Christmas Parties are so much fun! Especially when family is involved. The holidays are a lot different for me on the east coast – with all of my family out west. As much as I would love to be there with all of them and all those little ones running around – Uncle Tim can be a very bad influence on little children – travel over the holidays just ain’t happening.

The next best thing is to cross the Delaware River to see the extended in-laws in Jersey. It’s extended family at its best definition. Paul is Victor’s brother’s wife’s nephew. He and his wife, Lisa have two sons. His brother Stephen and his wife Debbie – and their little boy live up in Brooklyn. Debbie wrote a fantastic cook book Parents Need to Eat, Too  that several of you have already received. I know a famous cook book author. Neener.Neener. There were probably about 18 folks there. A perfect crowd.

And it was just like being home – it was loud, multi-generational, kids running around having fun – and food for days. Just what Christmas is supposed to be like.


Plus there was food for days. The pictures won’t do it justice by any means, but we ate, ate, and ate some more. Pasta and outrageously-good meatballs, chicken parmesan, a really great buffalo chicken dip, a Texas caviar-type dish, baked brie, kalamata olives, salumi and cheeses…

And desserts…

Cheesecake, my cranberry tangerine bread – that actually came out really good! –  fig cookies, brownies, snickerdoodles, a couple of bar cookies that I think were chocolate peppermint and blondies, and plenty of liquor, of course.

My favorite of the boozes was a liqueur called Faretti Biscotti Famosi. What a surprisingly smooth flavor!  I could really see using it to make  Tortuga Rum Cake. Definitely good stuff.  I just have to figure out how to get some since I can’t get it shipped to this bassackwards state.

And in our Italian Polyanna, I got a bottle of hard cider. I’m still not much of a drinker but I can find plenty of uses for alcohol, so expect a stew of some sorts – maybe a pork stew?!? – when the weather turns cold.

So a really good time was had with some really fun folks