I’m so thrilled to finally post about this… You may not know this about me, but honestly, you should have picked up on it by now what with all my cooking posts and pop-culture references, but I seriously LOVE planning a MENU and/or HOSTING and I have serious addiction to reality TV. (Not even a little ashamed.) I decided to marry the two loves (hosting and reality TV) in a themed girls’ night after talking with a girlfriend of mine. Originally we (just the two of us) were just going to grab dinner but my need for “too much” took over and before I knew it, I was buying fuchsia tinsel at Dollar Tree and stacking plastic champagne glasses on the island in the kitchen. It. Was. Fabulous.
THEME: Real Housewives
Before we all went out, we posed like the opening credits, each holding an apple or an orange. (These are the fruits I had on hand. I suppose technically we should have had peaches, since we’re in Atlanta, but no matter.)
We had a collection of different apps for snacking as we chatted at my place before heading out, each was based on a Real Housewives character.
Giggy the Pom-tini:
I put fresh mint leaves in the infuser and added half vodka and half pomegranate juice. (Thus the “pom.”) Then I added about a cup of Sprite for some festive fizz. (I just love the fizzies.)
I stacked up plastic champagne glasses for effect, and served Gummi Bears on the other side so the infamous “Go to sleeeeeep” moment from RHONY was represented. (She had a breakdown on a boat after being told to go to sleep and proceeded to spend the rest of the evening talking to a bag of Gummi Bears. (Psycho.)
These are a staple for me. I almost always serve/bring these because they are easy to make and don’t need to be kept warm.
All you have to do is half a package of cherry/roma tomatoes and insert a piece of fresh mozz and fresh basil, like a sandwich. They are held together by a toothpick and then drizzled with balsamic. Delish. I decided to use LuAnn (RHONY) for this one and called the dish, “Money Can’t Buy You Caprese Bites” like her not-so-hit single, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” Boom! Puns all over the place!
“Wigs” in a Blanket:
Though no longer on RHOA, Kim Zolciak is still a character to be celebrated, so I just had to have her included. Since she’s known for her wigs, I threw together some pigs in a blanket and called them “Wigs” in blanket. These are super, duper easy. Just buy cocktail weenies, wrap in crescent rolls and bake. (I sliced each weenie down the middle and put cheese on the inside for a little something extra. (I’d recommend ALWAYS using cheese. Delish!)
“Table-Flipped” Polenta Cakes with Black Bean Salsa:
Even people who have never seen the show heard about the episode of RHONJ when Teresa Guidice (now they’re pronouncing it “Jew-DEE-chay”) flipped the table at the restaurant. For her, I used this recipe from Sandra Lee’s “semi-homemade” cooking show. (Click here for recipe.)
Basically, you slice up some pre-made polenta, pan fry for 5 minutes on each side, before “flipping” to cook the other side. You crush up a can of black beans with salsa, hot sauce, and lime juice. and that gets placed on the polenta cakes. Top with lettuce. Then top with a mixture of sour cream, hot sauce, and lime juice.
These were SOOOO easy and absolutely delicious. I was told by more than one person that these were the BEST. I will DEFINITELY be making them again! Yum!
“Cap” Your Legs to Married Men, Trash Box!
This is a play on one of my most favorite things NeNe has ever said. On RHOA, she told Kim Zolciak to “Close your legs to married men, trash box” and repeated it about seventy times. I was in stitches. Trash box might be one of the best insults that has ever been hurled, in my book. I have a soft spot for Mrs. NeNe Leakes, what can I say. I made this recipe up…
De-stem a 16 oz package of baby bellas. Trash the stems. Puree 1-2 sweet red peppers in a food processor and drain. (Draining is important or it’s a big, watery mess o’ crap.) Once drained, add in 1 tbsp garlic, 2 tbsp shredded Parm, 2 tbsp goat cheese. Add mixture to mushroom caps and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Pull them out and top with additional Parm sprinkles for a little extra crunch. Then pop them back in for 20 min. Voila!
“Thick as Thieves” Corn and Crab Dip:
On RHONJ’s first season, Caroline Manzo was quoted as saying her family was as thick as thieves and it was such the Godfather moment that it needed to be present at my party! For this, I scoured the internet looking for “THICK” dips. I finally went with this Better Homes and Garden recipe that was to die for. (Here is the link.)
Essentially, you roast a package of frozen corn and chopped pepper in the oven before adding in to a mixture of jalapenos, cheese, mayo, sour cream, crab meat, and onions. It all sits over night and then you bake the next day to thick, crispy, cheesy perfection. I LOVED IT!
“Turtle Time” Cake Pops!
Come on, you didn’t think I was going to leave Ramona out? So upon being over-served on RHONY, Ramona slurred her way into a bar called Turtle Time and it made for one of the funniest episodes ever. So, in a nod to Ramona’s favorite reptile, I made turtle cake pops. (Main flavors of “turtle” anything is chocolate, caramel, and pecan.
I picked up a package of chocolate cupcake mix and made cupcakes, then once they were cooked and cooled, blended them with chocolate icing. Then I formed them into balls. (This is a SECRET tip from Queen Frostine. If you just bake the pops in those spherical pans, they will not be extra moist. The icing is the key.) I stuck some popsicle sticks in them left them in the freezer over night so they could harden. The next day, I melted chocolate baking melts and caramel bits on a double boiler (Note: Be patient with the caramel. It’s a pain in the ass, but if you stay patient, it will eventually do what you want.) Then I took each cake pop and rolled it in the chocolate caramel covering and sprinkled with crushed pecans. Then… Back in to the fridge so they harden properly on the outside.
And what girls night is complete without Simon Van Kempen, who notoriously crashed a girls night on RHONY, much to Ramona’s chagrin??!?!
We stayed at my house from 7-10ish, and chatted, drank, ate, until it was time to head out:
We went to Ice Martini and Sushi Bar for quite a fun night. Hilarity ensued:
Thank you to everyone for coming out and making it a success and a special thank you to Bear for helping me get everything ready for an evening that he didn’t get to be a part of. It was a BLAST! Until next time!