I don't know about you, but for me a good ol' fashioned partAy always does this girl some good! Girls only. Plenty of scrumptious food. And a game or two to mix it up! I am up for a girls night out anytime of year, but my soul craves one in the dead of winter. I need something to focus on, something to plan, something to look forward to.
Last year because I was cooking through P-dubs cookbook, I did her Cowgirl Dinner Party menu.....and well it was quite the HIT! In fact my gals would have hog tied me, I think, if I hadn't thrown another.
I'd love to share my planning process with you....
Before even starting #1. ask you hubby if he would be so kind to take the kiddos out the night of the party....basically ask him to get lost for a few hours and then when he does get home, he needs to put the kiddos to bed and vamoose(no hangin' around)!
1. I made a list of my cowgirls from last year and then added some more. 18 in all. Go big or go home that's my motto. But if you are more comfortable with a more intimate dinner party, do what you are comfortable with....please don't feel the need to follow in my craziness.
2. A month before the party date I sent out a save the date email, letting them know an invite would follow. Last year I just sent an email...that's good enough, I think. The only reason I sent out invites this year is because my girlfriend gave them to me last year at the end of the last party, so I would throw another party. So I just hadta use um!
3. Two weeks out I sent out the invites, and included a card that asked the girls to bring aWhite Elephant gift. I told them that regifting was strongly advised and to be creative with the wrapping!
4. Five days prior to the party I made a very detailed list of the groceries I would need.
5. Two days prior I went grocery shopping and cleaned my hacienda....well a little bit.
6. The day before the party I made everything that I could make ahead of time. And bought lots of flowers and put them in random vases around the party zone. (Winter calls for flowers, they help lift moods.) I also made sure I had all my dishes, serving utensils, and linens out and cleaned.
7. The day of the party. Kenny took our hairy mongrel Jack to the groomer for me (if you don't have a big hairy pesky golden retriever then slash this detail, I didn't want his stinkyness to ruin any ones appetite). I spruced up the the house a bit. I prepared any food that needed to be made yet. And I asked a my sister and Big D to come over early to help me finish getting set up. They were a huge help, wiping wine glasses and taste testing the Bacontini's! ***Don't be afraid to ask friends for help!
NOTE: If a party like this sounds fun, but the idea of cooking and planning for days completely FREAKS you out, then get a bunch of your favorite gals together and divy up the food, make it more of a potluck. Hey they are your friends right, I am sure they would still love it just as much and it's all about getting together and enjoying each other, right?! This night was not with out blunder, or mess, and my house would not have passed the white glove test. Just so Ya'll know. I want this to inspire you to get together with friends! Make some memories!
So here is how it went down. I will have to say the White Elephant gift game was a blast, and proceeded to get entirely out of hand. Thus I will have to hold back on showing you photos of some of the gifts...since this is a family friendly site. Girls, girls, girls...tisk, tisk.
I used white table cloths, and random candle holders from the dollar store for table decorations.
Here is the Vodka that I infused with bacon to make the Bacontini's. These where a tad bit labor intensive...but OH MY! HEAVENS TO BETSY they are CRAZY yummy! If you are into bacon chocolate alcoholic beverages that is.
I decided to forgo P-dubs Sangria, because I had so much left over last year, and just do wine and beer. Water, and pop were also offered.
Big D said, "I likey" to the Bacontini! I waited until my sister and Big D got there to give them a try....so we had a little pre-party cocktail. (Be careful doing this it could really get you behind in your TOdo list)
Then the gals started arriving. This is always the most awkward part for me at a party. How to greet everyone, and do introductions.....UGH, I feel like a I always fall short during this period of a party. I'm working on it....anyone have any good suggestions on how you manage arrival time?
This a gift I received from a couple of my cowgirls. I just had to share it with you. Not that I am totally agree with this poem...lets just say I can appreciate it!
God grant me the patience to change the men I can,
The aim to shoot the men I can't,
and the wisdom to know the difference!
Can I get an AMEN?
For starters we had The Pioneer Womans Olive Bread....life changing. I crave this stuff. It is so gol' darn fattening, I only make it for parties.
Jalepeno Thingys. TDF.
My gal Rebecca and I are going to start a Sisterhood of the Jalepeno Thingy. They are not every ones gig....but if you do fall head over heals for them, it can be a very dangerous thingy!
What's a girly party with out a little guac?!!!
And of course chips and salsa...I made this salsa.
THE DINNER: I love a Wedge Salad. So that's what we had. I will share with you the prep and how I served it, REAL soon.
Beef Tenderloin, Creamy Herb Potatoes, and the MUSHROOMS!
There it is the plate full of deliciously filling and comforting cowgirl food. Be still my heart.
Look at Kenny, he thinks he is being really sneaky. Just makin' himself plate a food, which is fine, but my boy likes to eavesdrop. Look at him, he is totally lingering...trying to listen in on what us gals are yackin' about. I think I finally shoo'd him away. He cracks me up!
White Elephant game. Oh my this turned into to one of the biggest laugh fests in the history of dinner parties at our house. I received emails the next day from some of the girls saying that their abs actually hurt! I don't know about my abs..(I just have flabs these days), but my cheeks hurt and my voice was hoarse the next day. Click on White Elephant if you have never played to get the low down on how it goes.
The above was a plant from a funeral....HOKEY PETE!
I received a life time supply of chocolate pudding! A very fitting gift.
Big D received the much coveted Moose Wine Bottle Holder. YIKers!
Meg received "The Perfect Man", I think she was informing us all here that she already has the perfect man....yeh, yeh, yeh, we know!
Well a certain book, on a certain activity, was gifted to someone...it was so interesting that pages were ripped from it and recited aloud. This is where things began to get out of hand.
Time for Creme Brulee'!!
Creme Brulee is so easy. It really is. Eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar, and then you need a torch and some ramekins. I received the torch thingy as a gift and then I have picked up ramekins here and there. It's always a hit!
A little "CRam Brulette", (that's what my Cece calls it) and berrys was all it took to reign the girls back in.
It was a great night. I didn't want anyone to go. I think we all definetly needed a girls night out! Oh yeah the Naked Cowboy made another appearance. He's really not naked, you know that right?