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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Office Party Report
      #1207202 - 09/25/10 05:11 PM (72.59.154.152)

This is my report on our office party which we held this past Thursday evening. Our local Chamber of Commerce holds an office open house at one of the local businesses every month or two, and this time was our turn! Since I blathered on about the thing for months, I thought it was only fair to report on how it went, along with pictures. I owe a big debt of gratitude to the numerous TTOL members who gave me recipe suggestions and advice! Thanks much!! We had approximately 40 people show up for the party, which was certainly a reasonable turn out, for our small town. Most all of the recipes here were recommended by TTOL members.

I prepared ALL the food and designed and prepared all the platters. Eric helped immeasurably by doing most of my cutting and chopping and measuring of vegetables and fruits and other ingredients, by carving the cantaloupes and the shrimp boat and by doing the all around heavy lifting. Here is a picture of us before the party actually started, with most of the food in place.


I had a couple of ladies who helped me with the serving, making sure the platters remained filled, drinks in place, garbage policed and doing general clean up afterwards. Unfortunately, I didn’t get too many pictures after the party started, and I didn’t get any pictures of my helper ladies. However, here are a couple of general crowd shots, early on.





One of my helper ladies took some pictures, but I haven’t seen them yet, so I’m not sure what pictures she was able to get. Everyone seemed to have a really nice time and was very complementary of the food. I have attached links to the recipes for the various dishes, for those that are interested and would like to print out the recipes.

Here is a picture of the table

,

and this was the menu, starting at the right of the table and moving left:

1) Meatballs—store-bought meatballs, with sauce consisting of 2/3 BBQ sauce and 1/3 apricot preserves

2) Paula Deen Hot artichoke dip http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/three-cheese-hot-artichoke-dip-recipe/index.html



(Sorry, I did not get any particularly good pictures of these)

3) Barefoot Contessa roasted shrimp cocktail



http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-shrimp-cocktail-recipe/index.html ,

with the shrimp boat behind courtesy of Eric

4) Veggie plate with Periwinkle’s dill dip


Dill dip recipe



served in Pat’s red cabbage bowl

5) Fruit tray, featuring Pat’s pineapple arrangement



Pat's pineapple arrangement

accented by hibiscus flowers from my garden



6) Devilled eggs (my recipe),

accented by carved cantaloupe, courtesy of Eric’s carving mastery

7) Chocolate pretzel bites by Periwinkle (behind)



chocolate pretzel bites

accented by carved cantaloupe by Eric

8) Gorgonzola, apple, and cranberry bites, by Orange Burst, in front of the chocolate pretzel bites.

Gorgonzola phyllo bites

9) Iced tea, wine, beer, water


With regard to the portion sizes of the dishes, I have here just reproduced the links to the original recipes, not the amounts which I actually produced for the party. We had the party on Thursday night and 6 people at my office ate leftovers for lunch the next day. References hereafter to leftovers are after the ‘after party’ the next day. For the meatballs, we had approximately 180 meatballs, and we had approximately 2 dozen left. For the artichoke dip, I prepared 3 trays of artichoke dip (which computed to be SEVEN times the recipe), and I had one tray left, which we divided between us and a girlfriend of mine (who is probably serving it while watching the Gators tonight! ). I made 6 pounds of shrimp and had approximately 1 dozen shrimp left over. I tripled the recipe for the cocktail sauce and basically had TWICE as much cocktail sauce as needed. I doubled the recipe for the dill dip and again had approximately half left, and had quite a few veggies left. For the devilled eggs, I fixed 24 eggs (resulting in 48 pieces) and had zero left. For the chocolate pretzel bites, I made a double batch of MILK chocolate and a single batch of DARK chocolate ones. I have maybe a third of those left—which is no tragedy, since they freeze beautifully. For the gorgonzola bites, I made a double batch and had about a half dozen left.

I was very happy with the entire menu. The only thing I wasn’t ecstatic with was the dill dip (sorry Periwinkle!!), as I thought it was OK, but somewhat bland. I did not want to use the Accent, because of MSG and could not find the Beau Monde, and did not want to go the trouble of making it, so I basically just put some salt in and left it go. It did LOOK beautiful in the purple cabbage though!! Other than that, I could very happily serve the exact same menu again at a future party.

Thanks for listening and thanks to ALL who helped with the planning of the menu, as I know I could not have done it without you guys!!! Thanks again!!


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ruralcarrier
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207216 - 09/25/10 07:09 PM (65.28.252.156)

Very impressive.

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mary
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207222 - 09/25/10 07:28 PM (70.49.220.195)

Lovely spread Carol- I know you prepared far in advance and I'm sure your guests enjoyed the results
Thanks for the photos and sharing a summary of the recepies
Mary

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: mary]
      #1207223 - 09/25/10 07:33 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks. It was a lot of work, but we enjoyed it!

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mary
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207228 - 09/25/10 08:07 PM (70.49.220.195)

BTW-great photo of you and Eric. love the dress and bracelets

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Mary
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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: mary]
      #1207231 - 09/25/10 08:25 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks! Bracelet from Rima, of course!!!

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Emily
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Re: Great Job, Carol! [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207235 - 09/25/10 08:30 PM (68.59.82.94)

Carol,
I've been following your prep threads and was impressed first of all that you put so much thought into it! Your attention to detail is impressive as well!
So glad to see how wonderfully it all turned out!!!! I'm sure you are relieved now that it is over and you certainly deserve kudos + a great pat on the back!
Thanks for sharing,
Emily


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Great Job, Carol! [Re: Emily]
      #1207237 - 09/25/10 08:35 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks!! It was a business party, so we wanted to make sure we did it right. I am very happy with how it turned out.

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LBI2SXM
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Re: Great Job, Carol! [Re: Emily]
      #1207240 - 09/25/10 08:41 PM (68.38.36.157)

Very nice, Carol! Looks like a lot of hard work (and love) went into that party. Glad it was a success! What is it about deviled eggs? There is never, ever one left even if you have hundreds out on a plate!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Great Job, Carol! [Re: LBI2SXM]
      #1207242 - 09/25/10 08:45 PM (72.59.154.152)

Yes, I know! It is funny, regardless of what one makes, people are EXCITED about deviled eggs! My girlfriend had tasted just about all of the menu before, as I did a mini trial run at the office. And when I said last week that I was making devilled eggs, she was so excited!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: ruralcarrier]
      #1207246 - 09/25/10 08:56 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks, JD...

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BigJim
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207255 - 09/25/10 09:30 PM (76.93.49.19)

Any leftovers???

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: BigJim]
      #1207258 - 09/25/10 09:33 PM (72.59.154.152)

As I said, actually, not much!! The major left over was the 3rd tray of artichoke dip. Will be serving that tomorrow for football games!!

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BigJim
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207292 - 09/26/10 01:21 AM (76.93.49.19)

Sounds good. I'll have to try some.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: BigJim]
      #1207318 - 09/26/10 08:34 AM (72.59.154.152)

It is pretty good! I don't know how successful it will be, but I took part of the leftovers and froze them. We'll see how that turns out.

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BillandElaine
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207333 - 09/26/10 09:03 AM (190.102.9.129)

You set a beautiful table Carol! Good job!

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Elaine
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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: BillandElaine]
      #1207344 - 09/26/10 09:52 AM (72.59.154.152)

It was a lot of work, but we were very happy with the outcome.

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Dmgators
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207352 - 09/26/10 10:34 AM (72.187.5.32)

Quote:

Carol_Hill said:
As I said, actually, not much!! The major left over was the 3rd tray of artichoke dip. Will be serving that tomorrow for football games!!




Are you far enough away to get the Bucs game? I'd rather be there than at the stadium, if so...

Beautiful spread and you two clean up pretty good too.

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Debbie


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Dmgators]
      #1207360 - 09/26/10 11:11 AM (72.59.154.152)

Unfortunately, no. But hey, give me a call if you want to come on over!! We have NFL Sunday Ticket. You can watch any OTHER game you want!!

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Nutmeg
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207382 - 09/26/10 12:41 PM (204.11.152.98)

Office party? I thought you were sitting up there in central Florida living off of Eric's trust fund!!

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NUTMEG
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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Nutmeg]
      #1207390 - 09/26/10 01:08 PM (72.59.154.152)

Hey, show's what YOU know!!

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Cheryl_Ted
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207403 - 09/26/10 02:17 PM (67.249.190.190)

Carol, thanks for the heads-up on this thread! Everything looks beautiful! I haven't had a chance to look over the various recipes, with the exception of BC's roasted shrimp cocktail, as I've made that many, many times!!

Again thanks, as you've given me a countertop full of ideas for our upcoming house parties!!
~~~~~C


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Cheryl_Ted]
      #1207414 - 09/26/10 02:41 PM (72.59.154.152)

It's about that time, for house parties, this time of year, huh?

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CarolynandWalt
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207417 - 09/26/10 02:44 PM (71.175.89.233)

Looks like you did a fantastic job!!

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islandgem
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207438 - 09/26/10 03:58 PM (216.106.96.34)

Everything really looked wonderful Carol.Your party report was very much appreciated and all the pictures are very taste-bud stimulating! So glad it was a great success. The recipes you chose are always a crowd pleaser for sure and the devilled eggs are certainly always a big favorite at all parties!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: islandgem]
      #1207444 - 09/26/10 04:10 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks for the good words!

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periwinkle
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207474 - 09/26/10 06:53 PM (24.60.69.73)

Carol, what an awesome looking spread! And you and Eric looked GREAT in the first photo!! Love the way the trays were arranged - hey, the dip with veggies looked wonderful even if the dip was bland. I am starving at the moment so looking at all your pics sure isn't helping! GREAT JOB, including very nice melon carving!! I could really go for one of those peanut butter pretzel things, and a few deviled eggs.

Thanks so much for sharing!


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: periwinkle]
      #1207487 - 09/26/10 07:53 PM (72.59.154.152)

Hey, Connie, thanks so much for recipe for the peanut butter pretzel things!!! And the dip did look great.. Hope we can see you down island soon, one of these days!!!

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periwinkle
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1207505 - 09/26/10 09:46 PM (24.60.69.73)

Me too - it's been a loooong time!

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Temery
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: periwinkle]
      #1207679 - 09/27/10 01:41 PM (216.31.145.128)

I just loved the flowers and they were from your own garden too! Lovely job all around.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Temery]
      #1207685 - 09/27/10 02:02 PM (71.100.185.21)

There are certainly some advantages to living in Florida! The flowers are one!

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caribbeanscout
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1208272 - 09/28/10 10:16 PM (67.244.66.57)

carol, you're quite the caterer. well done! fyi: ina garten has a new release pending late october. i just pre-ordered the cookbook. here's the link if interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Contessa-...6280&sr=8-1


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: caribbeanscout]
      #1208279 - 09/28/10 10:33 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks for the heads up on that cookbook! Looks interesting!

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annie
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: caribbeanscout]
      #1208366 - 09/29/10 09:41 AM (71.226.86.33)

I LOVE cookbooks and I just have to stop myself from buying anymore. But...I only have 338 of them so maybe I can buy a few more...kind of round it up to 350!

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Annie



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: annie]
      #1208367 - 09/29/10 09:45 AM (71.100.185.21)

Mercy, Annie, where do you keep them all??

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annie
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1208408 - 09/29/10 11:02 AM (71.226.86.33)

Carol, I do have a single shelf in the kitchen with some and then two tall bookcases in the garage. I did get rid of about 50 of them last year. I just love cookbooks!

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Annie



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GaKaye
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: annie]
      #1208448 - 09/29/10 12:48 PM (173.67.254.17)

Annie, I used to buy cookbooks all the time until I realized that I just read them, but rarely made any of the recipes. Now I use Master Cook instead, and find I use it much more.

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annie
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: GaKaye]
      #1208552 - 09/29/10 04:58 PM (71.226.86.33)

Georgia, I love to read cookbooks, also! I did buy a new one about a month ago in B.J.'s...400 Chinese & Thai Recipes in a no-fat or low-fat version. There are quite a few recipes I want to try but can't get a lot of the ingredients around here. So I will either have to drive about 40 miles or so to the #1 Oriental Supermarket or order online and pay the shipping.
I have Master Cook but don't use it too often. I used to use Meal Master before I got the new computer and it won't run on this one. Bummer!

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Annie



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caribbeanscout
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: annie]
      #1208652 - 09/30/10 12:28 AM (67.244.66.57)

even as the world moves to hi-tech everything, there is a certain charm to still reading on paper (newspapers, magazines, etc), including cookbooks. i'm with you on this one. while yes, i do resort to using online references often for recipes, there is just something about cookbooks... one of my good friends would tease me, as often times my favorite nighttime readings would be a cookbook or so. by the way, i may have you beat on the cookbooks... i've lost count.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: caribbeanscout]
      #1208716 - 09/30/10 09:56 AM (71.100.185.21)

CS--I am a 'books' kinda person, always was. Give me a good real book, any day! I do look up a lot of recipes online though..

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caribbeanscout
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1208944 - 09/30/10 07:51 PM (67.142.175.27)

so what was your top pick in all of the recipes you made for your openhouse? i've made ina's shrimp cocktail a handful of times now; such a simple and tasty recipe. some of the other recipes you made, like the artichoke dip, sounds especially good.

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annie
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1208945 - 09/30/10 07:56 PM (71.226.86.33)

Carol...just a FYI...Publix has Spice Island Beau Monde.

--------------------
Annie



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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: annie]
      #1208954 - 09/30/10 08:09 PM (72.59.154.152)

Thanks for that, Annie, will need to check that out..

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: caribbeanscout]
      #1208955 - 09/30/10 08:13 PM (72.59.154.152)

Wow, I would say it is a hard choice. For me, personally, probably the artichoke dip, followed VERY closely by the chocolate pretzel bites (but only because I am not a MAJOR chocoholic---If one is a chocoholic, I think that's a no brainer number one), and then followed by the gorgonzola bites. The latter are just a very interesting combination of flavors and I had lots of people comment on them.

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Southshore
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1209243 - 10/01/10 03:29 PM (99.253.186.254)

Really nice. Loved the presentation, especially the tropical flowers and the hollowed out purple cabbage as a bowl for dip. Going to try that myself. Thanks for sharing.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Office Party Report [Re: Southshore]
      #1209255 - 10/01/10 04:02 PM (72.59.154.152)

The purple cabbage bowl was Pat's suggestion. Extremely easy and it makes a really lovely presentation!!

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