I could say that I throw a holiday party for my street every year and it would be true. That it’s only been 2 years doesn’t matter right? I won the lottery with this move. All different ages and family types but we get along famously, pitch in when someone needs help and actually have fun together. So party it is! I knew from the getgo I would be making this French Quarter Cheese Spread but beyond that I was not prepared for how this event would go down.
That the party was scheduled just 9 days after I came down with a bad cold was not perfect but I assumed I would be on the mend and things could progress as expected. Was I better? Sure, a bit, but not altogether myself either. As it turns out, I’ve been working with Tony’s Market the last couple of months as a Brand Ambassador and they’ve given us suggestions for features in the two previous efforts and those worked out great. When I saw this suggestion for December, ‘Make your holiday partying easier this year with party platters, prepared meals, and bakery items.’ I pretty much assumed I would be going a different direction because for me part of the fun is in the preparation of the goodies. And then what to my poor glazed over eyes should appear but a miserable cold. It felt a bit prophetic and I had no problem changing gears completely; Tony’s was a lifesaver and nicely supplemented my efforts with some prepared goodies from their store in Castle Pines. We had some fantastic smoked salmon, two phyllo wrapped appetizers that included raspberry and brie in one and spinach and cheese in the other along with a tray of Cordon Bleu puffs; a warm dough ball with the flavors of chicken, ham and cheese. Neighbors showed with more goodies and we had a lovely assortment that everyone could enjoy and I wasn’t too tired to participate in my own party…now that was a gift I need to give myself more often!
The one thing I did make; that French Quarter Cheese Spread? It’s been on my list for several weeks now, just waiting for the right time…you know, party time! A friend on Facebook I know simply as MT Garcia had given me the recipe and thought I would love it. Was she right? Absolutely! Cream cheese is mixed with some grated fresh onion and Worcestershire Sauce and topped with the star…a brown sugar, Worcestershire Sauce and mustard mixture with pecans. I have to admit, I was a bit concerned about even the small amount of onion that was included when I tasted the cheese but letting it meld for a bit and then covering it with the sweet, tangy and altogether amazing pecan sauce made all the difference. As much as I was grateful for Tony’s I was equally grateful for the chance to try this recipe; it’s a keeper!
Last but not least? Dessert. Truth is I had planned to make that too; I had all of the ingredients for a pie I wanted to try but as the day started to wind down and my time started to get shorter and shorter I punted and decided to see what I could find at Tony’s in their bakery that would be perfect. I took a look at their cakes but it hit me that cake would require another plate and be a bit more unwieldy to eat standing up so I decided to check out their dessert bars. I am in LOVE with their German Chocolate brownies so I had to force myself to look beyond that one dessert and when I did I saw they carried a nice assortment of brownies. HUGE brownies. I bought 2 each of the Peanut Butter, Turtle, German Chocolate and Raspberry brownies and cute them into 4 pieces; offering my guests a nice assortment of flavors to choose from. They were all good but the lack of a peanut butter sample to show you in this photo alludes to the big winner. I just might be changing allegiance!
You know I learned something through this exercise. While I enjoy the work of preparation, I enjoyed not having to do quite as much either. Maybe this will be the start of something new and despite the saying to the contrary; I do believe this old dog has learned a new trick called, ‘Giving Myself a Break.’ If you’re in Denver, be sure to visit Tony’s and see what they can do to give the same to you for your upcoming holiday festivities.
And MT; wherever you are? Thank you, thank you, thank you. I swear this is my new favorite and I can’t wait to make it again. Without company the next time so I can eat the whole thing by myself. 🙂