Saturday, January 21, 2017

New Year's Reception 2017: The Fun!

I absolutely love the traditions of the US Army. I love the Army Band, pomp and circumstance, ceremonies, social events, bugle calls, uniforms ... all the big things and little things that make our military so unique and special. One of the traditions that I am thrilled to participate in is the holiday reception. We estimate that, since our quarters were built in 1870-1872 time period, that Soldiers and Families have been gathering in this home for close to 150 years! What an honor to be a part of this amazing history! Having these hero Soldiers and Families in our home is an absolute joy and I sincerely hope they enjoyed their time today.

New Year's Reception 2017: The People

We had an absolute blast hosting the leaders of the Diamond Brigade today. We divided the sessions into seven parts, one for the brigade staff leaders, and six separate sessions for the six battalions. We started at noon with 45 minute receptions and a 15 minute reset period between each one. At the end of each session, my handsome husband would make a few remarks, thanking these hardworking heroes and their families for their excellence, then we would end with a group photo outside.

It was a long day but the amazing people in the brigade made it so much fun! I have to say, it truly takes a team! BIG hugs and thanks to my neighbor and friend, Lisa, for contributing and talking me through organization and to the amazing Missy for spearing a million skewers and making prep day a total blast! Equally big hugs and thanks to the absolute heroes who spent the entire day with us, serving, replenishing, cooking, assembling, and making the day so very much fun ... Andrea and Ralph, Mackenzie and Jeremy, Carrie and Tony, and James and Missy ... We could not have pulled this off without them!

Also, a shoutout to my super sixteen-year-old, Nathan, who handled the drink station, photography, and the oven all day ... and to my Joshua, who glittered grapes, prepped the house, and helped from start to finish. They all deserve a medal for their incredible efforts.

75th Field Artillery Brigade Staff Leadership ... Tough as Diamonds!

2-4 FA Deep Attack!

3-13 FA Red Dragons!

1-14 FA Steel Warriors!

2-18 FA Mission Ready ... battalion is deployed and we enjoyed
spending time with the rear detachment and spouses!

2-20 FA Deep Strike!

100 BSB Diamond Support!

New Year's Reception 2017: The Drinks

I considered a million options for drinks for the reception and finally decided to keep it simple. Each group only had 45 minutes which included a few comments from my husband and a group photo so I opted for jar dispensers for quick and easy fill-ups. My sixteen-year-old was in charge of this station all day and did a great job mixing up lemonade, cranberry punch, and water with lime, orange, and cranberry. I also had our coffee bar available with disposable coffee cups and Keurig pods displayed.

New Year's Reception 2017: The Food

Hours on Pinterest searching and pinning and deleting and searching some more led to this final menu. The board (with all the recipes plus others that didn't make the cut) can be found here:

All of the recipes were simple, a few were slightly tedious (think rolling 200 Oreo balls, one package of Oreos at a time ... until you die), but they were fun to make and easy to serve. My amazing friend Missy skewered approximately a million antipasto skewers and was a super fun prep buddy in the kitchen. Even tedious tasks are more fun with a friend!

Oreo Truffles with white chocolate candy coating and gold glitter sprinkles

Glitter grapes, endive scoops with goat cheese, pepper jelly, and smoked almonds

Cucumber cups with red pepper hummus, feta, grape tomatoes and basil

Cheeses with pepperoni sausages

Antipasto skewers with mozzarella, sliced sausage, and stuffed olives

Cherry cheesecake dip with graham cracker sticks

Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa over cream cheese

Texas "Caviar"

Shrimp Taco Cups

Smoked Salmon Dip

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Dip with Waffle Cone "Chips"

Pigs in a Blanket with Dijon Mustard

The table setting