Thursday, December 16, 2010

'tis the season

...for Christmas parties. Lots of them.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are kind of a blur of ham, gravy, sweet carbohydrate goodness, and of course, last minute shopping. It's been a doozy of a fall and winter so far, but I am doing my best to focus on the real Reason for the season and choosing love over busyness.

Today's Thursday (not quite) Thirteen is dedicated to the Christmas party tradition, every bad White Elephant present you'll give and receive, and of course, the countless covered dishes you'll prepare or consume in celebration with friends, co-workers, church groups, neighbors, friends, and of course, hideous-sweater-clad aunts and other miscellaneous family members.

LB's 2010 Partay Dishes
*   *   *
appetizers: because you and I both know dinner's never ready right on time.

 :: brie cheese ::  
just bake your brie to bubbly perfection, top with your favorite chutney or fruit salsa, 
and serve with crackers. definitely not just for snobbies :)

Shape magazine healthifies them with turkey dogs and a healthy dough
but they are delish with crescent roll dough, too!

*   *   *
side dishes 

the perfect mixture between bread and souffle
serve with jam or honey butter for an alternative to classic rolls

 look no further for the perfect mashed potato.
this recipe is especially good if you want to make them ahead of time

 :: cheesy potatoes :: 
definitely not artery-friendly, but a definite crowd-pleaser nonetheless
just defrost potatoes, mix everything into your baking dish, and cover with lots of cheese.

cranberries: I am not really a fan of the traditional cranberry side dish. Instead of cranberries, every year I beg my mom to make me a jello salad with cherry jello, pineapples, and marshmallows. I'll post the recipe very soon! Another amazing spin on cranberries is the one Bobby Flay made me once in a blue moon hahahaha! It's not traditional, but it's dang good. Click here for the recipe

*   *   *
main dishes: we typically buy a honey ham in my family to make things easy,
but Meseidy's turkey looks downright delicious!

delicious, succulent alternative to doing an entire turkey!

*   *   *

dessert: what we go through the motions of turkey and fixins for. 
Here are some alternatives if you're worried everyone will bring pumpkin/pecan/chocolate pie.

warm, buttery goodness you can get way creative with.
bake at 350's recipes look spot-on. 
I'll take one with 2-3 inches of frosting, thanks.
I'm planning a cookie decorating party and cannot wait! 

just a little speechless right now. wow...
go to Eat Live Run for the recipe. just trust me on this.

As always, click on the link below each picture for the source (unless you can tell it's my own iPhone shot, of course!) 

It's going to be tough to resist the temptations this season brings, as you can tell. But to me, that doesn't mean depriving myself of any of this goodness; I'm just going to have to resist eating the entire plate. It'll be hard, but I think I have the courage to do what's right and share.

On the topic of sharing, if you have any go-to holiday dishes, you'll be in BIG trouble if you don't share the wealth!


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