07 December 2011

it's a holiday ham party!

What do you mean you've never heard of a Holiday Ham Party?!  When I told my daddy-o about my upcoming Holiday Ham Party, he told me that he didn't think there was such a thing, then Lizzie B flat out laughed at me!  Well, if there wasn't such a thing as a Holiday Ham Party before, there is now - I mean, what else do you call a gathering of wonderful, hungry friends eating a 10lb ham, drinking seltzer and watching PeeWee's 1988 Christmas Special?  Many thanks to the wonderful company of Isabelle, Vanessa, Felix, Victoria and Andrea for coming over and feasting... y'all are my favorite hams!  We also had our wreath lighting ceremony, but I bragged about my awesome bike wreaths yesterday so no need to do it again.  Well, maybe just a little more bragging because you, too can make an awesomely awesome holiday wreath out of tinsel garland and an old bike wheel!  They're fabulously crafty and simply lovely.

It's really easy to make your own "homemade scalloped potatoes" - just add enough extra cheeses, black pepper and paprika.  You can hardly tell that these potatoes came from a box.  The key to semi-homemade anything is flavoring the ingredients that come out of the box or bag or what have you as though you really were making it from scratch, minus the salt - boxed foods already have plenty of that.  If you're dishonest you can probably get away with pretending you actually did spend hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking and slicing and baking, but then Santa would put you on the naughty list and you wouldn't get that Easy-Bake Oven you asked for.

Okay, so I already gave up my secret about the potatoes (thanks again, Betty Crocker,) and I have to be honest about the ham, too.  Ham is always already cooked and cured and this one went a step beyond that - it was pre-sliced and the glaze was a powder that just needed a teaspoon of water and a little heat to be completed.  Give me a break, I cook from scratch nearly every other night, sometimes I need to take the easy road.  Not that it would have mattered because both of my dishes paled in comparison to the beautiful side that Isabelle prepared.  Her Thanksgiving green beans were by far the most talked about (and the most liked on Victoria's instagram.  Even more than my wreath!)  Yeah, you read that right - Thanksgiving green beans.  Her plan was to serve this vegan, gluten-free (you like that, right Felix?) side at Thanksgiving, but it didn't happen so we were lucky and got to indulge in it at the Holiday Ham Party.  The tartness of the dressing was a perfect compliment to the sweet honey ham and the creaminess of the potatoes.  I think she got the recipe from one of the Iron Chef winners or Oprah but I'm not sure, so I'll make her post it later.  I just remember that it had crunchy almonds, gooey chopped dates, tart orange wedges, fresh parsley and mustard - just a few of my favorite things.  I had three servings of these green beans and I want my roomie to make more so that I can eat them every day for the rest of my life!

There you have it - a Holiday Ham Party!  Just like Santa Claus, these festive occasions really do exist and I plan on making mine an annual tradition at the Sweetest Spot.  In case you haven't yet, ham it up this holiday season with a Holiday Ham Party - it's not just so much fun to say, it's fun to do, too!

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