09 April 2013

Not No. 46: Have a dinner party

No. 46: Have a dinner party (which I'm not doing)


Tonight is bunko at my house.


April 2012
Wow. I had bangs a year ago?

If you live under a rock-or possibly just if you don't live in suburbia- bunko is a mindless dice game played by twelve people (women, in this case) requiring zero skill. This makes it the perfect game to play while spending the evening eating, visiting and, in our case, drinking.
I have heard of people playing bunko and not drinking but that doesn't sound like as much fun.


Hmmm.   BTW that is the BEST wine bottle opener ever.
It's electric!
Get it here.

Anyway, I have been playing with this same group for over 22 years. I moved from the neighborhood where the group started but I wasn't about to give up the group. When I started I had no/zero/zip children. Now those kids are 21,17 and 15.

Easter bunko 2011

All of us ladies have been through a lot together. There have been babies born and babies miscarried. We've had children healthy and sick. Children have gone off to college, gotten married and had their own babies. ( And not necessarily in that order.) We've buried spouses, nursed spouses  and in at least one instance divorced a spouse.  Parents have passed. Pretty much we have been through every life phase there is.
If there's a problem, it can be solved on the second Wednesday night of every month.

Which brings us to the dinner party part. In our group the hostess makes dinner.

So yesterday, Bruno Mars and I played in the kitchen.   (Ahhh...in my dreams. If only.)
This doesn't count as a dinner party since I have been doing it once a year for ..well...forever.
And because I have been busy, dinner will be tried and true.

Herewith my menu for a very easy dinner for twelve.

To start:
Parmesan artichoke dip with pita chips
Edamame (for those few who are pretending to be healthy for a night)
Bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers thanks to the Pioneer Woman

Yum. These are simple to make but those 
little disposable gloves are a MUST!

Dinner will be Caesar salad (can a salad be any easier??), shrimp fettuccine, and French bread.

Just pop me in the oven. 
Again, yum. 

Dessert will be iced brownies and lemon pound cake.

Recipes below and credited where and when I know who to credit.

I love a party!!


Artichoke Parmesan Spread: (no idea where this recipe originated)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 14oz can artichoke hearts drained
1 cup (plus extra for sprinkling) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Place artichoke hearts in middle of a clean tea towel and twist to extract moisture
In food processor:  combine artichoke hearts, 1 cup Parmesan, and rest of ingredients.
Process until smooth.
Spread mixture in 8x8 baking dish
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese
Bake 15 minutes until heated but not browned
Serve with pita crisps or bagel toasts.
For bunko I usually double this recipe.



Jalapeño Poppers:  (this recipe is from the Pioneer Woman blog. I love Ree Drummond.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

18 jalapeños
1 block cream cheese
regular bacon


Put on some disposable latex gloves. Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/2 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle if need be.
Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. 




Romantic Shrimp Fettuccine: (Got this from the Houston Chronicle Food section courtesy of my mom. Thank you Jean mom.)


Preheat oven to 350.

1 ½ sticks butter (this is what it calls for- I used about half that much)
4 stalks celery, chopped
½ green bell pepper and ½ red bell pepper, chopped (or all one color, doesn’t    matter, whatever is prettiest)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
½ cup water
2 lbs. Peeled, deveined shrimp (or crawfish)
4 Tbs parsley flakes
1 lb. Velveeta Mexican cheese
1 pint half and half
1 lb fettuccini noodles, cooked
Parmesan cheese

 Butter a 9x13 in. casserole dish

In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté celery and bell pepper until tender. Add green onions and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and mix well. Cook 5 minutes on very low heat.
Add water- mixture will become very thick. Add shrimp and parsley- mix well. Cook another 5minutes. Add Velveeta and when melted, add half and half. Put noodles in prepared dish. Pour shrimp mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly, not brown.

Dessert will be thanks to Betty Crocker!

And the quilts are done- just need to get them to the babies.
Can't put them on here until the babies see them first!

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