Monday, December 9, 2013

First Party of the Season

Tonight is the first of many parties we will have over the Christmas Season.  This party is for our Parish Council, of which I am president, and their spouses or significant others.  We are expecting around 25 people.  It is an easy party.  Frank and I did all the set up on Saturday and all I need to provide is the ham for dinner, which is basically just warming it and putting on the glaze that came with it. 
We have set up extra tables for the meal and visiting.
And the main dining table will hold 8.
The bar will hold 4.
So if we have more than 20 guests some of us will have to sit in the living area and use our laps.
Perhaps I should invest in some tv trays.
The serving table is centered between the dining table and bar.
I will use the sofa table to hold desserts.
I think we are all ready to go.

Frank will make some of his famous Chocolate Mint Martinis and I am making up some homemade Eggnog.  My eggnog recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma Christmas Entertaining

Chocolate Mint Martinis

1 shot vodka
1 shot crème de cocoa
1/2 shot peppermint schnapps
Miniature Candy Canes
Hershey's Syrup

Place chocolate syrup in a shallow wide bowl and dilute with a little water.  Place Candy Canes into a food processor and pulverize them to a fine dust.  Place Candy Cane Dust in a shallow wide bowl.  Dip martini glass rim first into diluted chocolate and then into candy dust. Place all liquor in a martini shaker filled with ice.  Shake and strain into martini glass.  Print Recipe


1 or 2 whole nutmegs
1 cinnamon stick
12 egg yolks
4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups brandy, Cognac, rum or bourbon


Using a nutmeg grater or the smallest rasps on a handheld grater-shredder, grate the nutmeg until you have about 1 tsp. In a spice grinder or a coffee grinder reserved for spices, grind the cinnamon stick. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, 2 cups of the milk and 1 cup of the sugar. Place over low heat and simmer, stirring often, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining 2 cups milk and let cool.
In a bowl, using a handheld mixer or whisk, whip the cream with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Strain the cooled mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and pour into a serving pitcher or a small punch bowl. Stir in the brandy. Serve the eggnog in cups or glasses, topped with a dollop of the whipped cream and a sprinkle each of nutmeg and cinnamon. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).   Print Recipe


  1. YUM YUM to both drinks...and your basement looks so festive!

    1. Both drinks were a big hit tonight. It was a nice party, the last guests just left and I am going to finish this glass of wine and get some sleep. Sweet dreams Paula.

    2. I am glad you had a nice party!


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.