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?