Sunday, November 04, 2012

Ouch. Ooo, ouch. Yaaawn.

Tired and sore, but in a good way.

It seems like everyone had a good time last night. Cooking for college kids is always fun, since the dorm food, while pretty good for mass quantities, is still, well, dorm food. Home cooked food is always appreciated, even by skinny young ladies.

Since I'm a solo hostess, I've found a couple of ways to keep the party going even if I have to dart back into the kitchen periodically to stir, baste or ladle things out. The first is to set the drinks out where people can help themselves (although, silly me, I should have realized that when I offered hot chocolate the girls would want some - at least the water heating had to be done in the kitchen).

The second way to get things started is to have some sort of starter out in the living room. Last night I made up a buffalo chicken dip a friend had brought to a party a few years ago. I served it with crackers, though it is awesome with celery.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing or ranch salad dressing
  • 2 cans (12.5 ounces each) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
  • 1/2 cup any flavor FRANK'S® RedHot® sauce
  • Assorted fresh vegetables or crackers


  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Stir the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth.
    Stir in the dressing, pepper sauce and blue cheese. Stir in the chicken.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.
    Stir before serving.
There is nothing like making guests work for their dessert. Hot apple crisp with frozen vanilla bean yogurt was the plan. After dinner, clear the table, then set the guests to peeling, slicing and dumping an apple per guest into a casserole dish. I'd put together the brown sugar/oatmeal/butter topping earlier, so it was easy to pour it on and slide the dish into the oven. An apple per person works out just about right, portion-wise. 

Peaches work just as well for a guest-participatory crisp, as evidenced by Ree's recipe. The maple cream sauce, though, really isn't necessary - I liked it just as well without the one time I made it.

We played Cranium in teams after dinner, which pointed out some of the generation gap. Some of the "classic" songs used for some questions were unknown to the students ("Good Vibrations" - really?) and a few of the mimicry related things were unknown to the old folks. All in all, it was still a very competitive game, with our team squeaking out a victory based on Bob's ability to identify the words "circuit board" from the clue "alternate current" and about five letters of the words.

The university is very big on community, and in addition to this "Supper for Twelve Strangers" event, they are hosting a "Reunion for Friends" in January, for all the participants from this event. Fun.

Now, I'm left with a quiet and clean house, a few pots yet to wash and several meals' worth of leftovers. I (seriously) told the girls that if they get to craving home cooked food again to drop me an e-mail; I have a quarter spiral cut ham in the freezer calling out to be served to guests.


Janis Gore said...

Sounds fun, if a lot of work. That's the kind of thing I like to do.

Diane said...

So few people do it anymore, at least on a more than once a year or holiday basis. If you have groups of people over every 4 - 6 weeks, the amount of pre-party deep cleaning you have to do decreases, as it gets done more regularly, if that makes sense.

So - go for it, Janis. You've been freshening up the place, and it's time to share it with others! If the commute weren't such a killer, I'd come for dinner.

Janis Gore said...

I have a nice, rosy guest room for you, once I change the lamp sockets.

I have a dinner party planned, but have very busy with some other more immediate projects.

I'll be picking up stem soon.