dinner party made easy.

So I know it’s been a while folks! I seem to not update here as much since I got my other blog up and running, vintage vixen crafts. Scrapbooking and crafting is definitely my first love after cooking, I really have to be in the mood to cook a full meal these days and I’m always searching for something quick and easy. But I do love to cook and grill and throw down with the best of them, it just seems like there’s never enough time, especially this time of year, right? So today I wanted to share with you a few easy recipes that I gathered /assembled and with the help of my very knowledgeable sis, ( you can find here blog here) we were able to throw together a pretty quick, yet elegant dinner party for me and my 5 soon to be bridesmaids. A few of the boys tagged along too, mostly banned to the porch the whole night, and we still have food leftover! It was a great night and everything turned out really pretty so I just had to share!

This was our menu:

Sweet and Spicy cocktail sausages 2 pkgs cocktail sausages, 1 can jellied cranberry sauce, 1 bottle chili sauce, or in this case I actually used some Asian  sharacha chili sauce and bbq sauce with 1/2 cup brown sugar, they were out of the chili sauce at my local store. Mix all ingredients and cook in crockpot on low for a few hrs, until party time!

Christmas Pepper Jelly w/ Cream Cheese and crackers- this one is easy, purely assembled. 2 blocks cream cheese, 1 sml jar green pepper jelly and 1 small jar red pepper jelly, spoon over cream cheese and serve with Wheat Thins or Triscuts.

Baked Brie w/ crackers- 1 large wheel brie cheese, 1 can pillsbury crescents, strawberry jam. Unroll crescents, roll out dough to make into a large square, making sure to seal the perforated edges. spread 2 Tbsp strawberry jam over this, then place unwrapped brie in the center. Gather dough around brie and assemble like a loose package, use excess dough to decorate (holly leaves, etc) and bake at 350 for 20 mins or until golden brown. Serve with Ritz crackers and apple slices if desired.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Phyllo cups-original recipe is here. however, after the tedious task of making all those phyllo cups, (who knew you could buy those already made?! not me apparently!)  my sis and I were pretty much like let’s just make up our own filling. We ended up mixing sauteed shallots (2) garlic cloves(2) which I cooked in butter over a low skillet with the drained chopped, frozen spinach, along with salt and pepper, about 1/2 block reg. cream cheese, and 4oz. tomatoe basil goat cheese. (Jimmy was supposed to get me reg plain goat cheese but this is what he came home with). We didn’t add any of the eggs or anything and after we spooned the filling into a ziploc and piped it into our precious phyllo cups, we baked it at 350 for about 10-15 mins just to warm the filling through, then top with grated parmesan.

Baked Chex Mix- this is the easiest one in the book. take 1/2 stick of butter, melted, and about 1/4 cup or less to taste of worchestershire sauce. Mix well and pour over 1 lrg bag reg chex mix. Bake at 350 for 10-12 mins, stir and bake for another 10-12 mins.

Fried Four Cheese Raviolie w/ Marinara- I got this idea also from food network see the original here. we basically followed the recipe but who knew there were so many raviolie in 1 pkg? I bought 2 thinking there wouldn’t be enough to fry. I didn’t have rosemary so we just did salt and parmesan, but the eggwash and panko worked out pretty well for the batter, thanks to lots of helping hands and a baby fry daddy, these were pretty simple to make!

Cheesy Bacon and Dill Dip w/ crackers-this I actually don’t have a recipe for. It was 2 dip mixes that Jimmy’s mom had given me where all you do is add 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of sour cream to them, then chill for a few hours. Well I made both of them seperatly, then after they had been in the fridge for a while I tasted them and they were a little bland so I mixed them both together and added some fresh chopped maple bacon that I had cooked that morning. It really gave it more flavor I think and it was B’s favorite.

Favorite Deviled Eggs-simple technique, thanks to my sis 🙂 cover your eggs in a large pot with just about 1-2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, once they have been boiling ( a rolling boil) for a minute or two, turn off the heat, cover them with a tight fitting lid, and take the pot off the burner and let them sit until the water is cool. They came out perfectly cooked! not over or under. I prefer my yolks a little dark yellow and almost fudgey, myself, but these were perfect! Beware; brown eggs have a thicker membrane and are not very easy to peel! Even after running them under cold water my sis and I really had a laughing spell with those eggs! Mix yolks, mayo, salt and pepper to taste, and sweet pickle relish.  Spoon filling into a ziploc and cut off tip, pipe into halved egg whites. Sprinkle generously with sweet paprika. Always a party fav! There were NONE left of those.

Ina’s Jam Thumprint cookies- this recipe we actually followed exactly, until we cooked the first batch and my sis, the COOKIE QUEEN suggested that we not roll the entire ball in the flaked coconut, but just the top half so it wouldn’t burn so much on the bottom, also we lowered the oven temp because my ghetto oven is 50 degrees hotter than what the dial says, according to my sis. We also cooked them for not as long, and they turned out perfect with apricot and marionberry preserves from Oregon:) The original recipe is here.

So I think it was a pretty well-rounded appetizer menu. For drinks we had red wine, and this strawberry-white wine concoction that Jimmy got me that turned out to be way too sweet. We also made EGG NOG white russians. 1 part Kahula, 1 part Vodka to 2 parts egg nogg and 2 parts milk. It turned out to be the perfect compliment and there are still leftovers:) on that note…. I think I might go partake of some while yall look at these pics! Until next time, you favorite food gal~ KT

p.s. I swear one day I’m getting Jimmy on this thing!!!

Here are pics :