We hosted New Year's Eve at our house this year. It happens when you're big socialites like us. You say, "we are absolutely not leaving our house," and other folks say, "well, how about if we join you there?" Haha! So Mom, Dad, Bill, Theresa, and Bailey (JT pronounces BAY-YEE) stayed with us on New Year's Eve.
I'm typically not much of a hostess... it stresses me to have to cook for people with expectations. I mean, I had my son's first birthday party catered for goodness' sake! But I sucked it up and pulled off a few good things. You can't go wrong with cheese, cheeseball, crackers, veggies, and dip, so those were a must.
I have been craving salsa - real, fresh salsa, so I made some of that. My salsa recipe is actually an Avocado, Tomato and Mango salsa recipe. But I've used it the past couple times with corn and beans instead of avocado and mango and it works just as well. (Though... if you can get perfectly ripe avocado, mango and garden-ripe tomatoes all at the same time... DO IT. You will dream about that salsa!) Since we are pretty far away from garden fresh tomatoes this time of year, I went with canned diced tomatoes rather than fresh. I figured they offered just a bit more flavor and less prep time. Must have been good salsa... because it was gone pretty quickly!
After snacking and playing with JT, we got down to business. The business of Beyond Balderdash, the classic bluffing game. (Holy cow, it's $129.99 on Amazon... John is chanting, "sell, sell!") We love Balderdash. I think we love Balderdash more than the rest of the family. Dad made a good contribution with his movie plot for Expresso Bongo: A comedy about a monkey grinder and his monkey riding a train across the Congo. When I read them off I changed "monkey grinder" to "organ grinder" to increase the chance that anyone would believe it. Good times ringing in the new year with lies, lies, lies.
Mid-way through the Balderdash game, we had our second round of eating: spinach and artichoke dip. I doubled the recipe from 365 Days of Crockpotting. We ate about half that night and John finished what was left by the weekend. Fresh spinach and shredded block cheese made it taste delicious. It re-heated well, too.
Then we watched the ball drop and went to bed at 12:30am. We aren't getting any younger in '09, that's for sure.