At Home with Lee Ann: French Quarter Cheese

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(Photo Credit: Lee Ann Miller)

Does it stress you out to think about having people over to your house? Do you get sweaty and jittery just thinking of a house full of people? I used to. Not anymore.

In the past 10 years, I have become more relaxed and open about having people over to our home. Maybe it’s because of our kids’ ages. Maybe it’s because we had a shift in our professional life. Maybe it’s my age. But whatever the reason, because of this change in me, I have made a discovery.

Welcoming people into your home is less about perfection and more about how you make them feel. I’ve told our kids over the years that it doesn’t matter what I cook for people if I’m a jerk and treat people unkind. So, my bottom line for parties like the Super Bowl, is to create an environment in our home where people leave feeling they have been loved on. As a family, we hope they pull out of our driveway and think, “I feel so good inside.”

And not just from the yummy food.

Here are some things that have helped me enjoy myself and be more relaxed about having people over:

*I don’t invite all the people I’d like to invite to a party. Our house is perfect to accommodate 13- 20 guests. So, I keep that in mind.
*I lean on my friends who are awesome in the kitchen and help me. If all your guests are wired to go in the living room and watch the game & not help in the kitchen, you end up alone in the clean up. I have friends who love being with me in the kitchen and that is huge for our ability to entertain and for me to have fun as well.
*I let go of some of the things that are not perfect in our house. Chances are, I’m the only one that notices. Unless, of course, I point them out to our guests, which I’ve been guilty of doing, which is SO WEIRD.
*I love kids. I mean, we have children and love them to pieces. However, over the years I have become intentional about how many kids are at our parties, their ages and their behavior reputation. It only takes one badly behaved child for the other guests to wanna leave and leave quickly. Also, I try to have things like Lego’s and board games to allow kids to have a good time too.

For my Fluffy Shrimp Dip recipe, click here.

French Quarter Cheese

(Photo Credit: Lee Ann Miller)

(Photo Credit: Lee Ann Miller)

Prep time: 20 minutes
1 (8oz.) cream cheese
1/8 t. garlic salt
1 T. onion, chopped

— Mix first 3 ingredients together until light and fluffy, take a 2-3 inch cookie baller and scoop cream cheese mixture down center of serving plate

¼ c. butter
¼ c. brown sugar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
½ t. mustard
1 C. pecans, roasted and salted

— Heat butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in saucepan until ingredients are combined and well melted. Do not boil! Remove mixture from heat, and stir in nuts. Cool slightly and pour over cream cheese mixture.

*Note- I frequently double this entire recipe. Also, if you prefer your nut mixture a little more “saucy” cut back on the nuts about a ¼ to ½ cup. We serve this dip with the Townhouse FlipSides Pretzel Crackers.

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