2011 White Elephant Party Recap – It Was A Success!

It has been almost a week since our White Elephant party, and I have yet to report on it! All in all, it was a great success. We had about 25 people in attendance – a nice mix of folks that have been almost every year since we moved here, and newcomers. The food was plentiful and seemed to go over well. In the end, this is what we made:

1. Mac and cheese bites (some with bacon) – always a hit here in the South.
2. Lobster puffs – this were the big hit last year but didn’t go over as well this year.
3. Moroccan meatballs – another big hit last year, we forgot the most important part of this one: the dipping sauce! As such, we had a LOT leftover.
4. Stuffed mushrooms – Denis perennial favorite. We served these late in the night and so not many were eaten, but all who tried them liked them.
5. Bruchetta – a pesto version and a ricotta/lemon version – the pesto version was popular but we won’t do the lemon-thyme version again.
6. Bacon-wrapped filets – these are so easy, and so popular. Those who like red meat requested seconds on this one.
7. Curried shrimp tarts – the overwhelming favorite of the night. This was a last minute addition and was new to us. I only made 30 of them and they were GONE at the end of the night. Considering all the other food also being served, that was impressive.
8. Buffalo chicken bites – these didn’t go over well, but I blame myself. Flavor-wise they were good, but I didn’t cook them long enough.
9. Colletti Special – I made this for book club a few months ago as a test and they were well-received so I made them last weekend. Once again, they were well received, which made me very happy. What made me happier? I actually got to have a couple of these the day after the party since there were some left!
10. Crag rangoons – these were very tasty and everyone who had them liked them a lot.
‎11. Bourbon-soaked grapes with pecan-encrusted goat cheese – we made about 50 of these and have 5 left at the end of the night. They were REALLY EASY to make and I was glad they were successful!
12. Pimento cheese in celery sticks – we won’t be making these again. I think about half of them were eaten. But people are picky about celery, and so we had a lot of “no thanks, I don’t like celery” as I passed these around.

In addition to all that stuff we also had typical fare such as chips, dip, a cheese/meat platter, nuts, shrimp cocktail and olives. Add in a full bar, tons of beer and wine, and the people who came to the party did not leave with an empty stomach.

The White Elephant game was hilarious, as always. There were a lot of returning gifts from prior years, which I always love. My two personal favorite gifts were a taxidermied mouse on a little rocking horse (courtesy of DENIS!) and a toilet paper holder that returned from last year. Except the “winner” from last year had blinged it out and added all kind of decoration to the holder – making it insanely tacky and awesome. I ended up with a wasp trap, a japanese beetle trap and a game of “Cootie” (how appropo!). I let the kids keep the game and took the other two items to a work White Elephant party the next night.

It was a great night and we’re already planning next year’s party. Some of our newcomers this year have already said that next year’s party date is on their calendar so they won’t miss it! That’s always nice to hear since we take great pride in throwing our annual party!! My hope is that next year it’ll be at our newly built house instead of this one. If only because, true to form, everyone hung out in the kitchen so they could get first dibs on the food, and the new house will have

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