December 4, 2011

Thanksmas Party Recap and Recipe

Last night was Mary and Jon's annual Thanksmas dinner party. I was super excited to be included in this year's event, which they've been hosting for friends since right after college.

Mary, as always, was the hostess with the mostest. She's like a mini Martha Stewart, always going above and beyond when entertaining, whether for two people or twenty. From holiday decorations to place settings and centerpieces, her little details create the perfect ambiance for any occasion. I love going to her house... maybe too much (I spend the night there often).

I learned very quickly that Thanksmas is an excuse to eat copious amounts of food. Seriously, I think we all filled up on appetizers before dinner was even served. I didn't even finish my plate, and I was stuffed! Some people, whom shall remain nameless (Paolo and Brandon), started drinking super early and ended up in bed soon after gorging themselves on dinner... that's how good the food tasted!

For my part, I brought our favorite boxed wine (don't judge us... it's delicious!) and a recipe I found at About.com for Crock Pot Garlic Smashed Potatoes. It was well-received and pretty easy (though time-consuming, as is anything in the crock pot... so plan ahead) to prepare, so I would definitely make it again.

A few of us spent the night and got to hang out this morning too. It pretty much made for a perfect weekend (except for that pathetic Bears game today... don't get me started). Thanks, Mary and Jon, for including me in your tradition. I hope it's the first of many Thanksmases together. I love you guys!!

For those so-inclined, here's the recipe I used:
Ingredients:

•3 lb. small red potatoes
•5 garlic cloves, minced
•1 onion, finely chopped
•2 Tbsp. olive oil
•1 tsp. salt
•1/8 tsp. pepper
•2/3 cup water
•1 cup cream cheese with onions and chives, softened
•2 Tbsp. butter
•1/3 to 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream (I skipped this step)

Preparation:

Quarter potatoes to make pieces about the same size. Place potatoes in a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add garlic, onion, oil, salt, pepper, and water and mix to coat. Cover crockpot and cook on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours until potatoes are tender. I definitely recommend stirring the pot every hour or so to be sure the potatoes cook evenly.

Mash potatoes roughly with a fork or potato masher. Stir in cream cheese and butter until mixed. If you want to add the milk/cream, this is when you do that. As I said above, I skipped this step because I don't drink whole milk and wanted to avoid the calories of heavy cream.

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