If you’re anything like me, things are a little nuts right now. It’s the busiest time of the year. Fourth quarter craziness at work. Family, friends, holiday shopping (online or in person), and food preparations have you running non-stop. So, why not have an impromptu […]
Turkey Day down and Christmas to go! We’ve just tackled that one day of the year where we bake and cook nonstop for 48-72 hours to enjoy about 30 minutes of eating, and now we’re onto the holiday season of never-ending Christmas parties, holiday gatherings, […]
Do y’all remember The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? It was that Sandra Bullock film where a group of lifelong friends attempts to rescue a relationship between a mother and a daughter. The movie was a’ight, but more importantly, the part I want to focus on is actually having a Ya-Ya Sisterhood, that group of “ride or die” friends who would do just about anything for you.
Every month (or the first available moment the planets align with all of our schedules), two of my lifelong sister-friends and I hang out for a Ya-Ya Get-Together. It’s when we unplug, forget about the craziness in our lives, and relax with copious amounts of wine and hors d’oeuvres. There are only two rules: each Ya-Ya has a rotation as Get-Together hostess, and the hostess must provide a bottle(s) of wine none of the Ya-Ya’s have tried so we can try it together.
Basically, we have created an excuse to have a mini-cocktail party for just the three of us as often as possible. You get the picture.
This particular spread was my turn hosting a Ya-Ya Get-Together that just happened to double as a birthday celebration for one of the Ya-Ya’s!
Don’t judge. I know this may appear a little overboard for three of us, but you have to remember this is at least a four-hour affair. That’s a long time to be talking and laughing – we need sustenance! Plus, this was special birthday party Ya-Ya material.
In order to prepare for the evening, I took a little trip to one of my absolute favorite culinary destinations in Texas, Central Market. (While I used to work there many, many moons ago, I have zero affiliation with them now, aside from the fact that I’m completely in love with them and still openly profess my love for everything Central Market.)
In less than one hour, I had everything I needed to set out a spread worthy of the Ya-Ya’s. Plus, I even had time to make a pitcher of some lovely Lemon Mint Water.
For the appetizer bites, I bought ready-made mini tart shells and filled them with Central Market’s uh-MAZING Pimento Cheese and creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip. To make it my own signature snack, I fried up some bacon and crumbled the smoky bits neatly over each spinach hors d’oeuvre, then minced up some parsley and sprinkled the parsley over the cheesy pimento tarts.
For the center cheese board, all I did was take my handy-dandy John Boos cutting board and line up five different cheese options, a hard, soft, goat, cheddar, and smoked, onto the board. Grapes, figs, pears, and strawberries will always find a buddy on the cheese board, and with a little peppered salami, sweet cured salami, and cracker choices, we were set to go! The decorative pieces were simply rosemary sprigs and a few small bowls of Marcona almonds and olives. Simple, quick, and easy!
Pastries were there because of the birthday celebration, but if you’re in Texas and looking for some incredible individual desserts for birthdays or just because you deserve a slice of chocolate cake, Central Market has the hookup!
North Texans, if you haven’t ventured into one of their five DFW locations, RUN; don’t walk! And, go on a Saturday to have the full experience of Foodies offering samples at every corner and of local bands playing live music while you shop! Everyone else in the world, Central Market has several locations across our great state. So, please be sure to visit a Central Market if you come to Texas!
Needless to say, post Ya-Ya Get-Together, in the wee hours of the morning, not a morsel was left. I love my Ya-Ya Sisterhood and our Get-Togethers, and I certainly hope this inspires you to start your own Ya-Ya Get-Together tradition with your friends, lifelong and new alike!
Lemon Mint Water
2 Large Lemons Sliced
2 Bunches of Mint Leaves Roughly Chopped
Muddle the sliced lemons and chopped mint leaves at the bottom of a pitcher. Add water and ice to fill. Then, enjoy this refreshing beverage!