Cluster E Christmas Party

Last night, we hosted a Cluster E Ugly Sweater Party! There are several people in Tyler's class that live in our building, so we decided to have a progressive party, which was so much fun! The idea was that three apartments on our floor would host and people could float between all three. What ended up happening is that everyone started at our apartment and we we managed to fit over 40 people...yikes! The good news is we had plenty of food and booze and we were able to squeeze everyone in :)

The secret to a good party is making lots of easy and yummy food. I learned this trick from my mother who is a fabulous hostess. I did break her one cardinal rule, which is "Don't try a recipe for the first time when you are having company over!" I manage to break this rule every time, but it seems to work out. I made Pomegranate Martinis, which were so delicious.

I made two pitchers ahead of time to make them easier to serve. Here's my recipe for 1 pitcher:
  • 15 tablespoons of Simple Sugar. I made mine by boiling 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar.
  • 3 3/4 cup of Citrus Vodka
  • About 1/4 of bottle of Pomegranate Cranberry Juice (I used diet juice and just eye balled the measurement)
  • Slice a lemon into quarters and rub it around the rim of a class.
  • Flip the glass and rub it in cranberry sanding sugar.
  • Serve with two ice cubes and enjoy!
Here are some other fun recipes I made:

Pecan, Brown Sugar and Kahlua Baked Brie


This recipe was absolutely phenomenal and I will definitely be making this again! It was so tasty and really easy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 wheel of Brie
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Kahlua
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Crackers
  • 2 apples
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Using a knife, score a circle around the top edge of the brie (leave 1/4 inch rim).

  2. Take a spoon and scrape the white rind off the center circle of the brie (to the inside of the 1/4" rim). Place brie on the center of and oven safe platter. I used a pie pan and then scooped up the brie and placed in on my serving platter.

  3. Mix the pecans, brown sugar, and Kahlua in a small bowl. Carefully place the mixture in then center of the brie and spread to the edges (staying within the 1/4" rim you left).

  4. Bake for 8-15 minutes until brown sugar/pecan mixture begins to bubble. Be careful not to overcook (the brie will literally melt and loose its shape if baked too long). You want it nice a warm.

  5. Serve with crackers and apple slices.


Taco Dip


This is a 3 ingredient dip and is definitely a crowd favorite! This is one of my "go-to" appetizers and it's always the first appetizer to go!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 can of chili con carne (usually found in the Mexican food or can food aisle)
  • 1/2 of a package of cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. In an oven safe dish, spread the cream cheese on the bottom.
  3. Next, layer the chili con carne.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and the dish bubbles on the sides.
  6. Serve warm with chips. Be sure to serve the dip in the dish you baked it in.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Growing up, I remember my mom making cheesy garlic bread occasionally for an appetizer. I remember loving it so I decided it would be a good app to try. I didn't have all of the ingredients so I improvised and it came out great! (I forgot to take a picture...sorry!)

Ingredients:
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 large french or sour dough bread roll. Slice the roll in half. I used 3 halves.
  • 1 cup of mayo (You could use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of mayo. I used mayo instead since I ran out of butter!)
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of grated parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Turn the oven on to broil.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Spread the mix over the french bread.
  4. Broil the bread for 3 minutes (check regularly until the cheese melts)
  5. Cut the pieces up into little bites to make it easier to serve/eat.
Cucumber and Cream Cheese Bites
I was looking to serve some veggies, but didn't want to serve a large veggie platter. So, I sliced cucumbers and then spread herbed cream cheese over each bite. So easy and delicious!


Goat Cheese Quesadillas
I made these quesadillas a few weeks ago and loved them! The goat cheese mixture makes approximately 5 quesaddillas. I sliced the quesadillas up into bite sizes and served them on a platter.

To accompany the drinks and appetizers, I made two desserts: Rolo Cookies and Texas Sheet Cake bites....Yummy!


And of course...here are some pictures from the party!




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