Friday, February 3, 2012

Girl's Night In - Ornament Exchange + Great Recipes

Yes, yes I know Christmas is over!  I get it I promise.  I just got so behind in blogging when we were traveling and spending time with family.  I don't know how some of you keep up so well!! Seriously, this girl is impressed.  :)

So this post is not just focused on the Ornament Exchange that I hosted, but more focused on FOOD and party ideas.  With the Super Bowl on Sunday, I just couldn't let you miss out on a couple of great recipes I made from other blogs, and they turned out great.  You'll definitely have to try them.

To give a short re-cap, my former roommate and I started a girl's holiday party with an ornament exchange when we first moved to Houston 6 years ago.  It was a hit, I mean mainly because how can you go wrong with food, wine and girl talk?  Ever since then it's been a tradition....well except my friend is now living in Australia for work!! So she's missed the past two years, but she WILL be here next year, right??  :) haha  Anywhoo, we all bring a wrapped ornament and then draw a number to see what order we'll go in.  The first person picks any wrapped present and opens it in front of the group.  Then the second person can either "steal" that ornament or pick another unwrapped ornament, and it continues the same way from there.  There are two steals allowed, which makes it really fun, and then at the very end, the person who went first gets the opportunity to pick from all of the ornaments that aren't frozen (meaning already have been stolen twice) at that point.  It's really fun to have a new ornament to add to the tree each year, and the girls always bring such beutiful ornaments, so it gets really competitive with lots of stealing!

Let's take a look at the refreshements I served this year.  Starting with the bar of course!
We usually stick to wine and Poinsettias (champagne with cranberry juice and cranberries), which are very festive.  This year I put a bowl out with little tags tied to ribbon, so the girls could write their names on the tag and tie it around the stem of their glass.  It was pretty and easier than trying to remember which wine charm you had!  

Now for the food, I went with a Mediterranean theme for the most part.  I purchased some of the main items from an amazing deli/store that is nearby.  Here was the menu:

Chicken Skewers with Peppers & Onions
Mini Pita Pockets
Tzatziki Sauce
Caprese Skewers
Goat Cheese Baked in Marinara Sauce w/ Baguettes
Hot Spinach Dip & 7-Layer Greek Dip w/ Pita Chips

7-LAYER GREEK DIP {click here for recipe}
Okay, I didn't remember to snap all of the pictures before we started digging in to eat, but I wanted to share this great recipe with you. It's a new twist on the traditional layer dip, and it was definitely a hit! I might just have to make this again this weekend.  It's from Natalie at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.

To make the Caprese Mini Skewers, simply take a toothpick and put one mozzarella bite-sized ball, a grape tomato and basil leaf on it. Place them on a platter and then drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  You could also add some balsalmic vinegar as well.  They look very Christmasy don't they?!
HOT SPINACH DIP {click here for recipe}
Again, this dip was almost gone before I got a pic, so the presentation picture is awful, but it was that GOOD!  I agree that this is the best spinach dip ever.  To see what the secret ingredient is, head on over to Sweet Tea and Stilletos.

For the desserts, my friend brought over Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Yummy!  I bought Baklava.  Then I also made a Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Check them out:

I left the dining table cleared off around the edges so we could sit and chat while eating, but then we also played a game called LRC, and I had some fun prizes (aka bottles of wine and other goodies) for the winners.  It was a new addition to the party this year, and I think it kept the competition flowing after the ornament exchange.  Great times!

Thanks for the bloggers that had some amazing recipes for me to use!

Now switching topics, one last MAJOR thing before I go.  Remember not too long ago I showed you an amazing camera bag?  Well, here is another one.  Look at the gorgeous colors it comes in!  For a chance to win this bag, head on over to The COLOR ISSUE and follow the 3 easy steps to enter the giveaway.

It's hard for me to decide on my favorite color, but since I already have a couple of beautiful purses in camel, I think for this bag, I would choose the stone (gray). They are BE-UTIFUL!
Happy Friday and Super Bowl Weekend!



  1. Our bunco group has a similar party each December. We started off with ornaments, but since some of the group at one time were Jewish and didn't put up a tree, we switched to gifts (anything goes with a $25 limit). We play the same game, so fun!! Stealing is the best part. All of the recipes look super yummy. I will definitely give them a try and put them away for when I need a quick appetizer to take somewhere.

  2. Everything looks so scrumptious!
    I love that ornament swapping idea! We play secret santa with our family and I think doing the same things with ornaments with a bunch of girls is just a fabulous idea!
    What a great hostess you were!

  3. What a great idea! Mediterranean food, yes please! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate your sweet comments.