Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ornament Party and the Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

Every year my friend Robyn hosts this awesome ornament party. About 35 women from all parts of her life (her Little Rock days, wine club, book club, church, college, etc) get together and bring an ornament to do a dirty santa type exchange. To say it gets heated and competitive would be an understatement. These ladies are hilarious.

The rules are simple - bring a wrapped ornament and bring a dish to share. This year I decided to bring a dip someone brought to the bridal shower I hosted for Brie that was a hot bacon swiss dip. I got the recipe from Heather, who put together the booklet of dip recipes that we gave out as a favor, so I have no clue whose recipe it is but I just had to share because it was delicious.

The party itself, like the dip, did not disappoint:

Here's my ornaments, wrapped and ready to go -

The pile o' gifts -

The hostess with the mostess, Robyn -

Good company - my partner in crime for the night, Brittain -

So there are three categories of ornaments usually: really cute (like the fuzzy animals or the cupcake ornament), pretty (glass balls, etc), and flat out funny/strange. The following was one of the prized ornaments of the night, the "tiger balls" that were glittered orange balls with black tiger stripes. Elizabeth models them well -

Another thing about the ornament party is that the way it is played, you get a number and go in order - so you can either pick an ornament to unwrap or you can steal an ornament. Poor Ellen got stolen from so many times we lost count at 8. Here she is with the eco-friendly recycled material angels (note her fabulous bow, taken from a prior ornaments packaging).
 And moments later, here she is being stolen from yet again. She got to open lots of presents that night!

 In the end, my strategy worked. I stole a beautiful pearl and sparkle round ball ornament for my turn. I would have been very happy with it, but did have a back-up plan. And I'm glad I did because the very last person went straight for my ornament and so I got to get my back up ornament, this "Joy" door hanger (and was guaranteed no one would steal it since an ornament can only be stolen once per round and this was the last round!).

Another interesting thing about this party was the serve-ware. Robyn got these great plates that were perfect for the party - it had a cup holder (that actually kept the cup stable) and two slits for a fork and spoon. It was genius - I've been to so many parties where you are juggling everything in the buffet line.

And now, about that dip - I made two dips and will blog about the buffalo chicken dip tomorrow, but first, the Hot Bacon Swiss Dip.

The ingredients all laid out (for both dips):

And the result (on the right):

I served it in my snowflake pyrex dish that has two parts - I baked the dip in the left side and then loaded Fritos into the right side. Love that dish!

The recipe:

Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions*
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers

Soften cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, Swiss cheese and green onions; mix well.
Transfer to a baking dish. Top with bacon and crackers. Bake at 350˚ for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Serves 8 to 10. Recipe can be easily doubled.

*I used the onion end of the green onions, not the green end.

In ornaments and friends,
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