Team America Sausage Balls

I had quite a few other ideas in mind to represent America at our Winter Olympic party, but I had to make a last minute change because two of our guest refuse to eat cheese (I KNOW. What is wrong with them?!). Luckily they haven’t yet figured out that sausage balls actually contain cheese. Let’s just keep that our little secret.

America Olympic Dish

These sausage balls are something that I make constantly for football and baseball games. They are delicious whether they are served piping hot or have cooled off some. There are never any leftovers. Luckily, these are also super easy. The key ingredient is to use cream cheese to keep them super moist. I also add a little Tony Chachere’s to add a little spice. I’m sure any Cajun seasoning/BBQ rub would work.

1 lb. sausage (I use regular vs. hot)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (buy a tub over a brick)

1 ¼ cups Bisquick

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (or more)

1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning

I put all of these ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer, using the dough hook attachment, and mix until everything is combined. Once everything looks every throughout, roll into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F.

There are a lot of times that I will make these the night before for early football games. They work just fine if you freeze the balls ahead of time. I would leave them in the oven a few more minutes than normal.

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Cheesy Guacamole

If you saw yesterday’s post, you noticed we served food from different countries to represent all the athletes from different countries coming together for the Olympics. We promised you the recipes from that party this week, and here is the first one. For Mexico we served guacamole, cheese dip, and salsa. The salsa and cheese dip were store bought (Jack’s Special Salsa and Pancho’s Cheese Dip), but we went homemade with the guacamole. I had never had guacamole with cheese in it before, but I generally think just about everything is better with cheese. I was excited when I came across Chrissy Teigen’s Easy Cheesy Guacamole recipe a little while ago and got the idea to add cheese to guacamole. I combined hers with the sun-dried tomatoes from my previous favorite guacamole recipe from Babalu Tacos & Tapas. Both of these are great recipes, but I love the spiciness of the sun-dried tomatoes versus regular tomatoes and really enjoyed the cheese and spices she used. I’m also not an onion fan, so I omitted the onions of both recipes in my final concoction. The result was an absolute crowd pleaser.

Mexico Olympic Dish

The bowl was scraped clean by the end of the party. I had several people call or text for the recipe the next day. Without further ado, here is what you will need to make the best guacamole you’ve ever had:

3 ripe avocados
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs sun dried tomatoes, minced
Dash of garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar

1. Begin by shredding your cheddar cheese. It’s easier to buy pre-shredded, but the flavor is not the same. Continue by mincing your garlic cloves and sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Slice the avocados in half and remove the meat. Cover with the lime juice.

3. Mash with potato masher or fork. Don’t get overzealous. You still want it to be chunky.

4. Add the next four ingredients: salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne, and fold into avocado with a fork.

5. Add cilantro, garlic and sun dried tomatoes and combine with fork.

6. Throw in the dash of garlic powder and the 1 cup freshly shredded cheese.

7. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Winter Olympics Party

Every time the Winter Olympics roll around, we get really excited for two weeks of figure skating, skiing, and hockey. This year we decided to commemorate the occasion with a party at our house for the Opening Ceremonies. We wanted to give it an international feel, so we tried to incorporate as many countries as possible in the food and drinks. Guests were asked to arrive representing different countries. Later this week, we can go through the recipes for all of the delicious food and drinks served. Today let’s take a look at the decorations.

For the main centerpiece, I covered my tall glass cylinder vases with construction paper making “Olympic Rings” around the vases. This added a much needed splash of color. It also tied in nicely with the various countries’ flags that I added into ostrich feather toppers for the vases. The colors really popped against the white feathers.

Winter Olympic Party Table

On our buffet I created an Olympic flame from a planter urn and red & yellow tissue paper. I created the back drop by reusing the white big fringe garland from our 1920’s housewarming party and twirling it behind the buffet. We topped it off with a few paper chains in Olympic Ring colors and a flag banner to continue the international theme. Globes were used as an appropriate accent.

Olympic Flame

For each food dish, we decorated with something to try to symbolize that nation. I grabbed knick knacks from around the house. Some of them work a little better than other. They Chrysler Building is my favorite building in the world. I’m a little obsessed. You will see various statuettes and framed prints of the building at my house. I used some of these Chrysler Buildings to symbolize America (even though Sausage Balls have little to do with New York City).

America Olympic Dish

China was represented by Crab Rangoon bites and Foo Dog statues.

China Olympic Dish

Next we move around the Globe to Mexico. I used store-bought salsa and Pancho’s dip with homemade guacamole that was incredible (I wish I had a better picture of it– it was starting to brown here, but spoiler alert: there is CHEESE in this guacamole). The recipe will be up later this week.

Mexico Olympic Dish

Finally we move to Italy. I put the marinated cheese on a serving tray on top of several cutting boards with some wine bottles (not actually from Italy) and corks.

Italy Olympic Dish

Most of the decorations were in the dining room, but I did put a few in the living room where the actual Olympic watching would take place. I used another of my big fringe garlands up above to add some height. The Olympic rings I cut out of posterboard and framed in a 24×36 frame, to make an Olympic flag. I finished it off with some pennants that I found at Dollar Tree in the Olympic colors.

Olympic Flag

Perfect Party Streamer Wall

When we began planning to throw our friends’ 1920’s themed housewarming party, I knew that everyone would want to take pictures of their fantastic outfits. We wanted a real statement wall, that would follow the theme and look great in pictures. There was a great tutorial on how to make HUGE fringe garland on Oh Happy Day. image

After seeing them, we knew they would be perfect for our event. After following their simple directions, they turned out EXACTLY has I had hoped. Here are their easy to follow instructions:

Big Fringe DIY

We followed their lead and ordered paper from the less expensive of the two sites they recommend for where to buy crepe paper Paper Mart. What the girls at Oh Happy Day didn’t go into detail about is that there are 2 levels of crepe paper even at the lesser site. I had to order our black streamers in the thinner weight paper. It is not as easy to work with. I would order everything in the thicker, 180 gms. weight. Luckily you can’t tell from the pictures!

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Everyone had a great time taking their pictures all night.

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Bar Cart Love (Bordering on Obsession)

In the last year I have really fallen in love with bar carts. Who doesn’t always want to have some Champagne handy?They are perfect for parties, because you can have your libations where the action is.

I have purchased two for my home in the last few months (Don’t worry— they are in different rooms). Mostly I had been drawn to the Hollywood Regency inspired brass bar carts, which are usually styled with gorgeous glassware, fresh flowers, striped straws, and the aforementioned Champagne.

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Then I saw this beautiful image on Cupcakes and Cashmere. image

How great is that utilitarian bar cart?! Obviously it isn’t as glamorous as the first few, but I love how rustic and functional it is. It also gave me a brilliant idea.

For Christmas I bought my dad a service cart for his new garage from his favorite store, Harbor Freight. I think one of these service carts  would make a fantastic utilitarian bar cart for a fraction of the price (Currently $37.99!).

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