Monday, December 18, 2006

Cocktail Time!!

Friday night was my almost annual Christmas Cocktail party. I had a fabulous turn out of about 30 people coming and going. I had a brief moment of panic right before the party, thinking that I did not have enough food. I came up with a couple of back up plans that I could whip up really fast if it looked like the food was getting low but convinced myself that I always end up with WAY more food than I need.

I went for elegant this year. I sat up an official Bar AKA my desk and Made Roasted Pear and Cranberry Bellinis for the guests as they came in and there was lots of wine and liquor also.

I kept all of my serving dishes crystal (ok, mostly glass) or silver. I opted to use clear plastic plates but real glassware. It all turned out beautifully but man was that alot of dishes to do and my dishwasher, AKA my daughter, managed to skate out before clean up time came.

I came up with a fun idea that I am going to make a tradition. I put a guest book in the bathroom with a note encouraging people to leave me a message but never said a word about it. It made it a novelty rather than a boring task. I got some great, funny comments which is what I was going for. I hope that next time more people will find it and leave me their thoughts.

Only two minor mishaps #1 setting off the smoke detector when I tried to reheat the chicken on the same broiler pan that it was cooked on and #2 my Beautiful Ice bowl melted all over the table (what was I thinking?) But neither one put a damper on the party!

One of the most popular Hors d'Oeuvres was one of the easiest. I saw the recipe on Paula Dean. I don't make a lot of her dishes because they are a little too southern for my taste and usually contain alot of butter But this one caught my attention right away and I am very glad I made it. It is a little time consuming but very easy. I think it will be one of my staple party foods from now on. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe so here it is.

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)

1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon

2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Note: after 35 mins the bacon was still not crisp enough for my taste so I stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes. You know I had to change SOMETHING!

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