2nd Annual White-d Elephant Party

You may have noticed the lack of a blog post yesterday. We, like everyone else out there in the cyber-world and real world, were wrapping up our holiday shopping and running last-minute errands. Last night was also our second white elephant gift swap in North Carolina; we hosted last year and had such a blast that we had to do it all over again. So Saturday was for partying – not for blogging.

If you don’t know the drill, everyone brings a wrapped gift of a certain value. We set the limit at $10 this year – no need to break the bank a week before Christmas right? Guests draw numbers and whoever draws numero uno picks a gift first.  Subsequent guests can either choose a new gift from under the tree or “steal” a gift that’s already been opened by someone else.

Our ground rules? You can’t immediately steal a gift back. For example, you loved your garden gnome but Suzie stole it, you have to choose another gift or steal someone elses, you can’t just steal the gnome right back.  Also, in the Whited casa, gifts can only be stolen three times before they stick.

Some of this year’s memorable gifts were an Operation board game, a bottle of Three Philosophers Belgian Brew and some rockin’ Santa Claus salt and pepper shakers with matching butter dish. And there’s no way we can forget Russel, who had a custom tee shirt printed using the design from our invite!

We supplied a bean bag bocce ball set and a Glee Season 4 CD, both on sale at Target.  We left with (figuratively of course, it was our house so we stayed) a $10 gift certificate to Guglhupf Bakery here in D-town and a queso making kit. For this half-Texan household nothing says Christmas like a brick of Velveeta and can of Rotel – oh yeah.

Here are the pics, courtesy of Matt’s cell phone. Happy Ho Ho Ho-lidays!

Want the recipe for Santa’s carne guisada and no-blender margarita’s? Here’s an early Christmas present:

Carne Guisada

  • 2 lbs of beef tips
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • warm corn tortillas and grated cheddar cheese for serving

Season your beef tips with salt and pepper, and brown them on all sides in a skillet over med-high heat.  Transfer the tips to a Crock Pot, and use the same pan (grease and all) to saute all the vegetables and garlic until tender. Mix in broth, flour and seasonings and continue to simmer on stove until smooth and creamy.  Transfer this mixture and all remaining ingredients to the Crock Pot and cook on high heat for 6 hours. Your kitchen will smell like chili and your pups’ mouths will water.

For the ‘ritas we just mix up a 16 oz. bottle of 7-Up, 12 ounces of Tequila, a bottle of Corona and a can of frozen Minute Maid Limeade and pour it all over ice. Mucho bueno – a recipe courtesy of good friends.

Hey, we said we were a half-Texan household and that half won’t be in Austin this year so we skipped the hot cocoa and spiral ham. What about you guys? Any favorite holiday recipes out there? Any one else hope to find a brick of Velveeta and can of Rotel under the tree in a few days?

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