September 26, 2010

Come Warm My House.

We had the official first party at our new home. Our housewarming party. Let me tell you, our house was warmed. It reached hot in fact. Regardless of the number of invitees, 60+ people walked into our house holding a bottle of alcohol (usually red wine for me, sometimes beer for the beer trough on the roof barn dance style) and ready to mingle (minus of course a few people like our unshaven guy friend with a 2 year old son who showed up wearing a tired smile, mono-chromatic outfit and a bottle of Jameson).

I must admit that a type A person like myself freaks out just a tad about housewarming party. And by a tad I mean I totally freaked out. I think Doug was ready to find a new girlfriend by 2:30pm on Saturday when he was trying to watch Ohio State college football and I was trying to do last minute preparation in the kitchen when all I wanted to do was run and or drink 4 tequila drinks immediately. Thank you Doug for dealing with me while I was running around at the last minute stressed (and stressed you out because of my frazzled preparation of the pears slash writing the menu on the chalkboard while I should have been in the shower antics). I finished blow drying my hair 5 minutes before the first guest arrived, and can conclude one thing: next time I have a larger scale party, no matter how much planning in advance that I do, I'm going to enlist some of my friends to help me out as far as preparation "day of" is concerned, since that was what really threw me over the edge. It seems like there is never enough time. I even took off Friday from work to cook and organize.

It was an awesome night, though. I was bustling around so much that I didn't manage to get a photo of Doug and I together, nor did I get a photo of my college ladies all sitting around my dining room table! Oh well, I certainly will next time around. I love having people at my place, so the time and energy spent is (well) worth it.

Menu: Below. All recipes that I have included below are actually the "smaller" and or "normal" version of a typical menu size. I multiplied each by roughly 3 to make enough food for the guests.

Favors: Sunglasses from (yes I bought favors like it was a 5 year old birthday party). Big League Chew. Tootsie Rolls.

Drink: The 2136 Division Signature Paloma

Time: 5:00pm (i.e. 5:25, thank God, because I wasn't ready yet) until 10:00pm (let's be honest, people were still getting Iced at 12:05am, while I took another back of dripping garbage to the back landing area of our stairs).

Outfit: J Crew Black Strapless Dress, Gap Flats, Pink J Crew Cardigan, Kate Spade studded earrings

MVP: Molly McMahon. Tthis breaks my streak of not mentioning people's names as much as possible on my blog, but she was just so helpful, I couldn't help but to mention her fantastic cheese plate, the platter she gave me for keeps, or that she ran across the street to get Diet 7 Up when we needed to make another batch of Palomas). Thanks fellow co-worker, life coach, fashion adviser, and Dailey Method motivator! You are such a supporter, woman! Mazel Tov!


Cilantro Citrus Shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 strips
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Vegetable oil, for pan


  1. In a bowl, toss chicken with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and teaspoon red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Thread each chicken strip lengthwise onto a skewer.
  2. Make dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, and 2 to 3 tablespoons water.
  3. Heat grill pan over high. Working in batches, brush pan with oil, and cook chicken until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve chicken skewers with dipping sauce.

Mini Meatballs with Mint Dipping Sauce


  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 pound ground lamb
  3. 1/2 cup minced onion
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  5. 2 extra-la rge eggs
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/4 cup chopped dill
  10. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  11. Salt
  12. One 8-ounce container Greek yogurt or plain whole milk yogurt
  13. 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat the broiler. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb with the onion, bread crumbs, eggs, mint, lemon juice, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the dill, 2 teaspoons of the garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt; knead until combined. Form the mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on the oiled baking sheet and broil as close to the heat as possible for 6 minutes, turning the pan halfway through, until firm and lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the remaining 3 tablespoons of dill and 2 teaspoons of garlic; whisk in the milk and season with salt. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and serve with the sauce.

Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette


  • 3 pounds potatoes (I used red ones)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup Basic Vinaigrette
  • 1 Bunch Tarragon (s mall about 1 t


  1. Place the potatoes and salt in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving dish.
  2. Whisk together the vinaigrette and mustard in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over the hot potatoes, toss, and let stand for 1 hour. Just before serving, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette mixture over the potatoes, add the tarragon and pepper, and toss.

Pears with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto


  • 2 pears
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise


  1. In a large bowl, toss the pears and lemon juice.
  2. Layer a slice of pear, an arugula leaf, and a piece of cheese on a piece of prosciutto and roll up.


Double Marshmallow Treats


  • 11 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus extra for buttering the spatula and dish
  • 8 cups puffed rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies


  1. Coat the bottom of a metal spatula and a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.
  2. Combine 8 cups of the marshmallows and the butter in a medium pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cereal until well coated. Add re maining 3 cups marshmallows and stir just until mixed. Immediately turn mixture into the prepared baking dish and use the buttered spatula to uniformly flatten.
  4. Let set up until room temperature and firm, about 45 minutes. Cut into 15 (2-1/2-inch-by-2-1/2-inch) squares and serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting Cupcakes

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting Directions

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and then vanilla; mix until smooth. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth.
I also made chocolate cake cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. I used store bought (on sale) Pillsbury mix, and then used dark coco powder (HERSHEY'S) and then peanut butter with the sugar and cream cheese. It was absolutely fantastic. I highly advise to change it up as much as possible.

What I used to Decorate the Cupcakes: Bake it Pretty Website

Lime Juice

Grapefruit Crystal Lite (Ruby Red)

Diet Squirt

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