Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Housewarming Party

Since all my family comes into town after Christmas we decided to throw a housewarming/Christmas party so everyone could see the new house. What started as a small party for five people grew into a party for 16 so of course we had to have a lot of good food.

My mom was in charge of the salad since she is the queen of salads. She made this one

... with romaine hearts, bean sprouts, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, cucumbers, radishes and Craisins. But it's the dressing that makes the salad - she combines three different mustards, white balsamic and olive oil. It's truly incredible.

No family party is complete without these stuffed mushrooms:

... which came from a newspaper clipping passed down from my mother-in-law to my husband to me. The secret is the pepperoni in the filling.

SP is the king of penne vodka:

... and he managed to whip this up after working all day.

I wanted to try a new Ina Garten recipe so I chose this one:

... for sausage wrapped in puff pastry. It couldn't have been easier to make and was a huge hit with the Dijon mustard for dipping.

This version of 7-layer dip actually had eight layers:

... refried beans, mashed avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar, shredded pepper Jack, green onions, tomato and sliced olives.

Our supermarket always does a free turkey giveaway during the holidays so we got a 7-pound turkey breast that I roasted with butter, salt and pepper:

... and it was exceptionally moist and flavorful. White meat is notoriously dry, but somehow I managed to cook this one to perfection.

I've seen the folks at America's Test Kitchen make their version of spinach dip so many times that I had to try the recipe:

... which was really, really good. I served it with pumpernickel bread and homemade pita chips.

As the party grew in number SP insisted that I add another dish to the menu so I settled on macaroni and cheese:

... made with mini penne, pepper Jack, cheddar and Swiss and sprinkled with Pecorino instead of bread crumbs. The results were much better than I could have anticipated. The kick from the pepper Jack was a nice touch.

And what party would be complete without chips and salsa:

This was part of our Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law from Harry and Davids.
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  1. Wow - what a spread!! So your housewarming party was a success?

  2. Yup...everyone had a great time and it was so nice to have a full house. Lots of laughing. The place felt really small since it's not a huge house to begin with, but it was nice and cozy. :)

    I was doing so well with all the prep (I made a lot of stuff the day before) so at 2:30 p.m. yesterday I was just sitting around twiddling my thumbs because there was nothing I could do until 4:30. But by the end of the party I was wiped! It's a lot of work to have that many people over!

  3. Wow! 16 guests! I get a little stressed when I cook dinner for 4 (including the 2 of us)!

    It is incredible how it all comes together in the end and you're left feeling exhausted but very happy with the outcome.

    BTW - the sausage roll looked delicious!

  4. I stumbled across this website and thought of you as I bookmarked it:

    I'm planning on trying the roasted garlic chicken soon.

  5. That was a great feast! How does that free turkey giveaway work? Stuffed mushrooms sound wonderful- I love mushrooms. Jac would love those, as she is a huge pepperoni fan. Friends of ours make a similar Mexican-style layered dip that is very good.

  6. Jessy - it was stressful, but luckily I had off all week and was able to make a lot of the dishes ahead of time.

    D - I'll have to check that out! Thanks for sharing.

    tfp - One of the local chain supermarkets runs a promotion at Thanksgiving and Christmas for a free turkey (or turkey breast, ham or vegetable lasagna). All you do is spend $300 in groceries during the promotional period and you qualify. If you don't want the free bird, you get 10% off your next shopping order. Let me know if you want the recipe for the mushrooms. I'd be happy to post it.

  7. I'd like the stuffed mushroom recipe - we're having a little New Years Eve gathering at our house and I need some new snack ideas!


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