Par-tay!

So sorry, once again, for the delay. This year has already proven to be a busy one. But, alas, I must not abandon my blogging duties.
As I write this, the plane in which I am seated is whisking me off to New York for a week and a half, where I am determined to catch up on my eating/writing agenda.
For the past couple of years, I have put eating/cooking on the back burner. Well, I’m back and ready for grubbin’.
Ahhhh life transitions. I have been in the company of an amazing lot of folks each going through his/her very own. This past Saturday, instead of freaking out about what in the world to do with ourselves, we chose to celebrate the awaiting unknown. My new roommate/best friend and I decided to have a major party. You know, like the ones we used to have. Everyone knows about those old “like we used to have/go to” parties.
The deal was that I would cook, and everyone else would bring liquids. I spent all day Friday and part of the day Saturday creating some rather eclectic dishes. Of course, we didn’t end up taking a look at the actual list of people showing up until Friday night. Ooooooh at least 100. Ummmmm, maybe we don’t have enough food. After a few quick phone calls to those who had offered to help in advance, we managed to acquire a few more dishes to fill up our table.
After cooking, moving around furniture, and tidying up (the house and ourselves), we were ready for the guests to arrive (8pm). For the first hour, people just gathered around the table, hesitant to be the first to dig in, but secretly ready to pounce. I sounded the pounce signal and off they went. I just do so love watching others enjoy eating. It definitely puts a smile in my tummy.
With over one hundred people, and trying to make the schmoozing rounds until 4am, we didn’t get lengthy amounts of quality time to spend with each other, but did enjoy being social butterflies for an evening.
Outcome? Lots of music, dancing, noshing, libationing, and conversing. Exhausting and so much fun. It was definitely worth it. Though, in the future, we’re contemplating smaller, more intimate dinner parties.
I’m listing most of the dishes as well as one recipe not to forget at your next party. One of the biggest hits of the event.
Tarte Flambée
Olive Loaf
Spanikopita Quiche
Carrot-Curry Quiche
Carrot-Apple-Ginger-Cream Cheese Spread
Mini-Crawfish Pies
Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Almonds
Potato-Pea Samosas with Mint and Mango Chutneys
Onion-Goat Cheese Phyllo Pie
Crawfish-Cream Chesse Phyllo Purses
Chick Pea & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Brie with Crackers
Taquitos
Dark Chocolate-Orange Tartlets
Fruit Tartlets with Pastry Cream
Pecan Tartlets
Fruit Tart
Pecan-Dark Chocolate-Almond Tartlets
Grape-Nut Salad
And various accompaniments… (Please forgive me if I haven’t listed everything. Some of the goodies came and went so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to taste/see all that others brought.)

Recipe:

Crawfish Pie Phyllo Purses

1 med. – large onion
3 stalks celery
6 – 8 cloves garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can whipping cream
1 lb. crawfish tails
3 tblsp. cornstarch
1 – 2 bricks cream cheese
phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté onions, celery, and garlic in butter or olive oil. Add cream and soup, and bring to a medium boil. Add crawfish, bring to a medium boil again, and add cornstarch. Lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until thick. Pour into bowl and mix with cream cheese.
Cut phyllo sheet into three columns crosswise and once again lengthwise. Butter each mini-sheet, and stack four sheets on top of each other. Place one tablespoon of crawfish mixture in center of stack, and pull up sides to form purse. Brush with butter. Finish until crawfish mixture/dough is finished. Place in oven and bake until golden and crispy.

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