What's Cookin, Chicago Annual Holiday Party 2009

It was yet another fun annual holiday party with my friends of What's Cookin, Chicago. We had a great turnout and our holiday table was filled with all sorts of wonderful eats. I prepared a table of appetizers and desserts while my friends brought some of their favorite holiday main and side dishes to the table. Here are pictures of the appetizer spread I prepared...

Vegetable Crudite Platter

Assorted Crackers & Fresh/Dried Fruit

Caprese Pizza Squares
Spinach & Italian Sausage Pizza Squares
Bruschetta Topped with Olive Tapenade
Bruschetta Topped with Balsamic Tomatoes & Parmesan
Bruschetta Topped with Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

Spicy Taco Cheeseball
Buffalo Chicken Cheeseball
Gorgonzola and Toasted Shallot Cheeseball
Beer Cheese Fondue
Spinach & Artichoke Fondue (seen below)
Traditional Swiss & Emmentaler Fondue (seen below)

Even after the appetizer spread I put out, there was still a long table of main and side dishes my friends brought in to enjoy! There were just so many items that it's probably easier to provide a slide show of our feast than to post each dish individually. Here's a slideshow of all the amazing eats my friends filled our holiday table with!

As if there wasn't enough food, we couldn't forget about dessert. I didn't make quite that much but everyone was still able to satisfy their sweet tooth with the offerings I had including...

Mini Pecan Pie Poppers
Mini Caramel Apple Pie Poppers
Cupcake Tree:
Red Velvet
German Chocolate
White Cake with Sprinkles

.. and an Eli's Cheesecake Tower:Turtle Cheesecake
Sticky Toffee Cheesecake
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

After our buffet dinner, we all gathered for our annual 'white elephant' gift exchange. Friends all brought in a kitchen or food related item they already had at home, which they no longer wanted or needed. Each item was wrapped and brought to the party for us to exchange. It's the highlight of our party that was full of laughs! Some gifts were funny, random kitchen/food items and others were considered 'prize' gifts that many coveted. All in all, it was a fabulous night of friends, food and fun.

Here's hoping your holiday with friends and family was memorable this year!


  1. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. what kind of back handed comment is that? JoElen's blog is great old or new!

  3. I love your buffalo chicken cheese ball and wondered if you would share that awesome recipe with readers at