Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm a Christmas Party Survivor!

Last Saturday we had a full house as 38 of our dear friends joined the Fiskerelli Bellies to celebrate Christmas. 
It was definitely a celebration, complete with twinkling decorations, very merry laughter, and food aplenty.
We lit the walkway to welcome our guests.  We have several entrances and didn't want anyone attempting the steep stairs in the dark.
We put food in various locations for easy access.  My kitchen is large, but narrow, and this helped with traffic flow.  Plus, when you are very full of yummy appetizers, you don't want to hunt for your dessert!

Ice cream dishes and pedestal glasses set on a platter created a dessert display.
The garage was set up with crafts and snacks for our school-age guests to enjoy.  My teenagers supervised, allowing the adults to relax and enjoy uninterrupted conversations.
(We did intervene when a game of "eat a cookie as fast as you can and then run around the table as long as you can" broke out.)
As for our Christmas Party Menu, it seems that was a success as well.  Be sure to check back to that post as I've begun adding links to recipes.  I'll be posting some new recipes from that list soon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Say Thank You Today {and Every Day}

While you are hugging your children close, and praying for the families that lost loved ones in Conneticut, there is one action you can take to make a difference.

Today when you encounter a teacher greeting children at her door, walk past a police officer directing traffic, bump into that volunteer fireman who is available at all hours of the day or night, pause to say thank you.

Let this be the action you take in memory of those lost ones and in honor of the ones who serve our communities every day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Party Menu

Today I'm sharing my Christmas party menu, but I ask you to remember three things.

First, I love the kitchen.  I could spend days cooking and baking with no complaint.  I love feeding people.  It's one way I show love.

Second,  I have three children who have been working alongside me for a few years.  They are very capable of getting the house clean and assisting in the kitchen.  That assistance makes this ambitious menu not just possible, but pleasurable to prepare.

Third, invite your friends into your home, even if just for coffee.  While our friends certainly enjoy eating together, it's not essential to our fellowship.  The only essential thing is the invitation.

Christmas Party Menu at the the Fiskerelli Bellies
  • Sausage Sandwich Wreath
  • Chicken Salad Croissants
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Sweet & Sour Fried Sausage
  • Cocktail Weenies
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates
  • Crack Bread
  • Popcorn Chicken with Dip
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Veggie Tray
  • Cheese and Cracker Tray
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Cinnamon Almonds
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzels
  • Cookie Tray
  • Punch
  • Coffee, Cocoa, Tea
You'll note there are a variety of hearty finger foods.  The party begins at 6:30, and many of our guest will have spent the day preparing for our church's Christmas program.

Plus, men like meat.  That's just truth.

I'll be sharing some of the recipes soon, and will try to remember to include links here as well.  In the meantime, offer an invitation and share some holiday fellowship.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Party: The Planning Stage

It's t-minus 11 days to operation Christmas party, and I thought I'd share some of my advance preparations.
I have to lead off by saying I'm much less nervous, having successfully pulled off a Christmas party for about 40 guests last year.  Plus, my preparations for this year began immediately after last year's party.  That said, we could potentially have 10-15 additional guests for Christmas Party 2012.
Here's a quick rundown of steps we've already taken:
  1. Purchased paper products. (After-Christmas sales netted 24 ct. packs of plates and napkins for just 35 cents each).
  2. Purchased additional decorations and serving items. (Luminaries to light the walkway for just .19 per 6 pack, disposable platters for 10 cents, found days after Christmas in the clearance bin.)
  3. Pulled out menu plan from 2011 (with notes I scribbled detailing popularity of each dish and quantity adjustment recommendations).
  4. Gathered recipes into one folder, including a few new ones to keep the menu fresh.
  5. Wrote a detailed grocery list and began shopping. (Most of my staples were purchased on sale with coupons during the baking sales leading up to Thanksgiving.)
  6. Put everything into one bin, including grocery items I didn't want to be used by mistake.
Last year we set up tables in the garage for the kids to do craft projects.  The parents really appreciated having their kids entertained so they could socialize.  Crafts are on this week's "to do" list. 
If you have any good ideas for small projects suitable for pre-school and elementary age kids please share!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Hopefully, I will be blogging a little more regularly.

Hopefully, things have calmed down after a very busy fall.

Hopefully, you will get to see some of my Christmas party plans.

Hopefully, I will share some great recipes for gifts from the kitchen.

Hopefully, I will write some posts on cooking for a crowd.

Hopefully, you will bear with me if things don't go as planned.

Hopefully, I will have time to read some of my bloggy friends' posts. 

Because I miss ya'll!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Everyone Needs a Mrs. June

One of the first people we met when we started attending our church about 18 months ago was Mrs. June. 

For those of you not familiar with southern speak, it's pronounced Miss June, but she's a widow so it's written Mrs. June.  June is her first name.  See how that works?  Good for you, 'cause it took me a while!

Mrs. June has a special way of making you feel like the most special person in the room.  She heard me sing and called me a songbird.  She ate my cooking and called me a chef.  She warns my kids, "I'm going to hug on your neck," and then she does just that calling them "the most wonderful children" as she squeezes.  She pats hubby's cheek and tells me I'm blessed.  She hugs him and tells him he's blessed.  Finally, she turns to me for a squeeze and tells me that she hopes God keeps us here a long, long time.

It happens every time we see her.  She hugs, encourages and compliments.  And then she tells us that she prays for us, and that she knows that God hears and answers.

I think everyone needs a Mrs. June.