Ilise and I have thrown a large and joyous holiday open house for each of the last 22 years. Lavish spread of homemade food and drinks; festive décor indoors and out; family, neighbors and friends from all aspects of our lives coming together for fun, frivolity, and did we mention the food?! As hosts, we’ve fallen into a sort of formula for how the party goes. Nothing wrong with all that, and in fact it helps to have a proven and replicable game plan.
In case you’re wondering, I was the Christmas Cookie and Ilise was Festival of Lights with a bright strand of LED lights woven through a jester’s hat in Mardi Gras colors. It was truly something to behold!
Take a look at some of the great costumes and happy party people.
Click on the photos below to enlarge them and read the captions.
Specialty cocktail: Hurricane-style Rum Punch
Main courses & sides:
- Jambalaya with Chicken and Andouille Sausage
- Vegetable Gumbo
- Muffuletta Sandwiches – 2 kinds, meat and roasted veggies
- Maque Choux – traditional Creole corn dish
- Basil-Garlic Green Beans
- Pimento Cheese Spread & Hummus – served with crudité and crackers
- Bread Basket: Jalapeno-Corn Mini Muffins; Baby Buttermilk Biscuits
- New Orleans-style Bread Pudding with Whisky Hard Sauce
- Sweet Potato Pie Bars
- Pecan Pie
- Rugelach – 2 kinds, apricot and raspberry, some with walnuts
- Mondel bread – 2 kinds, plain and chocolate chip
- Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
- Dark Cocoa Brownies
- Blondies with Chocolate Chunks, Cherries and Pecans
- Chocolate Bark – 2 kinds, peppermint and cranberry-pistachio-lime
- Clementines and grapes – for healthy eating doncha know
Let’s just say – no one went hungry. In fact, many went home with leftovers!
Now how about a few more party photos! As always, please click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.