Merry x 1000

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This weekend I invited a small group of friends to Mendenhall to celebrate the holiday season with food, fun, cocktails and a party bus ride to downtown Winston-Salem. Party bus, you say? Yes, I may have over indulged at a charity function early in 2015 and walked away with four hours on my friend Matt’s party bus for me and 14 friends. It was for a very good cause… I’ll leave the late night stories of the bus aside and stick to the recipes.

I served a simple spread of delicious traditional holiday fare including a holiday ham, stuffed mushrooms, crudite and dip, cured salmon, party mix and an array of holiday cookies. Andrew’s eggnog and a cranberry whiskey punch added to the fun and delight. Very little cooking preparation made it a breeze to host after a hectic season of work and play.

The holiday ham may have been the most delicious ham I’ve ever eaten. We picked it up while visiting Rose’s Meat Market in Durham.  The Suffolk Ham is first dry-cured with salt and then soaked in a marinade of black beer, molasses and spices. Hello amazing! I served it with simple rolls and really good whole grain mustard.

I whipped together Ina Garten’s Blue Cheese Dip for an amazing compliment to easy crudite (I substituted sour cream for the Greek yogurt). I served a special gift from my coworker – Dabney’s house cured salmon with cucumbers and herbed cream cheese. My stuffed mushrooms were filled with a mixture of sauteed spinach, sun dried tomatoes and cream cheese. Plus, chocolate-nut rugelach and sugar cookies for sweet and a mountain of my homemade party mix to help soak up the fun on the road.

As the holiday quickly approaches and this is my 1000th post on Mendenhall (hard to believe), I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with countless amounts of love, food and festivities.

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