The Countdown Begins

Okay, so lots of people will be counting down to 2008 tonight, but my countdown began first thing this morning.  I got up around 8:45 so as to be presentable for a friend who was dropping off some party supplies for me at 9:00.  I figure that gave me approximately 27 hours until our New Year’s Day open house.  Since I intend to sleep for 8 of those hours, I’ve got 19 to work with in party preparation.

Today I made the appetizers and prepared the beverages, and Adventure Guy did his brisket prep so that he can put those on the smoker late tonight.  I’ll also put the black-eyed peas in to soak tonight.  Tomorrow morning I’ll get up in plenty of time to make the soups and cook the peas.  I decided it was definitely worth it to have the desserts catered, so the caterer will be here for set up at 10:30 tomorrow morning.  Fun officially begins at noon! 

Tonight we’re heading over to Best Friend’s house.  Our tradition is to spend a family-friendly evening with them and another couple at the home of whomever has the smallest children.  The plan is to have dinner, put the kids in front of some videos, and play some board games with the adults.  We’re also pleased that unlike many past years, no one is pregnant, so I’m taking along some champagne for a traditional toast.  But, of course, no evening could be complete without a run from the Mom taxi.  Dancer Girl is attending a semi-formal dance at our church tonight. She’s going to a friend’s house to get ready, but then I’m picking them up a little before eight to take them to the dance.  She’ll be finished at around eleven, so our plan is to toast with the east coast, then pick her up and head home.

Here are the party recipes I’ve made so far.  I’ll post soup ideas later!  I get recipe requests for all of these dips when I make them, so I hope you’ll give them a try. They’d be great for a Super Bowl party.

Numero Uno Bean Dip

1 15 oz. can refried beans

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sour cream

1 bunch green onions, chopped

3/4 c. picante sauce

1 packet taco seasoning

4 oz. can chopped green chilis

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese.  Spread in lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees, covering top loosely with foil for first half hour.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Artichoke Dip

1 lb. cream cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts

Blend all ingredients together and pour into glass quiche or pie pan with 2 inch sides.  Top with additional Parmesan if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until browned.  Serve with crackers or Boboli pizza crust cut into small pieces.

Black Bean Dip

Combine the following:

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions with tops

1/3 c. red bell pepper, chopped fine

2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 c. Pace Thick ‘n Chunky salsa

1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. cumin

Optional: 1 small avocado, chopped, 1 can corn, 1 small can chopped black olives

I’ve also made up a double batch of this Sangria for the ladies tomorrow.  We’ll have beer, water, and soft drinks as well, but this was a hit at the Christmas party Adventure Guy and I attended earlier this month, and my friend not only shared her recipe but also her cool dispenser.


1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

1 lemon cut into wedges

1 orange cut into wedges

1 lime cut into wedges

2 Tbs. sugar

Splash of orange juice

2 shots of gin

1 small can diced pineapple (with juice)

4 cups ginger ale

Pour wine into pitcher and squeeze the juice of fruit wedges into the wine.  Toss in the fruit wedges, avoiding seeds if possible. Add pineapple then add sugar, orange juice, and gin.  Chill overnight.  Add ginger ale and ice just before serving.


1 Comment

Filed under Life in General, Recipes

One response to “The Countdown Begins

  1. Pingback: Recipes, Old and New « Somewhere In The Suburbs

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