Party Fun & Party Dip

My parents have 18 grandchildren. Considering how young they are, I’d say that is quite an accomplishment. The only issue with having such a large family is that we can’t easily gather to celebrate all the birthdays. So, my sister Colleen offered to host a big birthday/end-of-summer party at her home in honor of my twins Elinor & Juliet (1), my niece Faye (3) and my nephew Bo (4).

What I love so much about being with my family is that it is a judgement-free zone. My loud, messy, boisterous immediate family fits right in with the rest of the crowd. All the adults mind all the kids, and everyone just has fun.

The big boys terrorized each other with Power Wheels and no shirts:

The five little girls (aka “the quints”) floated blissfully in their individual baby bubbles:

The kids took turns whacking a pinata loaded with Mexican candy:

Colleen did most of the heavy lifting as far as party prep went, but everyone pitched in. My parents rented a big castle bounce house! My grandparents bought the booze! And I offered to bring whatever else she needed. Like, a homemade birthday cake. Doesn’t that look professional?! 🙂

As can be imagined, the place was a disaster zone by the time the fun wound down. Fortunately, my sisters and I all know the exquisite pain of cleaning up after a bunch of ratty kids, so we all did as much as we could to lighten the load for the hostess before we left for the night.

Cheesy, Fatty, Mexicany Hot Dip

In addition to the birthday cake, I also brought a quick homemade party dip. I’d never made it before, but the vultures my family finished it off in about four minutes so I’d say it was a hit. Chris lovingly described it as “fat on a cracker” and “like something Chili’s would sell, but in a good way.” Whatta guy!

1 8 oz block cream cheese (the full-fat kind, ok?!), room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream (maybe 3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a small baking dish.

Beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Mix in cumin, chili powder and salt. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Pour into baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot with crackers or tortilla chips.


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