Monday, December 14, 2009

Neighborhood COOKIE & BEER EXCHANGE PARTY - Sausages/Beer Cheese Soup and Cookies!

This is one of those, "Don't you wish you lived in my neighborhood" posts...

But first the set up. I am a foodie, I love to have "event" parties... but, I am not gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that; just sharing. Having said that, I see all you wonderful ladies sharing your cookie making and organizing little cookie exchange parties. I was pondering attempting to organize one of those for my friends and neighbors, when it dawned on me that for me to bring up the idea, it would sound a bit like Rock Hudson was hosting this bash. So, I spent a bit of time pondering how to "butch" the event up a bit.

Let the "foodies" share their cookie exchange, and at the same time, let the "butchies" share a HOLIDAY BEER EXCHANGE! Same rules as a cookie exchange (except no leftovers to take home, and best to have this as a neighborhood event, no driving!). Bring enough of a seasonal or personal favorite brew to share...

And just to butch the night up a bit more...

BEER Cheese Soup, served with BEER simmered grilled Sausages (those incredible Cherry Chipotle Sausages I bought a few days earlier from my new local candy... er, I mean butcher shop (Click HERE for those details). Funny, but the other real cook in our group who happens to also be a guy, and happens to not be gay (not that there is anything wrong with that) was over compensating as well, and brought a spectacular batch of CHICKEN WINGS to share...

If any one is considering a move, there is a house for sale in our neighborhood... Honestly, don't you wish you were invited to this party!!!

Every party should have a theme... Beer in the soup...

Beer braised sausages...

And the party started with beer as an appetizer...

Click the picture of the beer above to enlarge... My contribution to the exchange was HE'BREW. A round of their Messiah Bold – "The One You’ve Been Waiting For’’ as an appetizer, and the gayest/butchest (not that there is anything wrong with that) party I ever hosted was off and running...

I will be blogging individual posts about the meal, as well as a cookie post in the next day or two. But, the above picture shows Jackie and my contributions to the night. Jackie made a recipe from her grandmother, those peanut butter thumbprint chocolate star thingies in the upper left. Drop a comment of encouragement, and I may get her to guest blog that recipe. I made a Chocolate Kahlua Shortbread Cookie, dusted with powdered sugar and Orange Zest, and a Pecan Lace Orange Zested Buttercream beauty (Pecans are a very versatile nut, au gratin potatoes and cookies are enhanced by this nut). Both of these are bastardized versions of other blogger's recipes, and I will be Posting my experiences with them soon.

Above is my neighbor, Herme's contribution. By the time we finished our meal, and the guys (and a couple of the ladies) had finished sharing their beer exchange, we all had comments to make about (as she called them), HERME's PEPPERMINT NIPPLES. The ladies all said they tasted great... The (by this time) slightly drunken guys all made different comments.

Didn't get a name or recipe for these, but look at all the effort to make them so festive!

So, there you go... A night that will live in infamy around the neighborhood. My very first HOLIDAY COOKIE/BEER EXCHANGE. Everyone had a fun night. Everyone has a plate full of different cookies to take to their inconvenient day jobs and pretend that they made all these different cookies themselves (isn't that the point to these exchanges???).

Ladies, don't leave your spouses out of your holiday exchange parties. With the right type of party, they will have an amazing time!!!

...But, as the say in Star Trek: the Next Generation, "All Good Things"...

It was pretty easy to tell when the night should end. No matter how festive the look, no matter how funny you think it is, decorating with beer bottles just is not as good of an idea the morning after...

I am so ashamed of this picture

This post is lovingly dedicated to my best friend Jim. Jim was such a kind soul, who loved life and was a joy to be with. He happened to be gay (not that there was anything wrong with that). he passed away three years ago, and while I was preping the event, I really missed him.

He would have loved this party.


  1. Hi Dave! Yes indeed that looks like quite the party! All the cookies and all the beer (and wine too?) So was it a party or a true cookie exchange too? Did everyone bring a dozen cookies for each person attending? So you leave the party with 8 dozen cookies and a decent buzz? Hehehe... So DO TELL... the sausages... do you grill them then boil them in beer or the other way round? I can't wait! Everything looked fantastic! I'll be watching for recipes!
    Merry Merry!
    ~Really Rainey~

  2. Oh yes I do wish I lived in your neighborhood! How fun!! I look forward to hearing more about it!

  3. Hey there. This is Zak Davis from Shmaltz Brewing Company, the makers of HE'BREW: The Chosen Beer. Thanks so much for including Messiah Bold in your holiday festivities. Hope you enjoyed it. L'Chaim!! ~Zak

  4. Looks like a fun party! Lots of good food, drink and cookies!

  5. Love the idea for the beer/cookie exchange. I bet you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Damn, I wish you were our neighbor. You and Mr Food would get along really well!

  7. Looks like a great party! Glad you are liking the cookies!
    As for what I am doing with all of these cookies? I have 2 very busy kids. One is a competetive ice skater, they both do karate and the other one races BMX bikes. I have lots of unsuspecting people to dump these on. Last year I had to resort ot drop and rings on my neighbors doorsteps but so far this year no one is running from me!

  8. I do wish I lived next door and I thought we had a fun cul-de-sac! The eats look wonderful too!

  9. Beer and cheddar soup is amazing and beer braised brats rock. When I am grilling brats I always have a steamer pan full of beer, onions, garlic, paprika, sauerkraut, caraway seeds, etc on the grill. This way I can store brats in a flavorful liquid so they do not overcook.

  10. Wow, that does look like a party I would like to go to!

  11. Beer exchange?! Yes. Yes I do wish I lived in your neighborhood.

  12. Dave, that is a great looking party. Ours is so large, we have to hold it outdoors and this year we got rained out. It is in upper 70's today with 11 days to go to Xmas. I can't wait for winter to arrive!

    Outdoor Cooking Guild Member

  13. Now that is some party! So nice you are friendly with your neighbors; we don't even know the names of the people around us whose land abuts ours, no kidding. Talk about the cold, stoic New Englander, geesh!

    All the cookies look deee-lish. Would love to see your beloved's recipe.

  14. Seriously, I do have neighborhood envy! That is my kind of party.

  15. What a great party. We have had a hot sauce exhange but never a beer exchange. What a great idea. Merry Christmas.

  16. Be nice to have another friend around here that could cook.. It's pretty much me..

  17. Can I get a good price on the house? We would love to live by you, however we're not fancy beer drinkers. Bud Light for me, Pabst for him, oh, I love Margaritta Fridays! Oh my apricot cookies go well with beer, I think.

  18. What fun! SInce you already have my address how about you have your realtor send me info on the house for sale - I'd love to be your neighbor! Then again, there's the Virgin Islands thing ahead for you. Maybe I'll move my family into that multi family home with you and the gang instead. I do prefer the warmer weather :-)

  19. Your group of friends sounds a lot like ours. lol. I am still cracking up at those nipple cookies and the corruption of that poor baby doll. What a good idea for a cookie/beer exchange. Way to "butch it up"!

    Thanks for you your comments lately. Busy, busy week, but I'm finally catching up on reading other blogs. I'm off now to comment on your nutella croissants...

    Oh, btw...the jars for my peppermint stick cocoa are just pint-sized canning jars from my basement. Most of them Ball jars, manufactured in my home state, Indiana. However, that Hershey's jar came from my grandma's canning jar collection. I think that she purchased it filled with fudge ice cream topping. Amazingly, it perfectly fits the canning lids and rings for narrow mouth canning jars. It was an excellent fit for this project!

  20. What a great shindig ya'll had, cher! And yes, I wish that you lived in my neigborhood! Those cookies that you and Jackie made look divine! Love all the beer and food, too!
    So sorry for the loss of your best friend. Hugs!

  21. My goodness, you guys sure know how to throw a party! I love seeing all the sausages and beer and followed by beautiful delicate cookies. What a hoot!

  22. Dave, not sure if this is the place to post an answer to your question about the banana pancakes, but here goes.

    Overripe bananas are best, having the most banana flavor. As long as there are no fruit flies involved and the banana hasn't turned to liquid, I've been known to use bananas that are practically black. Hope this helps.

  23. You are my kinda guy. Id Love to party with you. Your parties sound like a blast!!

  24. Heck yes, tell Jackie to do a guest post on her cookies. Love how you combined beer and cookies (not that there's anything wrong with that). You keep me laughing.

  25. Now if only you could find a way to infuse beer into cookies...I would be amazed.

    This is definitely a great way to butch up a cookie party. Although I really can't imagine what isn't manly about a cookie party. Everyone likes cookies, after all. :p

  26. This is so fun, how I wish to be your neighbour :D

  27. Your neighbors must love you - a lot :-). You do everything with your whole heart and soul. Everything sounds delicious.

  28. Yum, beer in everything! I made bread bowls for Chris's beer soup recipe last week, and it was the bomb, so I know you made lots of people happy!

  29. The food looks great...I'm in the mood for braising sausages tonight and you've given me some ideas ~evil grin~.

    The cookies look great too...that doll picture - love it!!!

  30. Dave!!!
    What A GREAT IDEA!!!
    The food looks great too …
    But A Beer Exchange…
    That’s fun stuff…
    Do you have a guest room…
    I am coming over on the next flight…
    Ken & Patti
    Date Night Doins

  31. Hey, I made those peppermint nipple cookies last year! I didn't call them that, but they are the same cookie! Great minds think alike!

  32. What a fun party idea. LMAO at the doll!