little milk, the combo was delicious and I would definitely make them again.
And finally the Conky Wonks - probably not the most attractive looking things but definitely delicious:
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. velvetta cheese, cubed
1 loaf party rye bread
Brown and drain off the meats. Add the velveeta and cook on low heat on the stove until the cheese is all melted. Scoop out onto the rye squares and place on cookie sheets. Cook in the oven for 5 mintues at 425 degrees, to crisp the bread and the top of the meat. They warm up awesome in the microwave (only 15-20 seconds) and once I got people to try them, everyone loved them. They are defiitley my favorite, but if you are cooking for less than 20 people, defiitely make only a half recipe. I have tons left over!
Tiffany made me my cake and it was PINK!!! Love it. We made the diet soda cake in the microwave and it didn't turn out completely perfect, but we pieced it together and covered it in frosting and no one really cared. Sugar with sugar with sugary sprinkles - who would complain!!??
Drinks included beer, vodka, rum and margaritas thanks to my bday gift from my co-workers.
All in all, I think everyone found something they enjoyed to eat and definitely had plenty to drink. Now how will I top this for 28?