I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. Gingerbread cookies with frosting: love. Mall traffic: hate. Parities with old friends: love. Standing over a hot stove for hours: double hate. But I found the answer to every busy gal/guy's desperate holiday cry. It's kitsch. It's delicious. and it won't leaving you taking out payday loans come January 1.
I would like to say that I came up with this idea on my own, but I didn't. Last week, I went to a holiday party at a beautiful home. Everything was impeccable. So you would think the catering might be from, say the French Room or famous pink and turquoise Ruthie's Rolling Cafe food truck was parked in the driveway. Two servers dressed in all black scurried back and forth from the truck bringing meatballs, sausage slices and lobster bisque shots to the masses inside. Being the total klutz I am, I avoided anything that could fall off of a stick and onto the white furniture or carpet and opted for the lobster bisque shooters. It was thick. It was rich. And it could have held it's own against any Uptown seafood restaurant.
Next, we were passed what Ruthie's is really know for: grilled cheese sandwiches. Now this is not the kind that you remember from childhood...sure that is good when all you have left in the house is bread and cheese, but when you need a good gooey sandwich, this is the stuff dreams are made of. The standard grilled cheese in cheddar and Swiss on sourdough. It's grilled to crunchy perfection with a light buttery flavor. Ruthie lets you add stuff, too. She does a mean patty melt with a hamburger patty and sweet grilled onions, again on sourdough for the party (really you can pick from a few different breads, but this is what I would go with). We were also served a BBQ and cheddar grilled cheese. It was messy...it was sweet...it was tender...I gained 2 pounds...I don't care.
The real treat came at the end. There were several mini cupcakes to choose from. Being the investigative journalist that I am, I had to try something new: a peanut butter and jelly cupcake. It was a white cake cupcake injected with grape jelly topped off with peanut butter frosting and garnished with a Nutter Butter cookie. How was it? I ate two and insisted that every person at the party try one. You should, too.