Saturday, June 26, 2010

Party time! Excellent!

Though I tend to be an introvert, I do love throwing a good party. It's the hostess in me- I blame it on my Texan roots. Nothing makes me happier than making large amounts of food only to have it quickly devoured and appreciated by friends and family. Or coworkers. Or strangers.

Heck, in high school, I used to bake cookies and offer them up to random people in the hallways before class. I met a few skeptics, but who can resist free & delicious cookies?

No one.

As an adult, this need to feed has manifested itself into regular potlucks at our house. For the past three years we've been hosting Pumptoberfest, a celebration of all things pumpkin held in October. We've had pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer, pumpkin dip, pumpkin cookies, savory pumpkin turnovers, pumpkin fondue, butterbeer (although no pumpkin is involved in this drink- it's highly festive). When Pumptoberfest the 4th rolls around this year, you'll be seeing the results right here.

We also had a back in the day potluck, where people brought family and lunch box favorites. And our most recent potluck was a Pajama Potluck. I believe this to be the biggest hit thus far. Everyone brought breakfast food, we set up a Make Your Own Waffle Bar, mimosas and white Russians were poured, and the best thing? You got to wear pajamas!! Best party ever.

This picture showcases baked eggs- yum, cream cheese brownies, and coffee cake. And a few empty plates. These events are for eaters- not dieters. Baked French Toast was also involved.

A waffle creation! The MYOWB included blueberries, chocolate chips, pecans, & homemade whipped cream and strawberry compote for topping. Yum! You can also see pictures of the chocolate chip cookies from this entry. I had made them earlier that day and had some leftover. Nothing goes to waste at Betty's house!

A slightly more formal affair occurred back in April. My mom held an open house for her newly renovated and stupendously amazing condo and asked me to cater. I graciously agreed to fly across the country just for this event. Or maybe I already had plans to go home. And my sister's baby shower was that weekend. But still.

Having never catered before, this was a bit of a slapdash sort of thing. Though I like baking in bulk, the largest event I had ever hosted was Thanksgiving for 25. And that food is super easy and made for a crowd. This posed a bit of a challenge.

We kept the spread simple, focusing on finger foods, but trying to offer sweet and savory options- heavy hors d'oeuvres. We didn't really stick to a theme for the food, unless the theme was food we thought people would like to eat.

We served sausage balls, caprese salad skewers, Irish Coffee Cupcakes, Pineapple Cupcakes, Fruit Pizza, Snowball cookies, artichoke dip, deviled eggs, and chips & salsa. See? Random. But tasty.

Even though it was an odd combination of food, it made for a really pretty spread. Mom also has some great Fiestaware serving platters that I *love*.

Caprese Skewers- could not be simpler to assemble and people go nuts for them!

Irish Coffee Cupcakes- still amazing.

Pineapple cupcakes. I used Paula's Basic 1-2-3-4 cake recipe and added a cup of pineapple preserves and some lemon zest. Top with a cherry, pineapple cube, & drink umbrella garnish.

Fruit Pizza and Snowballs. For the fruit pizza, simple bake off some puff pastry, brush with apricot preserves, top with berries and slice. Cute, huh? Snowballs are glorified sugar cookies, but a childhood favorite of mine and my mother.

Other recipes used can be found here:

Artichoke Dip

Sausage Balls

What kind of parties do you like to throw??

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