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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Girls' Night/Guys' Night

I’m always thrilled to have an opportunity to participate in the 24, 24, 24 monthly event sponsored by Foodbuzz.  Our group of friends often coordinates girls’ night/guys’ night get-togethers where the guys all stay in to play poker, watch movies, etc. while the girls all go out for dinner, drinks, and girl talk.  However, sometimes it is fun to hold both events under the same roof.  We’re still able to spend some time with everyone as a group, but have our separate get togethers as well, not to mention this option is easier on the pocketbook and much more kid-friendly.


This time I decided to really go all out with the two separate themes to make a spread of more elegant “girl food” and a spread of more typical poker fare or “man food” for the guys.  Of course, we all sampled all of the food, but it was fun to have the two different set-ups and it was a great excuse to make some of the foods I’ve been wanting to try.


I decorated with flowers and candles in the dining room and living room.  I also made a playlist including Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to act as boy repellent :)


The menu for the ladies included the following:
Salmon Mousse Bites
California Rolls
Creamy Cucumber Canapés
Phyllo Mushroom Bundles
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Pitchers of Sex on the Beach Cocktails


I’ve been making this salmon mousse for a long time, and I absolutely love it.  It’s a nice elegant appetizer.


California rolls – yum!  These were very popular with the guests.  (And for any sushi traditionalists – yes, I know this is not a correct California roll, this is just how I like to make them.)


These cucumber canapés with herb and cheese filling were light and refreshing.

I forgot to get a photo of the phyllo mushroom bundles, but they were very tasty as well.  I have to say though, I am going to try to remember not to put phyllo on party menus from now on.  It needs to be made at the last minute, and I much prefer to have most things done in advance.


Chocolate-covered strawberries seem like a quintessential girl food, and they are always a hit.  I think they are a great addition to any dessert spread because the fruit helps balance out heavier items.


Dulce de leche sandwich cookies – wow.  Definitely one of the more decadent cookies I’ve had.  These have the wonderful warm flavor of the dulce de leche in the cookies themselves, and the filling is dulce de leche with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.


These chocolate chip cookie dough truffles have been a favorite amongst my friends for a long time.  I served them at a holiday party a couple years ago, and they have not been forgotten.  These were definitely the most popular dessert.


And my personal favorite part of the night – a big pitcher of “sex on the beach”.  This has long been one of my favorite cocktails.  I used to order it all the time in college and I am beyond thrilled to finally know how to make it at home.  We made our way through one pitcher, and started on a second.  Love it!


Best friends since kindergarten :)

Alright, now, on to the man food!  Their spread included:
Spicy Sausage Dip
Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
Football Rice Krispie Treats
Assorted Beers


First up is this spicy sausage dip.  Holy heck, it is awesome!  I like most things with sausage, but this is really fantastic.  I just wish we didn’t have any leftover because it keeps calling to me from the fridge.   I think this would be a huge hit at a Super Bowl party.


These ham and cheese pretzel bites seemed to be quite a hit.  I put out a large number, but they were almost completely gone at the end of the evening.  I made these the night before and rewarmed them just before the party to make things easier that day.  They really weren’t difficult to make though, and depending on the menu, I think they could be made just before the party as well.


Oh, the magnificent pizza bites.  I made these babies a few months ago and we devoured them in no time flat, so  I knew they had to make an appearance at the party.  I filled them with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, but I’m sure they would be wonderful with any number of fillings.  They didn’t last long!


These chicken enchilada roll-ups are a great party food.  They taste fantastic and are served cold, which makes them really convenient since they can be prepared in advance.  I found them irresistible, and others must have to because there were none left over.


Guinness chocolate cupcakes topped with playing card suit sprinkles seemed fitting for the poker game.  The Guinness cake has long been a favorite with this group, so it’s a no-brainer.  I purchased these sugar decorations, but I think you could easily make your own using candy melts or royal icing.


I had a hard time thinking of another “manly” dessert, but Rice Krispie treats seemed perfect because they are so low maintenance.  Of course, I didn’t think plain old Rice Krispie treats was quite special enough though, so I cut out football shapes, dipped in chocolate and drew on some laces.  Easy, cute, and perfect to get us pumped for the Colts game today!


The guys seemed to enjoy their food just as much as we girls enjoyed ours, and they also enjoyed their poker game.

We had a really wonderful night!  It was fun to have so many friends all together, and be able to have our girl time and guy time in one place.  If you are looking for recipes, I decided not to include them in this post just because it gets too long that way.  But don’t worry!  They will be posted in the next few weeks.  I’ll probably start with the guy food first, because it will be perfect for all the Super Bowl parties that are coming up.  Hopefully we’ll be watching a Colts victory!!!

Want to see my past 24, 24, 24 events?  Check them out here:
We’re Almost Doctors Celebratory Dinner
Smirnoff Summer Fun & Games Night

  • lovestoeat

    sounds wonderful..you host the best parties..
    what is 24-24-24? how did you get involved with it? can you give me more details about it? your 24-24-24’s have been GREAT! cant wait to see the next ones..

  • http://www.thymeforwine.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Where can I get your recipe for your salmon mousse bites, cucumber canapes, and chocolate chip cookie dough truffles?! Everything looks delish! You throw quite the party!

  • Annie

    Rebecca, as I mention at the bottom of the post, I will be sharing all the recipes in the next few weeks. I decided not to include them all in one post this time just because it makes it too long that way.

  • http://www.whatmegansmaking.blogspot.com megan

    what a beautiful spread! You’ve motivated me to attempt to participate in a future 24,24,24. It looks like you guys had a ton of fun and a ton of food! :)

  • Anne Marie

    Wow. You must have people dying to get on that invititation list. What a fantastic spread! I wish I was your friend!

  • Lisa Joy

    I can’t wait for the spicy sausage dip recipe! I think I’ll be making that for my Super Bowl party in two weeks.

    Oh, and I know your friend Amanda. It looks you all had a great time!

  • Izzy

    Yummy! Can’t wait to try out ALL the guy food on Superbowl Sunday – you just made my menu planning so easy!

  • http://rachelheartsfood.blogspot.com Rachel in NC

    This all looks amazing!

    I was picked for the 24, 24, 24 this month as well and had such a fantastic time participating!

  • http://catesworldkitchen.com Cate

    SUCH a cute idea and all the food looks amazing!…I love the boy-repelling music, too :)

  • http://nibbleanibble.com Dave -nibbleanibble

    I like your creative styles with the California Rolls. Never have I seen it made that way.

  • http://bakeitafterall.blogspot.com Meghan

    This is such an amazing event you pulled off!!! I don’t even know where to start! Everything looks SO fantastic! I LOVE that you played Britney and Gaga to deter the boys :) I’ve been wanting to try those cookie dough truffles for a long time – yum. Love how you’ve decorated the strawberries, those dulce de leche cookies look so good, the chicken enchilada roll ups sound so delicious, and LOVE the little poker-themed decorations on the cupcakes! Your friends must have had such a great time. And I’m sure you are SO excited about the Colts! My in-laws who live in Indy are obsessed with the Colts, and since the Bears were out a long time ago, my husband is rooting for them too. Should be a good Superbowl!

  • Annie

    Lovestoeat,
    You have to be a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher to participate in the 24, 24, 24 events. They send out a monthly notice to the FP’s asking for submission. Basically, we write a proposal and if our proposal is accepted, they provide us compensation to make it happen. It’s so fun, I love coming up with creative new ways to participate!

  • http://erinkristine.blogspot.com Erin

    This all looks so amazing! I’d be really interested if you could include more information on a preparation timeline for one of your events – how early did you start making things, when did you start setting up, etc – it would be super helpful!

  • http://tideandthyme.com Laura

    I’m sure a fabulous time was had by all. Everything looks wonderful – and that sushi rice looks just about perfect. No easy feat my Dear!

  • Belle

    You are truly an inspiration!

  • http://mangiodasola.com mangiodasola

    While I don’t believe there is such a thing as “girl” food or “manly” food, I think you did an AWESOME job on these appetizers. Wow. I’m completely impressed. Everything looks perfect…for everyone. Good job! I’m glad you have fun. You are so cute!

  • jan

    I’m dying to make the chocolate chip truffles… YUM! they look absolutely delish! please share the recipe :)

  • http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride Shawnda

    What an impressively fantastic spread! I’m looking forward to those recipes, too!

  • http://myfabulousrecipes.blogspot.com/ Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes

    Oh my goodness! Everything looks SOOOO good! I am so jealous that you got to try all those yummy food and get to hang out with friends. Sounds fun!

  • Casie

    Holy HECK! where do you find the time to make this awesome spread!!! where can i get the recipes for the man food? Especially the Spicy Sausage Dip, Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites, Pepperoni Pizza Bites, and Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups. I love your blog.

  • Annie

    Casie, as I mentioned at the bottom of the post, I’ll be sharing the recipes for all of the food in the next few weeks. I’ll start with the “man food” first so it’s posted in time for the Super Bowl :)

  • http://www.yumsiliciousbakes.blogspot.com Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)

    WOW! How do I get an invite to your next party :P :P Lol.. I loved all the man ‘food’, and the girl desserts! Everything looks so good. Going to jump as soon as I see your next few posts :)

    I agree with someone above, a timeline would be real helpful!

  • http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com Lauren

    Everything looks absolutely STUNNING! What a gorgeous and yummy spread of goodies :)

  • http://laurasrecipecollection.wordpress.com Laura

    What a great idea for a party theme! Everything looks amazing

  • http://foodtorunfor.blogspot.com Lizzy

    Cannot wait to get those recipes! I love your blog and am inspired by your food all the time and love trying out your recipes on my blog!!!

  • http://smittensugar.blogspot.com Krystle

    Wow both those menu sound amazing! Where do you find the time? You are superwoman I think? The spreads are beautiful!

  • Julia Witbeck

    Everything sounds amazing! Can’t wait for the recipes!

    GO COLTS!!!!!!

  • http://www.melissaiwai.com melissa

    You are so organized! Very inspiring. All the food looks so delicious! Would love to see you prep time line as well (another poster mentioned it above). Truly amazing job!!

  • Lindsey

    Love this post! I am looking forward to some of the recipes. I also wanted to ask where did you buy the poker candies? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Hi Lindsey, I got the poker candies on the website Fancy Flours. Here is a link.

  • http://ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Hi, I’m new to this food blogging, but I have to tell you, your menu and food look fantastic!! You are truly talented! Thanks for sharing

  • Lori

    Wow! What an incredible spread!!! You make it seem so simple!! I enjoy your blog so much! It amazes me that you’re in residency and have time to make these beautiful creations. Thanks for inspiring all of us daily!

  • http://munchiemusings.com Catherine

    Love the idea and loved seeing all the Pampered Chef being well used!

  • Mindy

    Yum! I can’t wait to get the recipes for the spicy sausage dip and ham and cheese pretzel bites!

  • Casie

    oops. My bad! THANK YOU! I love your blog so much!

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    A clever idea — and well executed. Congratulations! And your photos are beautiful.

  • Courtney

    Dying to get ALL of these recipes. Will you post them soon? Everything looks amazing!

  • Sarah

    Love all of these! Some of the girl treats would be perfect for Valentines Day (truffles and strawberries in particular!)

  • Ariana from Chicago

    Delish!! You’ve been holding out on all these recipes!! Look forward to seeing them soon. You are a closet caterer…………. ;)

  • Annie

    Courtney, as I mentioned at the bottom of the post, I will be posting all the recipes in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

  • Zeze

    I would have totally sat with the guys for this one…although I would have stolen a few chocolate covered strawberries first!

    I CAN’T wait for the pepperoni bites recipe!

  • http://www.becauseyouhavetoeat.blogspot.com Jessica

    OMG, I am dying for the dulche de leche cookies recipe! Seriously drooling over here!

  • Robyn

    Amazing! Echoing many of the comments above, I would love a “behind-the-scenes” post that describes how you prepare for a party like this! Not so much how you select the recipes, but the timeline of when you shop, what you made in advance, what you had help with (if anyone helped! I wouldn’t be surprised if you did everything yourself!), and what you did the day of.

  • http://www.bakeat350.blogspot.com bridget {bake at 350}

    “boy repellent”…love it! :) Everything looks perfect & delicious!

    Congrats on being selected for 24, 24, 24! It’s one of my favorite parts of FoodBuzz!

  • http://www.pamperedchef.biz/ebrinster Elizabeth Brinster

    As a Pampered Chef Director I am always on the look out for our products in use…and LOVE to see how folks use them….YOUR 3 tiered Stand….looks soooo elegant with all your goodies….

    I love love love reading your blog…keep the good stuff coming!!! And should you not have a Pampered Chef consultant to take care your needs….I would love to help you out…After 9 years…I still get thrilled to see our products!!!

    Thanks!

  • http://duodishes.com duodishes

    There’s no way way the guys weren’t trying to put their hands on the CA rolls and cookies! Your entire spread is really impressive. And a great idea!

  • Holly

    Oh my goodness! All of that looks sooo yummy! I am new to the “blog” world and have become addicted to your website! I so enjoy reading it daily to see what yummy creations you have made!

    I am having a girls gathering next week- I am sure you are very busy but if there is any way you can post the canapes and chicken roll up recipes i would great appreciate it!

    Thanks and again LOVE the site!

  • Kelly

    Go Saints! :)
    But really, I love looking at your website and trying your recipes. Thank you!

  • Judy

    Is that Amanda in one of your pics? Please tell her I said hello.
    judy

  • Annie

    Yes, it is! I will pass the message along :)

  • Liz

    I can’t wait to see those recipes posted! I must, I must get the recipe for the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles! Some of those recipes will come in handy during the Super Bowl, like the Sausage Dip! Thanks for sharing such an amazing spread with us.

  • Selma

    Annie, I need the recipes for the Cucumber Canapes and the Salmon Mouse NOW!

    Please.

  • http://www.aggieskitchen.com Aggie

    Unbelievable! I am in love with your party idea…not to mention all the beautiful food! I am seriously impressed…you are one talented chick!

    Great 24 post!!

  • http://telly21182.blogspot.com/ Angie

    I have a recipe for Cookie Dough Truffles and I think I’ll make those and Oreo Truffles for Super Bowl but I just have to know- how in the heck did you get the truffles so smooth and beautiful? Mine are always so lumpy once I dip them in the chocolate, doesn’t matter what kind I’m making! Do you have some special tools or anything you use?

  • Annie

    Hi Angie,
    No, I don’t have any special tricks! I just shape the balls, chill them well, and dip in chocolate. I shake of the excess, and that’s it. Sorry!

  • http://dishin.wordpress.com Nicole (dishin’)

    Wow, this spread looks amazing! I hope you had help. It sure looks like a lot of work…but totally delicious!!

  • http://www.adventuresofanamateurfoodie.com moowiesqrd

    Hey Annie! Beautiful spread! The food looks fabulous, but I’m also crazy about the presentation. Found your blog via Foodbuzz and you’re an inspiration, because I’m applying to med school and am a little afraid that I’d barely have time to eat, let alone cook. Glad to know that the possibility of med school + maintaining the food blog is real!

  • http://cookingupastorminsouthernca.blogspot.com Polly Motzko

    Dear Annie,
    I am so impressed by you! I don’t know where to begin actually, which isn’t often the case!
    I didn’t know you were a doctor for starters, that makes your creative talents all the more impressive! What field of medicine do you practice?

    I would love to have a heart to heart talk some time when I know you better…or you know me better. :-) If you aren’t already getting paid as a Food Writer-you certainly should and could! I had a goal of being a paid food writer in a year, and I think I am going to make it much sooner. Everywhere I go people talk to me and I hand out cards that promote the various sites I am on. I want to become a published writer on Food Buzz….just waiting for the 3 months time…..cross you fingers and say a prayer!

    How many people made the dishes that appear here? Was it all you…and if so, when did you start preparing everything?

    When I was married, I used to have parties at my house in Orange-that I miss- for 40 or so. I had an 8 foot table and a nice patio with French doors that extended the dining space…I miss those times!

    I really admire all the things you do and you amaze me in so many ways.

    I hope that one day when I “grow up” I want to be like you! :-)

    Polly Motzko

  • Annie

    Hi Polly,
    I prefer to keep details about my medical career separate from my blog, as I’m sure you understand. I actually am a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher and receive compensation from them. Food Buzz has been wonderful for me.

    I made all the dishes for this party. I did a little bit of prep on Thursday and Friday nights before the party on Saturday.

    Glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for visiting!

  • Martha

    J’adore!!! I like so much your website and u seem make the best parties i’ve never seen! Can I come? ;) And the photos u make are very “joli” :) I hope I didn’t make to many errors, sorry but I’m french :)

  • michelle

    Hi Annie,
    Your parties make me drool … promise us a tutorial of how you plan/prep/bake all these foods for one party!! I love to cook but never seem to have enough time to make as many things as I like (without going crazy!). You could list things you can make in advance and freeze or make a few days early, etc … I’m hosting a brunch Saturday and wishing I could get started baking but want everything to be fresh and delish the morning of (without getting up at 4am Saturday!) :) Thank you!

  • http://ijustlovemyapron.blogspot.com/ Tanantha

    Your party looked so fun and the food looked terrific! How long did it take you to prepare all these? I like hosting a party too but mine is like a baby compared to yours :)

  • clohee

    Hi Annie! Can you please post the cucumber canapes recipe?

  • Annie

    Clohee,
    Unfortunately when I made these for the party, the recipe was totally unreliable. I do plan to post them, but I only post recipes that I think are dependable so this one still needs to be reworked.

  • Nicole

    All this food looks so good. I am having a party in two weeks and I was wondering where I could buy that three shelf serving rack in the fourth picture with the strawberries, cookie sandwiches, and the truffles? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Nicole,
    Mine is from Pampered Chef but I have seen similar things all over the place. Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, probably Macys.

  • Stephanie

    Hello Annie,
    I haven’t been able to find your salmon mouse recipe or you Pitcher of Sex on the Beach recipe either. I see this post is from January, so I wasn’t sure if I am just missing it on your website.

  • Annie

    Stephanie,
    The sex on the beach recipe is not posted. I’ll try to get that one up soon.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you! I love mixed drinks that you can do by the pitcher! I am a lazy drinker and bartender:)

  • Shannon

    Totally random and non-food related question for you. I love the hanging vases in the third picture down. Do you recall where they are from?

  • Annie

    Pottery Barn :)

  • Shannon

    Thanks!

  • lovescooking

    sorry i can’t find the recipie for phyllo mushroom bundles am i blind? i even tried the search button. thanks!

  • Annie

    No, I ended up not posting them because they weren’t quite good enough. Sorry!

  • Maddie

    Hey Annie, I’ve marked quite a few of your recipes to try, but I’d love to have the ‘Sex on the Beach’ recipe, because I have only had one once and it was amazing but it was at a club and I’d love to make it for girls’ night! I could not find the recipe under your beverage page or this page. Please let me know where I can find it. -Maddie

  • HeatherP

    Hi Annie. I think I used your recipe for the ham and cheese pretzel bites about a year ago, but after searching high and low, I can’t find it anymore. Was it removed?

  • annieseats

    Yes, I’m sorry :( I really hated the picture with a passion. But, I’m planning to repost them soon. Now probably even sooner since you asked about it :)