Christmas Party (w/recipes!)

The 2nd Christmas after Noah died, I decided I wanted to host a Christmas party for my fellow homeschool co-op moms. I figured it would be a way to be surrounded by supportive friends and a way to distract myself for just a little bit. Since then, I've continued to have them over as it gives me something to focus on with the holidays being bittersweet. And because I love cooking so  much, I make all the food so the moms can feel like they truly have a night out! I didn't do up the food as fancy this year since the party was the day after one of my children was discharged from the hospital and my time was a bit limited in the days prior due to that.

I forgot to take pictures until we were already digging into the food but you get the idea! I had a surprise for the moms this year, a chocolate fountain!! No, that's not mine unfortunately. I have connections and was able to borrow one though.

For a simple veggie tray, I laid out broccoli, broccoli-flower (a green cauliflower), cherry tomatoes & red/orange/yellow peppers to make it look like a decorated Christmas tree (and it was partly eaten in this picture lol) Another idea for a veggie tray would be to make a wreath with the veggies.

These cute little bites were filled & shaped to look like little Christmas trees (didn't try it but as I write this I guess I had a theme going huh?) I used yellow tomato in these but wish I had used red so the color would've popped a bit more.

8 oz. Cream Cheese softened. 
1/2 cup mayo
 8 slices Bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
4 tortillas (8 inch) I used green but any will work
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
Black olives (cut in half if they are big)

  Mix cream cheese and mayo in medium bowl. Add bacon and tomatoes; mix well. Spread onto tortillas making sure to go to the end so it "holds" when you roll it up; top with lettuce. Roll up tightly. Shape it into a triangle then wrap & let chill in the fridge to let the cream cheese harden up. Cut into slices then using a toothpick, secure a piece of black olive on the bottom.

The cups on the back of the cookie sheet are Taco Bites and the ones in front are Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza Puffs. I had a dish of sour cream & salsa that everyone could top their taco bites with and in a mini crockpot, I had some of my homemade pizza sauce to dip the pizza puffs in.

Pizza Puffs
3/4 cup flour 
3/4 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1 c shredded cheese 
(I used some mozzarella & cheddar, any kind would work)
1/2 c pepperoni, diced up
4 oz sausage, cooked and crumbled 

pizza sauce for dipping

Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
(printable recipe)

Some of the other food I had were dip & homemade hummus for the veggies, cocktail weiners in a sweet & spicy sauce (in one of the mini crockpots), a hot dip served with a side of beer bread or crackers, and all sorts of things to dip in the chocolate fountain. To drink, there was hot mulled cider and a Christmas punch.

For the hot dip, I know this sounds weird but it is a HUGE hit! Mix 1 cup of real mayo, 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese and 1 cup of diced vidalia onion (I chop mine up good in the food processor). Blend well and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until top browns. Serve with bread pieces or crackers, yum!!!

Of course, we played our typical regifting game of "Now You Have It, Now You Don't". We all bring something from home wrapped up and the gifts are anything from practical to funny or embarrassing!

Have you gone to any Christmas parties this year or hosted any? Do you have any favorite "go to" appetizers or finger food you like to make?

Don't forget to check out the Christmas Recipe Exchange. Last I saw, there were 29 recipes linked up!

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