Q: Do you always have it at your house?
A: Yes, we usually have it at my house unless we decide to go to one of our favorite restaurants. Usually during the cooler months and always at Christmas, we party at my house because the girls know I love to entertain and cook. We also have the outside kitchen area and the pool, so it makes for a relaxing evening or a party atmosphere - whatever we're in the mood for.
Q: Do y'all ever invite the husbands and kids?
A: Nope. Nada. Ain't happening. Hell, naw! Kids and men are not allowed. With one stipulation: Wayne's only beef with having GNO at our house is that he and Alise get to share in the party food. That's the only deal. They fix their plates and then vanish.
Q: Do you always make the same things for GNO?
A: Great question! One of the reasons I enjoy having the girls over is because it's the perfect opportunity to try new recipes. An example would be the chocolate chip cheese ball that I'm about to share. I found it on Pinterest, made a few adjustments to the recipe, and wah-la! I new favorite was born! So, no, I do not always make the same things and I try to switch up our favorites to keep the girls guessing.
Q: Do you do ALL the cooking or do your friends bring things, too?
A: I provide about 75% of the party apps and all the beverages. The girls always bring something and it varies as to their busyness and lives, too. For instance, one of my friends, always, always, ALWAYS brings southwestern egg rolls with chipotle dip. Last week, as she was pulling in the driveway, Wayne said, "Alright!! Leigh's here! I know she's got some southwestern egg rolls!" Nope! We all had a big laugh! She brought spinach dip and veggies! Of course the rest of us girls were like, "Leigh?? WTH??!!" We've NEVER had veggies for GNO!! But Leigh was dieting and that's what she brought and we tried it and then we went back to eating our chocolate cheese ball! Ha! One time, Jessica's husband made us authentic guacamole! It was da bomb!
Q: What types of food do you normally have for GNO?
A: I've never made like a full meal. I usually have one heavy appetizer and sub smaller entrees and sides with it or just do a bunch of small sides. For instance, in the early spring, I like to serve steamed shrimp as a heavy appetizer. I let our local grocery store steam the shrimp and then I chill them until the girls arrive and then serve them on a bed of ice. I usually have two different dips - one is usually queso! - and two sweet treats. Other heavy apps are meatballs, taco cups, polish mistakes, and party rolls. As for beverages, I serve it all to fit everyone's taste, but I like to have a "drink on the house." This past week, I made peach bellinis from a mix that uses sparkling white wine! I think it was our all time favorite adult beverage!
So now on to the recipe! My version was adapted from this recipe, Chocolate S'mores Cheeseball from Crazy For Crust (a favorite food blog of mine). Here's my version:
8 oz. cream cheese (I find that the Great Value brand is easier to work with)
1/3 cup marshmallow fluff
4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of salt
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1. Beat cream cheese and marshmallow fluff until smooth. Melt 1 ounce of the baking chocolate until melted and add to cream cheese mixture. Beat for about a minute. Add vanilla, salt, powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips.
2. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and spoon mixture into the bowl, forming a ball shape. I let mine refrigerate over night in the bowl.
3. Thirty minutes before party, unwrap ball and roll in remaining cup of mini chocolate chips to cover (I've rolled in the chocolate chunks before, too, but I got lazy last week. What can I say?) Serve with graham crackers, waffle cone pieces, vanilla wafers, and fruit.
I hope you and enjoy this recipe as much as me and the girls do! It's perfect for summer!