On Tuesday night, I hosted my 5th Annual Recipe Exchange! This is one of my very favorite nights of the entire year. Over the last five years, we have mastered this little party. This is how it works:
1. Everyone emails me their recipe in advance and I compile a book.
2. Everyone brings their recipe the night of the party.
3. We eat, eat, eat and then vote on our favorite (the winner gets a prize!).
4. Everyone leaves with a party favor and a copy of the recipe book.
Over the years, we have done a Cookie and Bar Exchange (I provided dinner and then we ate the sweets), we have done a Side Dish Exchange (I provided a ham, dinner rolls and dessert), a Casserole Exchange, and then this was our second time to do an Appetizer Exchange (we did it back in 2011 and decided to repeat it this year too).
I always provide drinks and dessert to round things out. Next year, we’re all coming in our pajamas and doing a Breakfast Recipe Exchange :).
We also do something charitable with each exchange. In the past, we have provided for angels off of the Angel Tree and donated to our local food bank. We make a contest out of that too :).
My house is ready! I’m just waiting on my girls to arrive!
Each person grabbed their name and set it next to their appetizer.
We used my big plates for this big feast :).
This is where we voted for our favorite (it’s always such a hard decision!).
I had a drink station in my butler’s pantry.
Our recipe books for the year plus a little goodie from me to them.
Right before they showed up…
…and right after. To me, this feast is better than Thanksgiving dinner!
Narci brought her A-game and donated over 130 cans to the food pantry! She was so excited to be our winner this year :).
Andrew put all of the cans in the back of his truck after the party…we had over 300 cans!
A picture of us and our “love” bangles :).
Some of my very favorite girls. We were missing sweet Manda (we love you Manda!!!) on this night, but she was so sweet and sent her recipe along even though she knew she couldn’t attend. Manda’s coming off of her 3rd round of chemo and her blood counts are just too low to be out and about. The next day, I took her a big plate of all of our recipes though…a perfect feast!
The big winner of the night was Lori’s Phyllo Cups! I will try and post the recipe soon because it was really, really good (and so simple too!).
Such a fun way to spend time with friends, help out a good cause and enjoy new recipes. Honestly, this is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
On the foodie blog today, one of the desserts I served…
They were a big hit :).