I opted to take on a lot of activities at the beginning of December. I took on so much that, now, it feels like the holiday is over (say it ain’t so!) and I’m in holiday brain mush mode. All I want to do is laze around playing video games and eating junk. By eating junk, I mean, baking cinnamon buns and eating them with ginger snaps and ice cream and lots and lots and lots of turkey and stuffing.
… Not all together. Not together at all. Separately. One at a time. In my belly.
Nom nom nom.
Last Friday was my long awaited Mad Men inspired cocktail party that had me mildly stressing by the end of the week since I’m one of those who cannot leave well enough alone and just go to the grocery store to buy all of the food pre-prepared for my guests. Instead, I insist on preparing all of the food myself. I don’t regret it. Things made from scratch are just that much better, but when you’re up and spending an hour making (amazingly delicious) onion dip at 8 in the morning, as well as meatballs and guacamole and pumpkin syrup and pumpkin loaves AND cleaning the house, you know you’ve flipped your lid just a little bit.
The details don’t matter, however. The night was great. It was laid back and easy going. Everyone looked fab in their suits, ties, black lined eyes and red lips. Some folks floated in and out throughout the night while others stayed from start to finish. In the end, two fabulously awesome friends (thanks Mike & Andrew!) stayed to help us clean up which eliminated much of the work the next day, which was jam packed with a birthday party and an afternoon of volunteering.
Preparing for a cocktail party obviously requires having lots of beverages on hand for cocktail-ing with. In addition to two giant bottles of wine, there was loads of pop, beer, juice and cider. What was left in the end? Not the white wine, that’s for sure. Who knew White Sangria would be so popular?
The Glogg did well, but it was so sweet after simmering for so long (I wanted to keep it warm for anyone looking to have a glass), that it was almost too much to handle after one serving. Delicious, but, as Oliver said that night, heavy. It was very much a, nice to drink on a cold night, curled up on the couch with a movie, kind of drink.
All right. I was pretty darn excited about the candied bacon and definitely used it as my selling point when telling people about the party. Despite my own personal excitement, I wasn’t really sure if others shared in the same enthusiasm about bacon laden with layers and layers of “candy” coating.
The result? Enthusiasm!
The candied bacon was the first thing to disappear from the table. Whether they were simply curious or loved the taste, everyone (well, almost everyone) had a taste. The guys hung out around the table making candied bacon sandwiches with the other deli meats on the table thrown in, just for the sake of taste experimentation. It was a candied bacon extravaganza!
The dairy free chocolate cupcakes from back in October made a reappearance on the table, as did my yearly ginger snap platter. This year, we experimented with putting chocolate chips in the centre of the cookies. Seems that idea went over quite well, since that layer of the cookie platter disappeared first. People like pairing their ginger with chocolate. Protip.
I made guacamole and chip dip that I came across on Pinterest (where else do we find things these days, am I right?) and let me tell you, it was bloody amazing! I was in the middle of making it when I took a moment to read through some of the people’s comments at the bottom of the post and got a little worried.
Yes… I read the comments as I’m already making a dish rather than beforehand. I’m just a little bit backwards. It’s fine. I survive.
The comments were divided. Some thought the dip was amazing whereas many others said it tasted bland and would opt for the over salted onion soup mix package dips any day. I didn’t believe it. Making the dip from scratch just had to taste better than store bought.
I took some of the comments into consideration though and made some alterations. Okay. I made one alteration. The result? An amazing dip that was also gone by the end of the night. In fact, both the onion dip and guacamole were gone by the end of the night. What remained? The store bought salsa.
Insert some pumpkin loaves I prepared on a whim, with only about a half an hour on the clock before I had to get my butt into the shower and a giant 5lb gummy bear and that was mostly our spread of eats and treats. Real food seemed to win over the desserts. We had a significant amount of desserts left over and hardly any “real,” savoury foods. Go figure.
Oh. Right. Meatballs! I made meatballs in a homemade hoisin sauce. They were also really, really good and nearly all gone by the end of the night. I think there were a few folks who ate lots, rather than multiple people eating a couple. Either way. They were delicious.
This lovely lady also provided the party with “Balsamic Bertrams.” If you don’t know what a Balsamic Bertram is, I suggest you look it. No, really. Don’t. You won’t find anything. I made it up.
A Balsamic Bertram is a delicious goat cheese crostini with balsamic reduction and bruschetta topping. They’re amazing!
The treadmill was spot on with the theme. It was very 1960s.
Have a Mad Men-ish cocktail party. I recommend it. I highly recommend it. You won’t regret it and everyone will look so dashing.
SO DASHING.5 Comments