Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nabisco's Simple Holiday Pleasures House Party- How It Went

Well! I had my Nabisco Simple Holiday Pleasures House Party today! It actually turned out pretty well, considering that suddenly my guest toilet stopped flushing and my fridge stopped working! Plus my inability to remember any semblance of a plan.

I made a Caramel Apple Crisp with some of the Nilla Wafers they sent. I had planned to make Chocolate Mallow Squares, but changed my mind at the last minute and made a Chocolate Mousse Torte instead. I had 3 easy recipes for the kids to try, 3-Minute Apple Cobbler, Nilla Cookie-Wiches and my Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes that I did with the cooking class this summer. And my sister arrived early and helped me make crockpot meatballs and her to-die-for herb cream cheese spread [seriously. Omnomnom.]

I even set up my Mrs Tea to have hot water for the Maxwell House International Cafe, and set up a little drink station with mugs, spoons, a spoon rest and all 3 flavors they sent me - Mocha Latte, Vanilla Caramel Latte and Hazelnut. I tried the Mocha and Hazelnut flavors and enjoyed them both, although the coffee taste seemed stronger int he Hazelnut, but my Mocha one could have used more of the drink mix in it, so it may have just been too weak over all. (I was guestimating, rather than measuring with a teaspoon, and had random amounts of hot water each time.) I like my coffee drinks milky, sweet and flavored, so these are perfect for me, especially since a whole little canister is cheaper than a small drink at Starbucks! And I *love* the canisters and will find fun uses for them when the coffee is all gone!

It would have made more sense for me to make the Mousse Torte the day before the party, since it needed to chill at least 3 hours, and the Apple Crisp the day of, since it's best served warm, but I had to throw logic to the wind and do it the other way around. Luckily the meatballs and the Apple Crisp cook at the same temp, so I just popped the Crisp in the oven after taking the meatballs out and let it heat back up. The apples were nice and moist and the perfect firmness, and the peels weren't a problem. (The recipe hadn't specified to peel them, but my sister was initially leery, since she always peels hers.) I must have sliced them thinly enough! Hooray!

The Mousse Torte was more of a rich pudding, but my husband the mousse fiend said it was pretty good, so YAY ME! It was weirdly lumpy, since the chocolate was more solid than the pudding, even though I mixed it really well and it looked smooth. And the cream cheese/Cool Whip part was lumpy as well, and I even used the mixer just like the directions said! Oh well. Most of it was gone by the end, so it went over pretty well!
The kids liked 'cooking' their own desserts, and I changed the Nilla Cookie-Wich recipe and used Nutella instead of peanut butter and chocolate shreds (leftover from the mousse) instead of chopped peanuts, so it was more like S'mores. They even came up with some improvisations of their own and used sprinkles instead of/in addition to the chocolate shreds.

And everyone got to take home some Nilla Wafers, a Nilla Wafers logo magnet, a magnetic grocery list pad and a set of recipe cards with 4 recipes (including the Mousse one, which isn't on the Nabisco website!) and $1 off International Cafe coupons!

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