Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Fabulous 70s!

We had our holiday open house, and it was a smashing success. Lots of fun. We watched some Christmas movies, laughed and talked. Some who couldn't make the wedding were able to come to the open house. Holy Family parish was well represented. It was wonderful.

It was the first time we had hosted a party, (the wedding reception doesn't count, we didn't do the actual work of the day). Neither of us had ever been so stress-free when hosting. How wonderful it is to make a list of things to do at home, and another list of things to get at the store, and have both lists done by different people at the same time. During the party, one of us could sit and enjoy, while the other would greet guests and pour drinks. We switched all day. Being married rocks!

I'm posting recipes that were requested. They are all from the 1970s, the pinnacle of entertaining food. A time when full-fat cream cheese was king, and yummy chocolate, queen. I respectfully ask the Gradys to post their buffalo chicken dip recipe in the comments. There were multiple requests for the recipe.

The Big Dipper (a cheesy, meaty, taste explosion)

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon each: oregano, basil, fennel, and rosemary
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 package cream cheese

Brown beef in butter, add garlic and fry garlic until brownish. Deglaze with wine and tomato paste. Add rest of stuff and stir until melted. Serve hot with crackers.

Mable Hoffman's Hot Cranberry/Wine Punch (from a cookbook published in 1975)

1 pint cranberry juice
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 bottle burgundy wine
1 lemon, thinly sliced (unpeeled)

Stick the lemon or an orange with the cloves. Put in crock pot with everything else. Simmer for 1-2 hours and stir so sugar is dissolved. Recipe doubles well. I used boxed wine and orange. It was delicious!

The Best Hot Fudge (you can always eat it straight)

4 tablespoons butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup espresso or strong coffee (or boiling water)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter on very very low heat. Add coffee, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil. BOIL WITHOUT STIRRING FOR 8 MINUTES. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Store in a tight container in the fridge. If you are silly enough not to eat it quickly, you can stir in some hot water if it gets grainy. I don't understand such people, but it takes all kinds to make a world.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Open House

We're having a holiday open house on December 13 from noon-into the night. We're going to have lots of nice munchies. Hope to see you there. Give us a call if you have questions.

An interesting thought for today. The Heat Miser bears a striking resemblance to the late Richard Nixon. What do you think? Check out the link in the sidebar.

Movie Review: Bolt
We've been waiting with baited breath to see "Bolt" because of the trailer. I must say, it was a lovely, heartwarming tale of a dog, his person, and his sycophantic hamster fan. If you want to just laugh, GO. The pigeons are fantastic. You'll have a great time. 4 1/2 stars!