may i dance on your couch?

This past Friday I hosted the 2nd (3rd?) annual cookie exchange for my very favorite girlfriends.  They brought the wine, I supplied the munchies, and a hilarious time was had by all.  Now, let me level with you here: we’re at T-10 days until the fat man falls down the chimney. Holiday time is a precious commodity.

Last week I participated in my very first meeting of Cooking in the Hood where I lit cheese on fire (dad you would have been so proud).  That will be posted over there shortly. The very next night was the Cookie Exchange. These were both weeknight events and contrary to popular belief this blog does not get the rent paid, so employment is necessary. So, the name of the game was advance preparation. I did every possible thing I could in the days before so all the dishes came together as quickly as possible.  Ergo, I recommend all of these for weeknight entertaining.

So here’s how this is going to work (remember that ‘time is of the essence’ thing?): you’re going to get the menu, my final products, and a whooole bunch of hyperlinks. Everything was devoured. The mushrooms and crostini were particular hits. And particularly easy.  At some point in the near future you will be bestowed with a similar-style post with allll of the lovely cookies exchanged.

Crostini with Hazelnuts, Blue Cheese, and Honey

i toasted the bread and hazelnuts in advance for quick assembly.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Brie

stem and clean your mushrooms the night before too

Maple-Soy Snack Mix

ok this isnt the FINAL picture–this was made 3 days in advance and kept in a ziplock. I halved the recipe (its HUGE) and omitted the curry paste to accomodate the milder tastes of my guests 😉

Baked Chicken Meatballs

baked up these bad boys 2 days in advance and just reheated in the oven. Also cut in half to serve because they were quite large.

I also made some Taco Hummus but I didn’t have quite enough tahini so it was just…meh.  Hummis is also easily made ahead of time and actually improves as it sits as the flavors all meld.

And there you go! A great time with great girls, the festive evening was capped off with the physical exchanging of cookies that rivaled the “Who’s on First” routine and some…intimate caroling, thanks to an iphone and my stereo speakers.

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