Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Five: Food with friends

Friday Friday, there you are!  Sort of snuck up on me this week, actually.  How about you?  Has it been a busy week or a quiet one?  Regardless, I hope it's been good -- full of holiday preparations and time to be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives.

Speaking of holidays and being thankful, I want to say thank you for sticking with me this week while things have been a little quiet on the blogging front.  The reason I've been so unplugged is because my sister and her fiance are in town for a week.  Who has two thumbs and is soooooo excited?  This gal!

Three months ago, Jenny and Zach moved to Sacramento, CA, because he got an incredible job offer.  While our family is so proud of them (and loving the pictures of their weekend trips to national parks!), we've missed them terribly.

Rather than make two very short visits (with lots of travel time) for back-to-back holidays, they made the smart decision to return home for a full week between the two.  We hopped around the city earlier this week and have been relaxing at our parents' house since Thursday.  Cozying up in front of the fireplace, playing Scattegories, and enjoying the fruits cookies of my mom's holiday baking = the best.  There really is no place like home!

Family, friends, and food -- isn't that what the holidays are all about?  Bypass the crowded malls, give the postman an Amazon break, and save your fingers from becoming wrapping paper casualties.  (My Band-Aid count is up to 2.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who sustains such "injuries".)  Rather than stress about what to buy, why not channel your energies to dreaming up what indulgent dishes to make?  You know, the ones you've bookmarked, Pinned, or dreamt up and saved for a special occasion?  Here are five of my favorite food-centric ways to get together with the ones you love.

Happy weekend and, for us, happy early Christmas! :)

1. Progressive dinner - Coordinate with folks who live relatively close to one another and each offer to serve up a different course in succession.  Wine and appetizers at the first stop, salad and/or bread at the next, then the entree, and dessert.  This is a great way to give everyone a chance to host and show off their holiday decorations.  Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the UK is home to the idea of a safari dinner during which "the destination of the next course is generally unknown by the participants, and they have to decipher a clue before moving on."  Fun!

2. Cookie exchange - You know the drill with this one.  We hosted a cookie exchange two years ago, and it was such a blast, not to mention the easiest party I've ever thrown.  Each guest brings at least a dozen of a cookie along with the recipe if they are homemade, which they needn't be as by evidenced by the package of fudge-covered Oreos.  As the hosts, we simply provided plates, napkins, to-go boxes, and lots of ice cold milk.

3. Surprise potluck - Two weeks ago, I got the idea to put a twist on a potluck and assign everyone a course but keep the specifics a mystery.  Each of the four of us made one course: appetizer, salad, main, and dessert.  Other than that initial assignment, we added only one guideline (vegetarian).  It took all of my willpower not to pester Matt about what he was making, but it was such fun seeing what everyone made.  We had fancy nachos, an Asian chopped salad with sesame dressing and almonds, wild rice & bean casserole, and dirt dessert.  We had so much fun, and it was really great to learn in what cuisines our friends shine!

4. Host a cine-brunch - A local theater has a tradition of serving a brunch buffet and showing a classic Christmas movie on a Saturday in December.  We've gone the past two years and, while it was fabulous, it tends to get a little crazy since it's a very well-attended event.  This year, we convinced my mom to do our own version of Cinebrunch since we can't attend the official one in the city.  Invite your best gals over in their comfy clothes for a spread of fruit, yogurt, muffins, bacon, whatever breakfast food moves ya!  Mom's making quiche and cinnamon rolls, and we've got the White Christmas DVD ready to go.  Sing it with me: Snowwwwwwwwwww!

5. Gingerbread house decorating party - Buy a kit, make your own pieces (impressive!), or go the graham cracker sheet route.  Add "BYOC" to the party invitation -- Bring Your Own Candy -- and you'll be amazed at the variety of sweets available to decorate your edible abode.  Tip: advise guests to assemble the houses the night before the party so folks aren't waiting around for the "glue" (icing) to dry.  While the houses made of gingerbread might be more tradtional, the graham cracker versions are more, um, easily disposed of ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment