you can't have a Christmas party without a tree,
and Pigs in Blankets,
and lovely young ladies
sporting fake pink mustaches.
(Having an adorable baby among the guests
is not necessary, but it's a wonderful bonus!)
all of these various elements came together on Saturday, for our annual
family & friends Christmas gathering here at That Old House.
Thank you, Martha of Lines from Linderhof, for your pizza dip recipe. (Recipe at end of post.)
It was a smash hit; my sister sat down right in the middle of the pie plate to get her share;
ruined her slacks, but she left here a happy woman.
And the corn chips? The perfect, albeit unlikely, accompaniment.
On Friday, I featured my mother-in-law's easy but amazingly delicious Cranberry Onion Brisket recipe.
As the pizza dip was the hit of the hors d'oeuvres spread, so the Brisket was the hit of the dinner buffet.
There was enough left over for lunch the next day. Here it is, reheated, on Sunday,
and mostly it has fallen apart into small chunks so it looks messy, but tastes . . . oh, yeah, it's good.
Tender, with a delicious sauce . . . and no one will guess what's in it, unless they have had it before,
or they rummage through your trash and find the cranberry sauce cans and onion soup mix packets.
In which case . . . get new friends.
I always make sure there are child-friendly foods on a buffet table,
so we had oven-fried chicken cutlet strips.
I don't like fussing with raw chicken, so my daughter Alida and I traded chores;
I dusted, and she cut up all the chicken, dipping the pieces in olive oil, and then in seasoned bread crumbs.
Into a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes, and you have Chicken Fingers
that are many notches above the fast food variety; even grownups like them.
These are the leftovers, ready for their re-run on Sunday.
Desserts were simple; cookies and cheese cake slices.
Alida's friend Alyssa baked the cookies in the top left.
The ones in the middle of the plate are amazing; light as air! I can't pronounce them, but I can appreciate them.
Now where, you may ask, did those lovely young ladies obtain those striking and flattering fake moustaches?
Why, from our cutthroat, down-and-dirty, no-holds-barred Annual Grab Bag, that's where.
You have to experience our Grab Bag to understand.
All year long, family and friends search for the ugliest or goofiest or most useless items
to lovingly wrap and tag "Grab Bag" and put under our Christmas Tree on Party Day,
to lure the unsuspecting pigeon.
This year's gifts ran the gamut from a box of cartoon-printed Duct Tape, to a car sign
in the shape of a ribbon that reads "Support Farting," to a "Doomsday 2012" day-by-day Calendar and
a "Goats in Trees" Calendar, to a toilet paper roll cover crocheted to look exactly like a roll of sushi.
Mr. Dion DiPoochy was mystified and a little goggle-eyed by all the people --
36 of them -- and all the food.
Yes, he ate well yesterday; kids and soft-hearted adults can be (on-purpose) messy eaters,
and it's a lucky dog who gets in on that!
Martha's Pizza Dip Recipe
8 oz. Cream Cheese
14 oz. jar of Pizza Sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion or scallion
1-1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
Small can of sliced black olives
2 oz. Pepperoni (I cut the slices up into small bits)
Spread the cream cheese into the bottom of a pie plate.
Spread the pizza sauce on top, then layer in the
rest of the ingredients, in the order listed.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, serve with corn chips,
and get out of the way!
That's all folks! -- Cass
Visit Mary at her Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.
Her golden images for Christmas are gorgeous! Click here.