Where my girls at? Sarah, Susan, Lauren and Jen are in the house. Yay!
Holy eating and drinking, Batman.
So, yeah. I’ve totally been MIA on the Internets for a week. That’s because Mark and I had a Thanksgiving Eve soiree and then Thanksgiving Part I with my family on Thursday and Thanksgiving Part II with Mark’s family on Friday.
Plus, this Saturday was my class reunion, and I of course, am on the reunion planning committee.
So the past week has just been one big party. Or preparing for a party. And cooking for a party. And cleaning for the party. And cleaning after the party. And helping my aunt and mom and mother-in-law and everybody else with their parties.
And shopping. It’s not Thanksgiving weekend without shopping.
Thanksgiving Eve is so one of my most fav days of the year. Since being hitched, Mark and I have hosted a Thanksgiving Eve soiree complete with booze and appies and good friends and good tunes. Really, what more do you need?
Among those in attendance were my three best girls from my grammar, middle and high school days. I've known Lauren since kindergarten. Sarah and I met in third grade when we both made Enrichment. Lauren is still bitter that she did not make Enrichment until like fifth grade and was then asked to not come back until some point in middle school. Lauren was the salutatorian of my class and went on to Princeton for undergrad and Johns Hopkins for her graduate degree. So, I think she overcame the Enrichment hurdle because she is majorly stacked with brains.
Girlfriend can't spell to save her life though.
Lauren works for the U.N. in NYC. She's also a baby mamma to Dylan and has a new baby on the way. Super fantastic awesome!!!! I love it so much when she and her hubs Brian come to H'town.
Sarah is an uber kick ass lawyer. She was the Numero Uno valedictorian of my high school class. Sarah has lived everywhere that is awesome and fabulous. New York, Los Angeles, all over Italy, London. For several years, she's been back in glamourous Atlantic County, New Jersey. For selfish purposes, I am so very thrilled about this. Me and Sarah and the husbands love to hang. Sarah is also my shopping partner in crime, when she isn't working. Because Sarah truly is ALWAYS working. Sarah is married to Colin and has two super cute doggies, Truman Capote and Harper Lee.
Can you tell my people are bookish?
Then, we have Jen. Jen is made of awesome. Do you know how over-the-top thrilled we were when Jenny walked through my door on Wednesday night? OMG. So very much. Jen is having a really rough go. Her mom is very, very, gravely ill. Jen took a leave of absence from her teaching and coaching job in Chicago to come back home and help care for her mother. If you need anything, Jen will help you. Always. No questions asked.
We didn't meet Jen until freshman year of high school. That's because Jenny grew up in Folsom, a suburb of Hammonton. So, she went to a different elementary and middle school. Upon arrival in high school, Jen was in all of our classes. Jen is an amazing athlete. She was a tennis and basketball star extraordinaire back in our day. She just had the competitive drive that made her want to win and win big. I love me some Jen.
Many of my guests commented that they were getting a Martha Stewart-on-crack/Stepford Wife vibe since I get my blitzed-out Christmas tree up in time for Thanksgiving Eve.
I also cooked a lot of eats. And my friends brought a bunch of goodies, too.
I thought I would share with you my mom’s world-famous Pepperoni Bread since most of my friends assured me the Pepperoni Bread is really the only thing that keeps them coming back year after year.
(Sarcasm is a common trait amongst my hometown friends.)
And being Italian.
And really smart and good-looking.
The Pepperoni Bread is probably one of the easiest things you could ever make. Seriously. And yet, people will think you are a culinary mastermind if you bust this out at your next gathering. This recipe comes from my mom. She always made it for parties, so now I follow in her footsteps.
Brian and Colin talk it out.
Tucker and Suzie
Will, Frank, Cenzo and Larry
Mark and John
Me and Mark
Mark and the star of the show, Pepperoni Bread
(Makes four loaves)
2 1-lb bags of pizza dough
1.25 lbs. sliced pepperoni
1.25 lbs. sliced hot pepper cheese
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle olive oil on two baking sheets. Rub all over baking sheets with paper towels.
Divide each 1 lb. ball of pizza dough in half so that you have four balls of dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of pizza dough. The dough should measure about 8 inches by 12 inches.
Cover dough with a layer hot pepper cheese. Cover hot pepper cheese with a layer of pepperoni.
Starting at the end closet toward you, tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Seal the ends by pinching the dough. Place roll on baking sheet.
Repeat with three other balls of dough and remaining pepperoni and cheese.
You may place two rolls side by side, facing vertically, on the baking sheet.
Cover with a clean dish towel until ready to bake.
Note: You may prepare the rolls well before you bake them.
Bake at 375 degrees for 17 to 21 minutes. Rolls should be golden brown.
Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.