Friday, December 18, 2009

You Shoulda Been Here

mini stuffed peppers

Last night, I hosted book club and boy, am I tired, lol. But I am the best kind of tired... the relieved kind... the having-so-many-blessings-you-can't-help-but-giggle kind... okay, and the one-too-many-glasses-of-wine kind too.

I don't get to do a lot of entertaining, so I don't often find myself in a kitchen baking for hours on end. But that is just what I did yesterday. I started about 9am and was still pulling things from the oven at 7:30pm.

Here is the menu I made:
Mini Stuffed Sweet Peppers (pictured above)- I used a Thai Sweet Chili Pepper Sauce in with the rice and ground beef, and added some corn too. I freaking loved these. I had enough stuffing left over to fill a large pepper and that is going to be my lunch today.
Sausage Bread with Marinara Sauce - Made the bread dough from scratch and everything. I stuffed it with sweet Italian pork sausage and mozzarella cheese. Delish.
Artichoke Dip - a usually party standard right? Well, for mine, I grade in some spicy pepperjack cheese to give it a little kick.
Hubby's Stuffed Mushrooms - Ron's contribution to the night, and he was so excited that there was two left. He also took the kids to the library for two hours, lol. Thanks Ronboy.
Cinnamon Monkey Bread - (pictured below) For this, just buy yourself 2 cans of your supermarket jumbo cinnamon rolls, grease a bundt pan, and put cut slices of those uncooked rolls in the pan, bake for 30mins, and pour icing on. Then proceed to pick chunks off with your fingers and licking up the icing. Yeah, yum.
Homemade Peanut/Almond Brittle and Peppermint Bark - wouldn't be the holidays without something minty and covered in chocolate! I love how the brittle turned out. Ron tried to convince me that homemade brittle sucks, but I disagree.
Banana Rum No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes with Crushed Pretzel Crust - I think the name says it all.

cinnamon monkey bread
packed house2

After stuffing faces in the kitchen, we (the FOURTEEN!! of us) moved to the living room for our annual white elephant book exchange. Everyone brings a book, wrapped. We draw numbers, then open in order with the option to steal books of previous openers along the way. I now have a fresh copy of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol and can't wait to get started on it. I gave away a copy of Friday Night Knitting along with a cowl I whipped up while cooking all day. Jennifer instantly hid it after opening it so it wouldn't get stolen, lol.

Oh, and we did actually talk about a book. LOL, we had read Shanghai Girls for December. We all disliked the ending and thought it dragged in the middle. Oh well. I wish you all could have been here. There was a wonderful energy in the air. The noise of so many conversations, laughing, and singing... yes, singing. Max, my friend Renee's baby boy, was here and we sang him "You Are My Sunshine".

dirty wine glasses

We voted on selections for next month too. I had the girls choose from The Host, Her Fearful Symmetry, The Red Tent, Sam's Letters To Jennifer, and Blink. What would you have picked? We picked Sam's Letters To Jennifer with Her Fearful Symmetry a very close second.

The night wound down around 10pm. We always seem to vote on the book and then scoot out the door. It was a school night after all, lol, and I was ready for bed. Now... I gotta get that quilt finished!!

end of the night


Holly said...

that sounds like so much fun! and the sausage bread is making my mouth water!

TesoriTrovati said...

You made all that?!?! No wonder you are tired... are you Wonder Woman under that pretty top?
I have always wanted to join a book club (in my spare time - HA!). I was a former English teacher after all, so you think that I would find time to read. Well, other than beading magazines and inspiring resources by my favorite author-friends (can't wait for my Totally Twisted!)
How much fun.
Enjoy the day!

Nicki said...

i love your stories. i wish i would live closer and meet you one day. unfortunately i am in germany. but who knows. merry xmas.

Retail Therapy said...

your book club sounds like so much fun -- and the food looked delish! Hey, is that a superhero bullseys necklace?

Kristen said...

Looks like a wonderful time Kerry! Great food and friends! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us! :)

Alice said...

MMMM, your treats sound delishious!

I wish I knew your secret to finding time for things like a book club, knitting, making jewelry, wife, mother..and all the rest! And can I say that I'm a little jealous about that book club? All of my friends work, so that means the evenings belong to their families. I can't seem to talk them into doing anything like this--even with the promise of wine and chocolate!

Lynda said...

The Red Tent! LOVED that book. Borrowed a friend's copy. I need one of my own.

Cindy said...

well it was almost like we WERE there with these pictures! I can just hear the if only I could have tasted some of that yummy food. Glad to hear the night was a success!

Shaiha said...

The Banana Rum No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes with Crushed Pretzel Crust sounds yummy. Want to share the recipe?