I’m always thrilled to have an opportunity to participate in the 24, 24, 24 monthly event sponsored by Foodbuzz.  Our group of friends often coordinates girls’ night/guys’ night get-togethers where the guys all stay in to play poker, watch movies, etc. while the girls all go out for dinner, drinks, and girl talk.  However, sometimes it is fun to hold both events under the same roof.  We’re still able to spend some time with everyone as a group, but have our separate get togethers as well, not to mention this option is easier on the pocketbook and much more kid-friendly.

This time I decided to really go all out with the two separate themes to make a spread of more elegant “girl food” and a spread of more typical poker fare or “man food” for the guys.  Of course, we all sampled all of the food, but it was fun to have the two different set-ups and it was a great excuse to make some of the foods I’ve been wanting to try.

I decorated with flowers and candles in the dining room and living room.  I also made a playlist including Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to act as boy repellent :)

The menu for the ladies included the following:
Salmon Mousse Bites
California Rolls
Creamy Cucumber Canapés
Phyllo Mushroom Bundles
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Pitchers of Sex on the Beach Cocktails

I’ve been making this salmon mousse for a long time, and I absolutely love it.  It’s a nice elegant appetizer.

California rolls – yum!  These were very popular with the guests.  (And for any sushi traditionalists – yes, I know this is not a correct California roll, this is just how I like to make them.)

These cucumber canapés with herb and cheese filling were light and refreshing.

I forgot to get a photo of the phyllo mushroom bundles, but they were very tasty as well.  I have to say though, I am going to try to remember not to put phyllo on party menus from now on.  It needs to be made at the last minute, and I much prefer to have most things done in advance.

Chocolate-covered strawberries seem like a quintessential girl food, and they are always a hit.  I think they are a great addition to any dessert spread because the fruit helps balance out heavier items.

Dulce de leche sandwich cookies – wow.  Definitely one of the more decadent cookies I’ve had.  These have the wonderful warm flavor of the dulce de leche in the cookies themselves, and the filling is dulce de leche with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.

These chocolate chip cookie dough truffles have been a favorite amongst my friends for a long time.  I served them at a holiday party a couple years ago, and they have not been forgotten.  These were definitely the most popular dessert.

And my personal favorite part of the night – a big pitcher of “sex on the beach”.  This has long been one of my favorite cocktails.  I used to order it all the time in college and I am beyond thrilled to finally know how to make it at home.  We made our way through one pitcher, and started on a second.  Love it!

Best friends since kindergarten :)

Alright, now, on to the man food!  Their spread included:
Spicy Sausage Dip
Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
Football Rice Krispie Treats
Assorted Beers

First up is this spicy sausage dip.  Holy heck, it is awesome!  I like most things with sausage, but this is really fantastic.  I just wish we didn’t have any leftover because it keeps calling to me from the fridge.   I think this would be a huge hit at a Super Bowl party.

These ham and cheese pretzel bites seemed to be quite a hit.  I put out a large number, but they were almost completely gone at the end of the evening.  I made these the night before and rewarmed them just before the party to make things easier that day.  They really weren’t difficult to make though, and depending on the menu, I think they could be made just before the party as well.

Oh, the magnificent pizza bites.  I made these babies a few months ago and we devoured them in no time flat, so  I knew they had to make an appearance at the party.  I filled them with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, but I’m sure they would be wonderful with any number of fillings.  They didn’t last long!

These chicken enchilada roll-ups are a great party food.  They taste fantastic and are served cold, which makes them really convenient since they can be prepared in advance.  I found them irresistible, and others must have to because there were none left over.

Guinness chocolate cupcakes topped with playing card suit sprinkles seemed fitting for the poker game.  The Guinness cake has long been a favorite with this group, so it’s a no-brainer.  I purchased these sugar decorations, but I think you could easily make your own using candy melts or royal icing.

I had a hard time thinking of another “manly” dessert, but Rice Krispie treats seemed perfect because they are so low maintenance.  Of course, I didn’t think plain old Rice Krispie treats was quite special enough though, so I cut out football shapes, dipped in chocolate and drew on some laces.  Easy, cute, and perfect to get us pumped for the Colts game today!

The guys seemed to enjoy their food just as much as we girls enjoyed ours, and they also enjoyed their poker game which they started playing with cards but ended up playing online at https://www.onlinecasinogames.com/aristocrat/pompeii/ since it was much more fun online. We had a really wonderful night!  It was fun to have so many friends all together, and be able to have our girl time and guy time in one place.  If you are looking for recipes, I decided not to include them in this post just because it gets too long that way.  But don’t worry!  They will be posted in the next few weeks.  I’ll probably start with the guy food first, because it will be perfect for all the Super Bowl parties that are coming up.  Hopefully we’ll be watching a Colts victory!!!

Want to see my past 24, 24, 24 events?  Check them out here:
We’re Almost Doctors Celebratory Dinner
Smirnoff Summer Fun & Games Night