You had me at ‘guest at my own party’

Friday, December 14, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 50

We hosted the company Christmas party at our house last weekend, so I was busy the week after Thanksgiving pulling decorations out of the attic and putting up the tree.

This is the first time in my history that I have had this done so early in the year. I usually wait until about the second week in December, because even though I love the decorations, I hate having my house out of order.

Anyway, the party was a great success. Although some employees were unable to attend due to family get-togethers, those who attended had a fun time visiting with each other and eating!

My husband, who I will always claim is smarter than me, decided we should cater the party through a local business. I usually do the cooking myself, but he had a mental note of all of the upcoming events in our life and suggested the caterer. The caterer, Diane, did a fantastic job with the food and the service.

Her business has been around since the late 1960s. Half of her 4,000-square-foot store is jam-packed with some of the finest pre-packaged gourmet foods you can find, and the rest is stocked with foods from her kitchen. She offers a full-service catering menu, with staff, if desired. We chose the “with-staff” option because, as Diane said, “I could be a guest at my own party.” What a way to win my loyalty.

Diane had a great menu for us. We opted for “pick-up” foods so people could walk around and talk, as opposed to a sit-down meal, although it was a tough decision because both menus were great.

She provided the serve-ware, and all I had to do was provide the plates and the glasses. It was so easy! And the staff cleaned up and left the leftovers for us. That was super since I didn’t get to eat as much as I wanted to during the party. That’s usually the case when hosting.

Now, what do I have for a recipe? Well, Don, our son David and I went to Colorado to share Thanksgiving with some of our family out there, and there was one recipe I fell in love with – a corn dip with Fritos, nachos and tortillas that was absolutely fantastic. So, now praises for that!

This is the first time I have had this, and I may be a bit behind, but it was really a great dip and very simple and quick to make. It would be great for any party or get-together you might be hosting during the football, Christmas, and New Year season.

Just a few quick notes on the dip: Remember to drain the corn and the tomatoes with chili peppers, or your dip will be runny. Also, the cilantro can be omitted, if desired, and some cooks add a pinch or two of cumin to the bowl when mixing. If you’re making it for a large crowd, I’d definitely double the recipe. Don’t worry, you won’t have any leftovers. Just have plenty of chips on hand.

You can make this in the oven, as the recipe suggests, or you can dump everything in a crock-pot and heat it up. That’s easier, and you don’t have to keep as close a watch on it. You’ll probably need to stir it at some point, though, just to blend it. Seriously, though, it won’t be around long enough to get cold!

Hot Corn Dip

1 (15 ounce) can of white corn, drained

1 (15 ounce) can of yellow corn, drained

1 (10 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, drained

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, diced and softened

1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium baking dish, mix together the white and yellow corn, diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, cream cheese, chili powder, garlic powder and cilantro. Pour into a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot with chips.