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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!

Merry and Bright Holiday Party

This past weekend we hosted our annual holiday party.  I’ll admit that with everything that has been going on lately, it felt a bit like a farce putting up festive decorations, prepping everything, and generally acting cheerful.  Once party time rolled around though, it turned out to be exactly what I needed.  Having so many wonderful friends and people I love in one place, all mingling, joking, and having fun – it was good for me.  (Also watching IU beat Kentucky in the last seconds of the game and hearing the deafening cheers fill my living room…totally awesome.  Go Hoosiers!)

I didn’t have quite as much fun planning this party as I normally would, but I think the end result was still very nice and everyone had a great time.  Since I was short on time, energy, and enthusiasm I made mostly old recipes with just a few new things thrown in.  As far as savory fare went, I wanted to be sure to include some classic comfort foods in miniature forms and I’m happy to say this went over very well.  The highlight was definitely the mini mac and cheese in small mason jars.  So many people commented on how much they loved it and I can’t say I’m surprised – it is mac and cheese, after all.  Our full menu was as follows:

Savory Appetizers
Mini Twice Baked Potatoes
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Shots
Mini Mac and Cheese
Chevre and Roasted Bell Pepper Crostini
Pizza Bites
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Sweet Treats
Peanut Butter Fudge
Cappuccino Fudge
Cherry Hazelnut Fudge
Chocolate Espresso Macarons
Peppermint Brownies
Mini Pumpkin Spice Cheesecakes
Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

A huge thanks to Molly at The TomKat Studio for the lovely party printables.  Little details like coordinating printable tags, signs, etc. make such a difference in creating a finished look and pulling a party together.

I’ll be sharing a few new recipes from the party in the next week or two so be sure to check back for those.  In the mean time I’m trying to figure out what to do with all this leftover fudge because fudge is sort of like my personal kryptonite…

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah Rhee

    All the decorations look lovely! It’s really amazing as to how you’re able to do all this with everything that’s been going on.

    Also, love the new layout. And I’m especially appreciative of the conversion chart!

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/ Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    All the decorations look lovely! It’s really amazing as to how you’re able to do all this with everything that’s been going on.

    Also, love the new layout. And I’m especially appreciative of the conversion chart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brhunley B. Ryan Hunley

    Wow, looks amazing. Wish I was there! :)

  • Carameliseo

    Sounds awesome! Also loving the blog’s new look :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715487478 Julie Nazarian Long

    Looks beautiful! This is our 3rd year without our Dad (we lost him Oct. of 2009) and that first Thanksgiving & Christmas seemed a bit hollow, but we celebrated as best we could both because he would’ve wanted us to and also to continue making happy memories– for his grandchildren, especially.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715487478 Julie Nazarian Long

    Looks beautiful! This is our 3rd year without our Dad (we lost him Oct. of 2009) and that first Thanksgiving & Christmas seemed a bit hollow, but we celebrated as best we could both because he would’ve wanted us to and also to continue making happy memories– for his grandchildren, especially.

  • Candicesirju

    The docorations are so beautiful. The dishes looked amazingly delicious. It would have been exciting to be there.

  • Candicesirju

    The docorations are so beautiful. The dishes looked amazingly delicious. It would have been exciting to be there.

  • Carissasirju Trinidad

    Very interesting. I wish I could have been there. The decorations are superb. The food looked so tasty.

  • Carissasirju Trinidad

    Very interesting. I wish I could have been there. The decorations are superb. The food looked so tasty.

  • http://twitter.com/LanieInCan Melanie S

    Glad you were able to enjoy your party. Look forward to my invitation next year. ;o)

  • http://twitter.com/LanieInCan Melanie S

    Glad you were able to enjoy your party. Look forward to my invitation next year. ;o)

  • Judy

    Your table display is great and the food sounds yummy (and looks yummy!). Chocolate Macarons? I think I will swoon….!

  • Laura

    Please, please, please tell me what you used to serve the tomato soup shots? I’m looking to do this for Christmas day, but am unsure what to use… all the shot glasses I have seem too small, but is that what you used. This will be one of many appy’s that I’m serving. Any insight would be great! Thanks!

    Laura

  • http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com/ Maria @ Cheeky Pink Tulip

    It all looks fab! Sorry to hear it’s been a bit of a difficult time lately. Hope the holidays are everything you want them to be.

    Maria xx

  • Anonymous

    I just found little cups in my grocery store’s holiday aisle.

  • http://www.rockingrascals.co.uk/ Emma

    Will be thinking of you on Christmas Day. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you have shared this year.

  • Alyssa Talley

    A couple of questions about the mini mac and cheese jars – what size mason jars did you use (4oz?). I was also curious how you kept the mac and cheese warm before your guests arrived. Did you keep them warm in the glass jars in the oven? My daughter is turning 1 in May and I’m planning the menu. I’m guessing we will have about 50 people (including kids) so I’m trying to figure out if these would be awesome, or a little too much for that size group. I look forward to seeing your blog posts throughout the week. Cheers!

  • annieseats

    I don’t know the exact size off hand but 4 oz sounds about right. They are just the mini size that my grocery store carries. If you bake the mac and cheese in the jars themselves, it will stay warm for quite a while because the jars are warm from the oven. I didn’t do anything else to keep them warm, and anyway it didn’t matter because it all disappeared so fast :) I have to say for a group as large as yours, I probably wouldn’t bother with the jars and would just serve in a large baking dish. That’s too many little jars to carry around, and too many to clean :)