Housewarming Party!

Breaking in our New House with a Good Old Fashioned Party…

table

So, we are well on our way to putting together our new house. We now have phone (like it matters in this day and age), DSL (matters), and cable (but not yet strong enough for digital…), and even a few curtains up (custom curtains = serious $$$)! Part of the reason we are getting settled in so fast is because I scheduled a housewarming party. Not as much to get gifts or anything (anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not a big gift person…), but more so we could keep ourselves on track and get the house put together with a deadline in sight.

The housewarming was on Friday evening, but we had a bit of an ambitious goal for snacks, so we needed to get started early. Monday was reserved for a relaxing evening for myself…I didn’t have the ambition to do anything, so all that got done was hanging the curtain in our office and cleaning the bathrooms. Tuesday we got a bit more done, hanging the curtains in the master bedroom, but still no cooking, and we hadn’t come to complete agreement on the menu for the party. Wednesday is when we got A LOT done!

Wednesday we settled on our menu (expecting ~20 or so people, got more like 25 or so I think…):

Appetizers:

  • Homemade Salsa and Guacamole (with store bought tortilla chips)
  • Homemade Hummus (with store bought pita bread)
  • Cheese and Cracker Platter (yeah, no real cooking here…)
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip (healthified of course, served with pita bread or whatever people want to eat it with)

Entree:

  • Mediterranean Bulgar Salad with Chicken (basically a cold pasta salad with wheat instead of pasta)

Desserts:

  • Whole Wheat Brownies
  • Toblerone Chocolate Fondue with a variety of dippers (fruit and pound cake)
  • Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (with chocolate chips)

Drinks:

Non-alcoholic:

  • Iced Tea

Alcoholic:

  • Wine
  • Margaritas (a friend makes pretty awesome margaritas!)
  • Beer

We also got some cooking done on Wednesday…

Whole Wheat Brownies – started on these first, these need at least 24 hours to relax before cutting to enhance their texture

Hummus – always tastes better when the flavors get to meld for a day or two

hummus

Salsa – same as hummus

Bulgar Wheat – easy to cook, so why not cook it a day in advance and let it cool in the fridge for a few days? This will hopefully free up a little bit of time and stovetop space on the day of the event

Thursday was a wash…we had a sponsored happy hour to go to…you never want to pass up on a happy hour sponsored by a service company :-) However, this one was terrible…over dinner time with no snacks…beer was provided, but nothing to put on your stomach, not good for someone like me who’s slightly hypoglycemic. We decided to then go out for dinner at Ziggy’s, where we had our “appetizer dinner” of healthy spinach artichoke dip and spicy garlic turkey nachos…

Then came the big day…Friday…busy, busy, busy! I only left the house once that day and was busy pretty much every minute I was home. After making myself pancakes for breakfast, I had to organize my thoughts and plan out my day…

First I prepared my “famous” guacamole (there is never any left after my parties) in order to let the flavors meld over the course of the day. Next I prepared the spinach artichoke dip and put it in the fridge to put into the oven when guests arrived. Then I put the chicken breasts in the oven for my Mediterranean Bulgar Wheat Salad to cook while I was chopping the other ingredients for the salad and mixing it into my already prepared Bulgar (see recipe here).

I put the chicken breasts aside to cool off and mixed in just before the party to a big portion of the salad (I left some Vegetarian for my Vegetarian friends).

By this time, it was already well into my “normal” lunchtime. My hubby had just gotten back from going over the clean the old house and run some errands, so he cooked us a couple of turkey hotdogs (super yummy…wrapped in half a whole wheat pocket pita). While he was cooking lunch, I started on the cookies! Timing hit just right, I was just finishing up the batter when he finished making lunch, so I put the batter in the fridge to sit for awhile while I ate lunch.

After lunch, I preheated the oven and make the cookies. While the cookies were baking, I cleaned up dishes (lots of dishes). Then we realized we forgot to get a baguette for the cheese (we had crackers, but wanted baguettes). My hubby was busy mopping the floors and tidying up the house, so I ran over to our local Italian Market for the first time (it’s pretty nice…) and picked up a couple baguettes and some more cheese (you can never have too much cheese, right?).

When I got home, it was mid-afternoon, so this is where my memory gets a little bit hazy, but I think we decided to hang a few pictures on the walls to give our home a more “homey” feeling before the party. After we were done with that, we had just enough time to cut up pitas and bread and put out our spread before guests arrived. We put on our invitations 5:30-10:30pm for the party, but people naturally started coming a bit late (it was a Friday after all, not everyone had that Friday off…most of my friend’s work an opposite 9/80 schedule from me), around 5:45-6pm and our last guests left around 1am…

The party was a blast and the food got rave reviews! We were left with a few cookies (yay!), 2 brownies, a lot of Bulgar Wheat Salad (happens when you make enough for a small army), salsa (which I used Sunday to make an enchilada bake), and a small amount of hummus and cheese.

All in all, an astounding success…with the small snafu of nearly cutting off the top of my finger with a bread knife! (note kids…wine + knives don’t mix!)

We also got a lot of wine, we were left with ~16 bottles of wine hanging around (had to buy our very first wine rack…yay!), a couple of 6-packs, and some tequila/triple sec. My good friend that just moved down here from Wisconsin also got us a beautiful recipe box!

I’ll post individual recipes for dishes not already written about in the coming days…