So, I hope everyone had a great and safe time last night out celebrating the new year! Like I mentioned before, we had a few people over last night. I spent ALL day cooking and cleaning... seriously, from 9 am until 9 pm I probably spent a total of 3 hours sitting down... at 30 minute intervals. My guests better have appreciated all of my hard work! :) It was only just a few of us... me, B, our roommate Jeff, Veronica, her sister & one of her friends, Veronica's landlord and two more of her friends. So there was only 9 of us total but we still had a good time. & the house stayed clean.... so I get to enjoy all that hard work I put in yesterday! We also have a lot of left over munchies to nibble on too!
Tabitha & Veronica
(I've said it a million times before... but I apologize for my lack of photography skills.)
We sat around the fire pit, played cards, ate the goodies, and watched The Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, and Dick Clark ring in the new year! Pretty shortly after midnight, we all decided to go up to Broadway at the Beach. So, we stayed there the remainder of the night. & another friend of mine, Carlie, was able to meet us up there after she got off work! I hate that I always forget to take pictures when I'm out and about. I didn't even get a picture of me & B at all and he looked so cute too! But here are three I did manage to take.
Jessica (before she wandered off), Colleen, & Me
Veronica and Me
Carlie & Me (cheesing big time)
Also, I swear... there is always crazy stuff happening on new years.
1) Jessica (V's sister's friend) wandered off (she was extremely intoxicated... even before she got to my house) & we had no idea where she was the entire night. We finally found her when the clubs/bars closed down but poor Colleen (V's sister) was so worried about her & with good reason.
2) Veronica's Bulgarian roommate was held at gunpoint and robbed in the bathroom at one of the bars.
3) As we were leaving... I witnessed two men trying to carry their drunk and disabled friend (he appeared to have a mild form of muscular dystrophy) to the car and they dropped him on his head on the pavement! It made the loudest crack noise... I was horrified & scarred for life. The security officers were attending to him when we left, but I hope he is okay!
That about sums up my evening. It was simple and sweet and with quality people I love. What more could I have asked for? Ok, now on to the good stuff... the goodies!
Here is a list of the foods me and V made:
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Pigs in a Blanket
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Candy Coated Pretzels
V made the spinach dip, buffalo chicken dip, and pigs in a blanket so I can't help you with those. But, I made the sausage dip & the pimento cheese. I thought I'd share the recipes with you. You can find the pimento cheese recipe here: Paula Deen's Bobby Pimento Cheese Recipe. I served with an assortment of crackers.
Sausage Dip - easiest thing in the world to make & you only need three ingredients.
1) 16 oz package of Jimmy Dean's Original Sausage
2) 10 oz can of Rotel Original Tomatoes
3) 8 oz package of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1. Brown sausage on stove and drain.
2. Dump sausage in slow cooker set on low.
3. Add cream cheese and tomatoes.
4. Be sure to drain tomatoes before you add them or the dip will be too runny.
5. Tip: I typically cut the cream cheese into small squares so that they melt easier/quicker.
6. I usually cook in slow cooker for several hours on low, while stirring ingredients every half hour or so.
Champagne Punch - simply add 1 container orange sherbet, 1 liter of ginger ale, and 3/4 bottle (or the whole bottle if you wish) of champagne to large bowl. Voila!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake - always a favorite... but very sweet... just the way I like it.
1) Chocolate Chip Cookies (I typically use Chips Ahoy but decided to use homemade cookies yesterday instead)
3) Large Tub of Cool Whip
1. Bake cookies as normal or you can skip this step if you are using Chips Ahoy/some other brand.
2. Completely dunk each individual cookie in milk for approximately 5 seconds and make a layer of the dunked cookies in a dish.
3. Layer the dunked cookies with a nice layer of Cool Whip.
4. Follow steps 2 & 3 until you've made however much you wish.
5. I usually end with a layer of Cool Whip and crumble a few cookies on the top to make it look nice.
Candy Coated Pretzels - very simple & a big hit
1) Pretzel Rods
2) Candy Melts
3) Peppermint & Spearmint Candy
1. Mix the spearmint and peppermint together in a Ziploc bag. This was a pain in the butt because they were all individually wrapped and I had to unwrap them. I didn't count them out but tried to use the same amount of both.
2. Use a rolling pin or other heavy object (like a wrench :)) to beat the Ziploc bag with to break up the mints.
3. Pour crushed mints into bowl.
4. Melt candy melts as directed on bag. I put half the bag into a bowl and cooked in microwave on 50% for 1 minute and then for 30 seconds until nice and smooth.
5. Dip pretzel rod into melted candy coating about half way down the stick. Lightly tap the excess coating off on the side of the bowl. Roll pretzel in mints on wax paper until nicely coated. Let the candy harden by placing on a sheet of clean wax paper.
Cake Pops - I was terrified to make these because contrary to what I like to make people believe... I'm not very crafty or domestic. After reading several recipes online, it looked ridiculously hard & I was positive I would screw it up. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
1) Boxed cake of your choice - I used chocolate
2) Frosting of your choice - I used chocolate
3) Candy melts/coating of your choice - I used vanilla/white chocolate
4) Sprinkles (optional)
6) Lollipop Sticks
7) Cellophane and ribbon (optional)
1. Bake cake as normal by the directions on the back of the box.
2. Crumble cake. You can use a food processor but I found it just as easy to do it by hand.
3. Add approximately half of the frosting of your choice to the crumbled cake.
4. This is where it gets rather messy. Mix the cake and frosting with your hands until the cake is nice and moistened. If you need to add more frosting you can.
5. Once cake and frosting is nicely mixed, roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
6. Cover cookie balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to harden.
7. Once cake balls are hardened, heat the candy melts as directed. Again, I simply put them in a bowl and microwaved them on 50% power for 1 minute and then at 30 second intervals, as needed.
8. Dip lollipop sticks into melted candy melts and coat the top thoroughly. Once coated, place the coated end of the stick about half way into the flatter part of the cake ball. The sides of the balls that were placed on the cookie sheet should have a flatter edge. Set upright on a plate to allow the candy to harden inside the ball. This will make it easier to dip the pops into the candy later... without the cake falling apart.
9. Dip the pops into the melted candy and coat lightly. I actually found it easier to just spoon the candy on there real good and even it out with my fingers. That way I didn't have to worry about tapping off excess and dropping them into the bowl and all of that. But, it is whatever you find works best for you.
10. If adding sprinkles, add them immediately after you have coated the pops so they will stick nicely and place pops in Styrofoam to harden.
11. If you choose, place each pop into separate cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.
More pictures of the setup. I can't manage to remember to take photos of the fun times, but I always remember to take photos of the food prep. Go figure!