Girlfriendology.com’s founder and I were talking a while ago. “Why don’t you write a blog about Spring Party Ideas for girlfriends?” she said. As usual with Debba, it sounded like a good idea, so I wrote and she published the post. Which you should read if you haven’t already. (:
GUESS WHAT!!!?!! People left comments. I can’t begin to tell you how exciting that is for me! (HINT: keep the comments coming!) ProfessionGal even asked for some ideas for the ‘Tizer Teaser party she’s planning for her friends in Houston.
Now, as flattering as this is, it is also crazy funny, because under no circumstances would anyone consider me a whiz in the kitchen. In fact, I have more than a few funny stories about kitchen disasters on a scale that is just below “Call Out the National Guard.”
But I’d hate to let you or ProfessionGal down, so here are some of my favs, along with my own brand of commentary.
First, I’d like to comment on hosting parties, get togethers, gatherings, celebrations, and other festive occasions. As my mother taught me (thanks Mom!), entertaining is not about perfection. It is about enjoying time with friends and family. So don’t panic when something isn’t exactly right—pretend it’s perfect and no one will know you’d hoped for something different. Do as much ahead of time as possible, grab a beverage, and enjoy the party.
Artichoke Appetizer Squares
Makes 24 servings.
This recipe came from my mom, although I am quite sure she didn’t invent it. I’m sure it has been well traveled, since that’s the kind of recipes one tends to find in my house. I have no idea who created it, so kudos and credits to anyone who thinks they deserve acknowledgment.
1 8oz can crescent dinner rolls (did you know they make these in a reduced fat variety? Fabulous for justifying trying another dish)
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese (makes everything better, doesn’t it?)
2 3oz package cream cheese, softened (or if you’re like me, buy the 8oz size, cut off what you need, and you’ll have leftovers for something else)
½ Cup sour cream
½ tsp dill weed (can someone please explain why this is called a weed? I plant it purposefully each year and love it to pieces)
¼ tsp seasoned salt (ok, I have NO idea what seasoned salt is. I generally just omit this)
1/3 C chopped green onions (It’s me. I know it’s me. But I absolutely loathe raw onions. So they never appear in anything I prepare. You’re on your own here.)
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped (if you’re like me, buy two cans—one for the recipe and one for snacking on while you cook.)
1 2oz jar diced pimentos, drained (I know they are colorful. But I am not a pimento kind of gal. I leave it up to you whether you include or omi.t)
Heat oven to 375°. Unroll dough into long rectangle in ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan; seal perforations. (This is one reason I love this recipe. Besides it tasting good, I mean. You don’t have to grease the pan, and you get to play with the food. Fun!)
Press dough ½ inch up the sides to form crust. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, dill weed, salt and egg. Blend well. (I have a hand written note on my copy to try adding some garlic powder the next time I make this.) Spread over partially baked crust. Top with remaining ingredients.
Return to oven and bake an additional 13 to 19 minutes or until the edges are a deep golden brown and the center is set. To serve, cut in squares. Serve warm or cold (yeah, I love that part too!). Store in refrigerator.
Listen to this recipe from LINDA STEELE from our recent BlogTalkRadio/Girlfriendology interview about friends and food.
These next two recipes are from Marian Fox Burros and Lois Levine’s The Elegant But Easy Cookbook. Even the title is comforting, right? My copy was given to me by my Grandma and has a copyright date of 1960. As far as I’m concerned, these are so old, they are new again. Besides, they are easy and delish!
Chafing Dish Meatballs
Makes 50-60 meatballs
2lbs ground meat
1 slightly beaten egg
1 large grated onion
Salt to taste
Mix and shape into small balls. Drop into sauce of:
1 12oz bottle chili sauce
1 10oz jar grape jelly (sounds awful—trust me, it’s fab)
Juice of 1 lemon
Simmer until brown. Refrigerate or freeze. To serve, bring to room temperature. Reheat in chafing dish (hence the name of the dish. But it’s ok to use a crock pot. Really.) and serve with cocktail picks.
Makes 4 dozen
Cream until fluffy
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese grated (don’t you love that you can buy cheese already grated?)
½ lb butter (or margarine)
Add 2 Cups sifted flour and ½ tspn garlic salt.
Make into rolls of 1 inch in diameter and wrap in waxed paper. Chill or freeze. To serve, cut into 1/3-inch slices and place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Try to save some for your guests.