Quick Recipes and Easy

Break Out The Bubbly And Celebrate – Housewarming Party

Housewarming parties seem to be becoming more of a trend these days. And, why shouldn’t they? Moving into a new home is not only a special moment for you but it is a huge milestone in your life. You have worked your toughest to get to this point and you should show it off to the world. This is why you MUST (and I say must because you deserve it) throw a housewarming party.

The best part of having a housewarming party is that it doesn’t really matter how perfect your new home looks. In all seriousness, you just went in and you haven’t gotten completely settled in. Your friends and family will know this before they even step across your door. Your guests aren’t coming over to judge you’re decorating or painting skills, they are all coming over to celebrate the fact that you got out of your small apartment and into a real home.

When thinking of hosting your own housewarming party, remember your home is the main attraction so you don’t need to plot lots of games or entertainment to keep your guests amused. They are coming over to see your new home so they will be far more interested in touring your house than in participating in party games.

I do recommend having some cocktails and appetizers available for your guests. In my opinion serving finger foods are your best bet. Many of your guests are going to be walking around and admiring your new home. Plus you’re going to be so busy entertaining and talking to your guests that the last thing you are going to want to worry about is a sit down dinner. I suggest placing the food trays all around the kitchen, dining and family room. Below I have found some simple and fantastic recipes to follow. Also don’t forget the veggie and cheese tray.

Finger Sandwiches
These are always a safe bet. Let your guests snack on these while they mingle with other guests and admire your new home.

Ingredients

slices of thin sandwich bread
Mayonnaise
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on 4 of the 8 slices of bread, followed by red onion and parsley. Cover with remaining slices of bread, cut into 4 equal parts and serve.

Tip: Red onion can sometimes be a small strong. To tone down the onion flavor just a bit, soak the onion slices in cold water for about 15 minutes before making the sandwiches.

Cheese Ball
This is a fantastic appetizer to serve because who doesn’t like cheese? Place it in the center of your serving plate and surround it with your favorite crackers.

Ingredients

2 C. grated cheddar cheese
5 green onions, finely sliced
1 250 gr. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 C. sour cream

Directions

Blend in a food processor, adding sour cream (as much as you need to get to the consistency you like), and chill for one hour. Place it in a nice bowl topped with sliced toasted almonds. I place this into two ovals like pinecone shapes, place the almonds on starting at the bottom going up and they look like real pinecones. Add a green pine branch and a bowl and it looks really pretty. You can shape it any way your imagination takes you.

Fruit Dip
A refreshing dip to place out for all those who want to eat something healthy and who like sweets.

Ingredients

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 large jar of marshmallow cream
1 Tbs. orange juice concentrate
Fruit for dipping: oranges, grapes, apples, bananas, pears (in season) and strawberries(in season)

Directions

Combine all ingredients except fruit and serve.

Garden Veggie Pizza Squares
This is one of my top favorite recipes to make. It is so creative looking that it is promises not only to be eaten up but it will grab everyone’s attention.

Ingredients

1 8 oz. pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1 oz. pkg. Ranch-style dressing mix
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 C. chopped red bell peppers
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 C. chopped green onions

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out crescent rolls onto a large non-stick baking sheet. Stretch and flatten to form a single rectangular shape on the baking sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Allow to cool. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Mix cream cheese with 1/2 of the ranch dressing mix. Adjust the mount of dressing mix to taste. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli and green onions on top. Chill in the refrigerator approximately 1 hour. Cut into bite-size squares to serve.

Tasty Buffalo Wings
A best seller at any party, especially if there will be men around.

Ingredients

5 lb. chicken wings or party pack wing dings
12 oz. favorite hot sauce
1/2 stick of butter
1 qt. vegetable oil

Directions

Season chicken to taste. Fry chicken as normal. Simmer hot sauce and butter for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Ranch or blue cheese salad dressing can be used for dipping.

Yield: 4-6 servings

When it comes to beverages, know what your guests like to drink. For instance, if children are coming then you are going to want have some non-alcoholic drinks available. For the rest of us, I suggest including beer, wine and some sort of punch (with or without alcohol). Below I have found a couple of fun and tasty punches.

Sangria
No matter what occasion you are celebrating, this punch always is a seller. The more fruit you add to it the prettier it will be. Just make sure the kids don’t get into it, since there is alcohol.

Ingredients

1-1/2-liter bottle of dry red wine-burgundy, Merlot, or the like
2/3 C. Splenda
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
Orange- or lemon-flavored unsweetened sparkling water

Directions

Pour the wine into a non-reactive bowl. Stir in the Splenda and the extracts. Now, you have to choose if you’re going to serve your sangria from a punch bowl or place it into a clean ancient jug. Me, I place it in an ancient 1-gallon vinegar jug, but then, I was taking my sangria camping. If you’re going to place your sangria in a punch bowl, simply scrub your fruit and slice it as thin as humanly possible. Place it in the punch bowl with the wine/Splenda mixture and let the whole thing macerate for an hour or so before serving. If you’re using a jug, you’ll need to cut your fruit into small chunks that will fit through the neck. Force the fruit into the jug, then pour the wine/Splenda mixture over it. Again, let it macerate for at least an hour. When the time comes to serve your sangria, fill a tall glass with ice, pour in 4 oz. (120 milliliters) of the wine mixture and fill to the top with lemon or orange-flavored sparkling water.

Yield: 12 servings

Champagne Punch
Break out the bubbly! This is always a favorite at any party. Load it up with your favorite champagne and let the celebration start.

Ingredients

3 ripe pineapples, crushed
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 C. lemon juice
1/2 C. curacao
1/2 C. maraschino
2 C. brandy
2 C. light rum
4 bottles champagne

Directions

Place pineapples and in a large bowl. Cover them with 1 lb. powdered sugar. Let stand covered for one hour. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and let stand for 4 hours. Place in punch bowl with a block of ice. Stir to blend and chill. Just before serving, add 4 bottles chilled champagne.

Kids Friendly Margarita Punch
Now we can’t forget about the kids! This is a fantastic punch for both kids and adults.

Ingredients

3 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
3 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. crushed ice
1/2 liter lemon lime soda
1 thinly sliced lime

Directions

Combine the concentrates, powdered sugar, and crushed ice in a large freezer proof container. Cover tightly and freeze for at least one hour and up to a month. Place the frozen mixture into a large punch bowl. Slowly pour in the soda and add the lime and lemon slices. Serve in chilled salt rimmed glasses.

Makes 4 servings.

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