December 28, 2012

Easy Entertaining

As of now, we have no New Year's Eve plans.  I'm actually really ok with that.  Sure I'd love to find something to do, but we're kind of has to be family-friendly, but also include some adult fun...we don't really want to drive too far...we can't be out too late, etc.  Honestly, I would love to just have people over to our house for simplicity sake, but I really don't want to deal with the work that goes along with that, so we'll just have to wait and see what unfolds!
BUT I figured there may be some of you out there who will be entertaining this New Year's, and luckily for you all, I have a super simple appetizer, dessert, and drink recipe to share with you.
For an easy appetizer, who doesn't love a cheese ball?  All you have to do is blend everything together, roll it all up and coat it with some pecans, and refrigerate it over night.  How much easier does it get?  This one has a couple surprise ingredients, but when it's all combined it's just plain good.
image and recipe via Chef in Training
Pineapple Ham Cheese Ball
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple (VERY well drained)
  • green onion to taste (about 2-3 tbsp)
  • chopped ham (I just chopped up some deli slice) to taste (about 2-3 tbsp.)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • chopped pecans to coat (about 1 cup)
For a super simple dessert recipe, I have to share with you these Thin Mint Ritz Cookies.  As the name implies, they taste EXACTLY like a Thin Mint made famous by the Girl Scouts...and who doesn't love those?  
Thin Mint Ritz Cracker Cookies
  • Ritz crackers (I used reduced fat)
  • bag of chocolate mint flavored morsels (I used the Andes version, but have also heard very good things about the AC Moore version)
Before you get started, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Then, using a double boiler, melt the mint chocolate chips.  Dip each Ritz cracker into the chocolate, coating it completely and then remove it to harden on the parchment paper.  That's about it!  Oh, and for ratio sake, I found that one bag of chocolate chips got through about 1 sleeve of Ritz, so gauge appropriately.

And finally, a party-friendly drink recipe.  I don't know about you all but now that we're "adults" (at least our age indicates we are), I feel like we can no longer host BYOB parties.  That can sometimes stink because providing drinks to a big crowd can get expensive real quick.  This little concoction, discovered on Pinterest of course, is a win-win, then...not only is it crazy affordable (especially because everything I read about it suggested using the cheapest red wine you could find!), but it's beyond easy too.
It's a red wine and Coke (or Coke Zero in my case) mixture.  I just combined both in a pitcher, with about 75% (maybe more like 60%) red wine and the rest being the Coke.  
To be very honest with you, this isn't my new favorite drink in the world or anything, BUT it was tasty enough for me to drink all Christmas Eve and it is very party-friendly, so do with it what you want:)


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