Sunday, July 20, 2014

Partying with Plastic Cups

(not the red Solo kind)

My little sister and her husband just bought their first house.  They’ve been homeowners since they got married six years ago, but they just made the jump from a condo to a house.  Right away, I told Donnay I wanted to throw them a housewarming party and right away she started balking it.  She said, “We’ve been married for years, we both have good jobs, we have what we need…” and so on but I finally convinced her that it wasn’t about the gifts.  It was about celebrating the new house and kicking off all the fun times they’d have in it. 

And it was about the food.  Because every good party is about the food.

So she finally produced a short guest list for me and gave me the green light for an intimate gathering with no emphasis on gifts.  I told her that was fine with me, because of course I was planning to emphasize the food.   Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to overdo it when it comes to entertaining and food.  And when it’s summer and I have extra time on my hands, it can get a little crazy.  Which it did. 

I saw a lot of ideas on Pinterest about serving housewarming party food in individual serving cups in order to cut down on spills and encourage mingling and milling about the new house.  So, I ordered these plastic 9 oz. tumblers online and started pinning foods that could be prepared in little plastic cups.  


Individual Seven-Layer Dip
(makes 8 servings for 9 oz. plastic tumblers- multiply as needed)
All ingredients should be split eight ways and spread into the cups.
Layer 1: 16 oz. can refried beans mixed with 1 package taco seasoning
Layer 2: 1 cup guacamole
Layer 3: 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
Layer 4: 1 cup chunky salsa
Layer 5: 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
Layer 6: 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Layer 7: 1 (2.25 ounce) can of sliced olives, drained
*Serve with tortilla chips.

Mixed Fruit with Honey Lime Dressing
(makes 30 individual servings)
2 quarts strawberries
2 pints blueberries
2 pounds white seedless grapes
Wash, cut, cap, etc. all fruit and mix with ¼ cup honey and juice from 2 limes. 


Key Lime
(makes 15 individual servings)
1.  Mix together:
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lime juice
2.  Then, fold in 8 oz. Cool Whip
3.  Crush a box of Nilla wafer cookies.  Mix with one stick melted butter.
4.  Layer crust mixture with lime mixture.
5.  Dollop with Cool Whip and garnish with lime slice, if desired.

Strawberry Brownie
(makes 15 individual servings)
1.  Prepare a brownie mix as directed.  Let cool.  Cut into 1 in. squares.
2.  Cap and thinly slice one quart of strawberries.
3.  Mix 2 (3.4 oz) boxes of French vanilla instant pudding with 2 cups milk.  Whisk until thickened.  Fold in 8 oz. Cool Whip.
4.  Layer 2-3 brownie squares, strawberries, drizzle of chocolate shell syrup, and pudding mixture.  Repeat. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate
(makes 25 individual servings)
1.  Prepare a brownie mix as directed.  Let cool.  Cut into 1 in. squares.
2.  Mix 2 (5.1 oz.) boxes of vanilla instant pudding with 4 cups milk.  Whisk until thickened.  Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and 4 teaspoons vanilla flavoring.  Fold in 12 oz. Cool Whip.
3.  Cut miniature peanut butter cups in half.  I used an entire family size bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups.
4.  Layer 2-3 brownie squares, 2-3 peanut butter cup halves, and pudding mixture.  Repeat.

We also had our family favorite, Sir Pizza, as a main course. 

I got lucky and found these cute paper products that match the colors in Donnay’s house at Dollar Tree. 

The individual servings and different choices were a big hit, and as an added bonus, Skittles enjoyed being able to help with the leftovers. 

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