Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's an Engagement Party!

Tex here, and before you get too excited, let me just say that I was so engaged I forgot to take pix of most of the happenings. Like the fantastic spread of food my son-in-law-to-be's mother and I put on. There was just too much excitement.

Yes, my baby girl is getting married. When her intended asked us for her hand in marriage, he told us she wanted to share the occasion of their proposal with friends and family. Well, I don't think he was too excited about a public proposal, so he compromised. He proposed privately, then brought her to our house where, unbeknownst to her, forty of their closest friends and family were waiting to celebrate with them.

Here's the happy couple, post surprise. They're so silly.
Since I wanted to enjoy this party, I decided to keep it as easy as possible. Yes, it was a team effort, but I still had to help feed the masses. My first dish was chips and salsa from our favorite Mexican restaurant. Hubby went and got it so, in my world, that's a freebie :-)
Then I had a jar of roasted raspberry chipotle sauce on hand, along with brick of cream cheese and some Club Crackers. Voila! Poured that sauce over the cream cheese and we were good to go. (Holiday tip: Keep a box of crackers, some cream cheese, and a sweet/savory jelly or sauce on hand for impromptu entertaining. Jalapeno or red pepper jelly is always festive and NOT hot. Best of all, it's instant gratification.)
For something a little more filling, I went for my old standby. This recipe has been around for ages. Yet every time I fix it, people are bowled over and begging for the recipe. Funny, since I thought EVERYONE has this one in their repertoire. So here it is, world-famous meatball recipe. Yes, I can say world famous since I have served these puppies in Germany.
First, pull out ye old Crock Pot. If you don't have a Crock Pot, a Dutch oven will work.
For your sauce, you will need a bottle of chili sauce (this is sold by the ketchup), 6-10 oz. grape jelly, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. I made a double recipe, hence the two bottles of chili sauce and the 18 oz. jar of grape jelly (I used all of it).
First, you're going to plop the jelly into a sauce pan. Add the chili sauce and heat over low heat until the jelly has melted and no lumps remain. I use a whisk to help break up the lumps.
In the meantime, put your meatballs into the Crock Pot/Dutch oven.

Yes, you can make your own. I have a recipe. But this is just so much stinkin' easier. Thank you Sam's Club. And yes, they're still frozen, because I had all day to let them simmer. If I were pressed for time, I would have thawed them in the microwave.
Once your sauce is perfectly blended, pour it over the meatballs. Put the lid on, cook on high or low, depending on how much time you have. If you're using a Dutch oven, you can put it on the stove top (low to medium) or in the oven (250-ish).
I know, it seems like a weird concoction. It seems too easy. But you know what? This is what it looks like at the end of the night.
You know, a lot of times, men think of appetizers/finger foods as froo-froo food. But meatballs? Guys can wrap their brains around that. It's real food. Meat. (Can you hear the guttural rumblings?)
During the holidays, I always have a bag of meatballs in the freezer and sauce fixins in the pantry. You just never know when you might need them. And since I live in a houseful of Boy Scouts, I have to be prepared.
Yeah, that's it for the pictures, gang. Sorry. I was too busy celebrating. Danielle snagged herself a good guy and we couldn't be happier.
So we're heading into the holidays. Lots of impromptu entertaining. What do you always have on hand that's your go-to for the party season?



  1. that's my kind of eating! Luckily I've never had to feed the masses but I've been fed and I love that sweet/spicy stuff over cream cheese! a friend did that one Thanksgiving with a sauce she made - it was the cranberry sauce that's chunky - not the solid jello mass - and green chilies and I think she sprinkled some garlic in and stirred it all around. I found some chipotle stuff with some kind of fruit ina bottle at World Market(thank goodness for bottled stuff)! dumping velveeta in the crockpot with Rotel tomatoes goes over good too- esp with cooked breakfast sausage thrown in. and those bisquick sausage cheese balls...getting hungry! my mom used to keep a cheeseball or two on hand too during December but stopped since my dad kept digging in..


    1. Susanna, that's exactly what I used.mthe roasted raspberry chipotle sauce in the little jar from World Market. I live that stuff and it's just the right size for an 8 oz. brick of cream cheese. And it only costs like a buck ninety-nine. And I LOVE sausage balls. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime in between. I'm not picky.

  2. I've heard about these grape jelly meatballs, but never knew what else went in the concoction! Thanks, Mindy.

    And congratulations! It sounds like your daughter found a keeper! Blessings on their life together :)

    My children are still waiting for their great guy/girls (although the youngest is in a long-distance relationship that has lasted longer than I thought it would). Meanwhile, I take notes from people like you.

    (Note to Jan: surprise engagement party...)

    1. You know, Jan, I've never seen so much Tweeting and FB posting going on at once. Everyone was snapping pix and within seconds they'd be on the Internet. Crazy. But fun.

      Happy to have solved the mystery for you.

  3. I love these meatballs!! Though I've never made them. I need to get the ingredients and keep on hand for holiday parties. Such an easy thing to do and transport!

    Congrats to Danielle!!! I'm so thrilled for all of you!

    1. They are SO easy, Missy. And you'll get rave reviews.

  4. Congratulations soon to be mother-in-law. Love how you were able to throw food together like that. I'd have been in a panic. I don't feed masses due to my eensy weensy little house. I get to be part of the masses at other people's houses. :-) Good tip about the crackers and cream cheese. I don't think of nibblies like that when I do have company over. I'm so boring. I just feed them the main meal and a yummy dessert and call it a day. I'll have to class up my holiday (small scale) entertaining courtesy of this blog.

    1. Kav, the crackers and cream cheese idea would be perfect for you. Don't you usually have some baked goodies in your freezer, too? Bring some of those out too and call it a party :-)

  5. Oh, I've made these only with cranberry sauce instead of the grape jam.

    Oh my stars, Mindy, these have become a big fan favorite around here! I keep all the ingredients on hand now just in case we get drop ins....

    Of course my kids drop in regularly and that means quick food, so these are a popular standby! Love it and so excited about a wedding.


    1. Ruthy, I've been wanting to try it with the cranberry sauce. But every time I mention it, hubby says, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Spoken like a man resistant to change.

  6. MINDY!!!! I didn't see this until now!!!!


    So excited for you and for them! New beginnings are so beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Virginia. We have an interesting few months ahead of us, but I love to see these two so happy.