Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pin-It Tuesday: Christmas Party Recap

I owe a lot of my new favorite treats to Pinterest. Sure I used to search the internet for recipes before the existence of this website, but now with social media, making recipes that my friends are also posting and from fellow blogging-friends means more to me (and makes me feel that they will be fail-proof).

Two weekends ago, my friends all got together at Tory's new apartment for our 2nd Annual Christmas Party. Everyone makes a dish or two to share and we play rounds and rounds and rounds of games while munching, drinking, hysterically laughing and sharing plenty of holiday cheer. We even do a white elephant exchange and some gifts from year one made a return to be re-gifted for years to come.

Last year I made everyone cork xmas trees as a take-home gift and my close ladies cork boards with wine corks. This year, I continued the tradition and made cork Rudolph's for everyone.  (not white elephant if you were confused!)

Ok - onto the munchies.
Not the complete table but the camera was misplaced shortly after here.
chocolate chip boots and santas and fudgy brownies
Oreo cake
Goat Cheese Tartlets
Bruschetta on costini
onion dip & Tuscan dip with crackers
S'mores on a stick

Bagel Dip - Must get the recipe soon!
The table also included apple cider sangria, pickle rolls, taco dip, pizza rolls, beer, apple pizza, wine and I'm sure something else I'm forgetting.

And here is what the table included that I brought.

Creamy Bruschetta Bites

About two days before the party, I got my daily email from Hungry Girl (LOVE HER) that included some slimmed-down versions of favorite holiday treats and this bruschetta really hit a chord with me. I changed it just a bit to include ingredients I had around the house. Original recipe found here.

My version:
2 small loaves french bread (bought from Dollar Tree)
2 wedges of Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese (I used Aldi's version)
1 medium tomato (de-seeded)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (I used the squeeze container kind)

Bake the loaves as directed (8 min. at 375 or until browned). I then sliced the bread into 1 inch slices and laid them on a cookie sheet and toasted them for 5 min. per side (just enough to crust up a bit so the bruschetta didn't make it mushy!)

In a bowl, stir the cheese wedges until smooth. Add tomato, onions, basil and garlic into the cheese. Let sit for a 1/2 hour. Evenly distribute the topping amongst the slices of bead and place on a platter to serve.

Hungry-Girls' Creamy Bruschetta Bites
These were pretty good - the toasting of the bread helped them not get soggy, and the bread was just the right amount of crusty!

Veggie Crescent Wreath

I found that the recipe really over estimated the amount of veggies and dip needed, so my improvisation includes adding a veggie platter in the middle of the wreath to use up the veggies bought and extra dip.

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls (8 oz each - I used reduced fat)
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tsp. dill weed
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup chopped broccoli flourets
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
celery leaves

Remove crescent dough from tubes but do not unroll. Cut each tube into 8 slices and arrange in an 11 inch circle on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I left mine barely touching, knowing they would expand.) Bake at 375 for 15-20 mins. or until golden brown. Cool for 5 mins. and transfer to the serving platter.

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, dill weed and garlic powder until smooth. Spread over the top of the crescent wreath. Top with the broccoli, celery and red pepper. Arrange the celery leaves to look like a bow.

Fill the center of the wreath with broccoli flourets, celery slices, carrots (had around the house) and red pepper. Serve the extra dip in a dish on the side in a small container for guests to scoop out of.

These were amazing - the crescent rolls and dill dip was soooo yummy. 

Adult Caramel Apple Cider

I made this exactly as the recipe stated, just made a lot of mugs at one time :)  The cinnamon never really dissolved and I'm wondering if cinnamon sticks would work better? Regardless of the cinnamon, this was delicious and completely gone by the end of the night!

Southwest Egg Rolls

I followed this recipe to a T. My only changes are that I added half of a red pepper chopped up into the mix. And for the size of the egg rolls that I made, I got almost 30 out of the recipe and not just 20.

These were so good that my mom and I made them as an appetizer for her family party last weekend. We didn't have as many egg roll wrappers, so we bought wonton wrappers and used the extra filling for Christmas Eve as mini egg rolls! Serve with salsa and sour cream!

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