In December, Matt and I hosted a gathering at our new home to “break in the house.” It was such a fantastic night and man did we make a ton of food. We’ve wanted to have another shindig, but with jam-packed schedules in January and February, we never got around to it. Last night we finally opened the doors yet again to our friends and hosted a lovely evening filled with finger food, champagne, and beautiful weather.
At our first party in December, I felt like I barely had the opportunity to leave the kitchen and mingle. We were over-ambitious with our menu and our guest count was at least double to the attendance last night. I spent the majority of the evening refilling the table and stirring up new batches of taco meat and appetizers. This time around we planned a little bit better and put together a finger food menu. Every item on the list could be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. All we would have to do is add things to the oven throughout the night. It ended up being fantastic planning, because this time, from the very start, I was able to sit with my friends and chat with a glass of champagne in hand. I kept an eye on the food and got up and down as the food on the table got low.
On the menu? I’ve made most of it in the past, which kept things easy (Ina Garten always says the key to party-planning is to stick with what you know and do best). So, we put out bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, bacon and cream cheese crescent rolls, sour cream and ranch dip, queso in the crock pot, and buffalo chicken bites. All came out perfectly as they always do and were crowd-pleasers. I added a couple of new recipes to the list that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs. On First Look, Then Cook, I stumbled across spinach bites and just had to experiment. I loved the green color added to a mix and who doesn’t love a recipe made with stuffing? On Cupcakes and Cashmere, Emily made mac and cheese cups for her Oscar party and they looked just too delicious not to try. Thanks to these trusty bloggers, I added some new appetizers to my arsenal and they did not disappoint!
Like always, I made way too much food! But it’s better to have too much than not enough, and it just means we had fabulous left-overs today! All in all, it was a fantastic evening. The weather has been perfect, so we spent most of the time on the patio. One of our guests brought his dog and it was so fun watching him run around our yard in pure bliss. It’s always great to get-together with friends and last night was no exception. I can’t wait for the next shindig!