Monday, December 13, 2010

Lazy Christmas Party Menu

OK guys...the Christmas Party was a huuuuuuuge success! Did I take pictures? Not really. The dessert table pre-humans was it is mid-party above. Thank God Aaron's friend Steven took a photo of the desserts when he did!
I'm still in my cooking/baking phase so I cooked up a storm. I had so much fun and everything turned out sooooo delicious!

Now, let us review how this is LAZY: because it fills my soul to create beautiful parties, and right now it really fills my soul to cook and bake. So, I took off Thursday and Friday. On Thursday I decorated the house and shopped and prepped two cookies. On Friday I cooked and baked. On Saturday, I worked out, had a relaxing morning AND a relaxing couple of hours in the afternoon too... because I made all make-ahead recipes with only a couple of exceptions. I also chose really easy recipes.

Here is the straight menu....scroll down below to see links to recipes (most from or Ina Garten) and my notes on how I changed the recipes (if I did).

Christmas Party Menu
Mulled Wine
Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
Red & White ItalianWines
Mortadella, Salami, & Other Italian Meatly Delights
Italian Cheeses & Olives
Olive Oil Bread
Shrimp Scampi
Scalloped Tomatoes
Turkey Bolognese Lasagna
Trumpet Pasta with Green Pea & Asparagus Pesto
Lemon Spaghetti
Arugula, Gorgonzola & Cranberry Salad
Warm Gingerbread & Cream
Apricot Cheesecake
Chocolate Orange Cake
Peanut Butter & Jelly Jewels
Chocolate Kahlua Balls
Pistachio Orange Cookies

Notes and Recipes for all Menu Items:

  1. Mulled Wine -- See last blog post!
  2. Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail - I sliced up a pomegranate and put a couple pinches of pomegranate seeds at the bottom of glasses. I put out a bowl of pomegranate seeds next to the punch pitcher.
  3. Red & White ItalianWines -- Bought at Roma Market, Italian store here in Pasadena
  4. Mortadella, Salami, & Other Italian Meatly Delights - Bought at Roma Market, Italian store here in Pasadena
  5. Italian Cheeses & Olives -- Bought at Roma Market, Italian store here in Pasadena
  6. Olive Oil Bread -- Bought at Roma Market, Italian store here in Pasadena
  7. Shrimp Scampi -- I actually took tails off. Not as gorgeous but when people are possibly standing with food you have to make it easy for them.
  8. Scalloped Tomatoes -- I used Sourdough and oh my god it was yummy!
  9. Turkey Bolognese Lasagna --- Aaron bought this at Porto Via in Pasadena
  10. Trumpet Pasta with Green Pea & Asparagus Pesto -- Trumpet pasta bought at Roma Market. Recipe: I decided to not add cream. Now this was my only "mistake" on the menu. I made it the day before and forgot to heat it up before adding to the pasta and also forgot to reserve pasta water. So, it was a little dry. Totally my fault. If I had heated it up and added some reserved water it would have been fine. I don't believe it needs the cream at all. People still liked it though!
  11. Lemon Spaghetti -- I tripled this recipe, so that would mean 1.5 cups of lemon juice...well I put in 2 cups and it was spectacular. Also, I chose to do Italian Parsley instead of basil because I wanted a fresher feel to go with the heavily garlicked-up scampi next to it.
  12. Arugula, Gorgonzola, Toasted Pecan & Dried Cranberry Salad --- Dressing was Trader Joe's Orange Champagne Vinegar, Dijon, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
  13. Warm Gingerbread -- served with whipped cream. I have been making the Silver Palate recipe for years. It's spectacular and has a great twist -- lemon glaze. Unbelievable. Here's a link to someone who has typed it up. She doesn't use lemon glaze but I love it:
  14. Apricot Cheesecake -- Aaron found this one. I made it with dried apricots I had been soaking for weeks in brandy. The crust is unbelievably delicious. This woman is a GENIUS -- check out her blog: I also took a jar of cherry jam and boiled it down with about 1/2 cup of brandy and put that on top of the apricot top...made it glistening red and more Christmas-y. Also I finely chopped up about a cup apricots and mixed into the cheesecake.
  15. Chocolate Orange Cake -- I looked at a lot of recipes before I found this's supremely good.,196,156179-248201,00.html. I had leftover butter-sugar-orange sauce and poured it liberally over the top of the cake too (after it had cooled). Then after it had set, Aaron dusted it with a light dusting of powdered sugar. I got the orange flavored chocolate at Trader Joe's that looks like orange slices and put that around the base of the cake with slices of tangerine. I cut an orange in half and put it in the middle of the ring and made a mini-bouquet of flowers. I think it was the most beautiful cake I've ever made. Peanut Butter & Jelly Jewels --,196,156179-248201,00.html. I think the recipe suggests doing the jelly OR the chocolate. I did the jelly and then swizzled chocolate on top of that.
  16. Chocolate Kahlua Balls --,196,156179-248201,00.html. These you can do waaaaaay ahead!
  17. Pistachio Orange Cookies -- Take the "two inches apart" direction seriously please...they bleed and create thin, lacy cookies. --,196,156179-248201,00.html

1 comment:

  1. Diana4:50 PM

    That was an amazing party! Everything I tasted was excellent. I could kick myself that we had plans before the party for dinner... but I can't be faulted for a black and white truffle dinner. But I'm so happy to have your recipes!