Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Girls Night is Back

Before we all grew up and got married, Monday nights used to be our token "Girls Night". The boys played poker, and the girls drank wine and watched The Bachelor. As it often happens, lives got busier and busier and Girls Night occured less and less often. This depressed me.

So to get the month of December started off in the Christmas spirit (and put Girls Night back on the calendar), some of my favorite ladies and I planned a Girls Night Christmas and Ornament Swap party. It was a HUGE success, and I dare say, will turn into an annual event.

My favorite planning process of any party is deciding on the menu, and I’m lucky that my friends love food as much as I do. We had fun coming up with delicious hors d’oeuvres for our guests. I'll spread the recipes out into a couple of posts, so as to not overwhelm anyone (or have a post that goes on for days). I'm hoping you'll add these to some of your favorite snacks!

Chardonnay, Artichoke and Parmesan Dip

Probably one of the tastiest and EASIEST dips in all of the land is artichoke dip. My mom would make it for all kinds of occasions, and I would park myself right next to the bowl (and stare down anyone who dared to take my dip from me). Anyway, I started making it in college for my own round of parties, girls nights, showers, etc. and tweaked a few things along the way. I know there are a million other versions that are similar (I’m pretty sure the original recipe is on the back of Hellman’s Mayonnaise) but here is my take.

1 can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup real mayonnaise
1 tsp. minced garlic (or however much you like--I love garlic so sometimes I add more)
½ tsp. hot sauce
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dry Chardonnay (preferably from the bottle you've open to enjoy as you cook) =)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together until well blended. Bake in Pyrex dish or casserole dish for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Garnish with fresh shaved parmesan and serve with tortilla chips, crackers, fresh bread, whatever your fancy.

I could eat the whole dish in one sitting. I am not ashamed.