Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ladies Poker Night

You say, girls can't play poker. Want to bet? You'll lose that bet with our group of girls who recently finished our first evening playing texas hold'em. There were no cigars at this event, only margaritas, appetizers and a dessert...o.k. and a cheat sheet here and there. It was a blast! Not only did we laugh a lot, the competitive nature in all of us came out. Seriously, economic times are tough. Who can't use a couple extra bucks, even if you have to po"ker" or po"kem" to get it. If you want to plan a poker party of your own - here are some tips on how to get started.

The Lowdown:
- Invite 8 people to play and set table accordingly.
- 1 deck of cards per table
- Set out poker chips in increments of what your buy in set at. Our buy in was $20. 20 white
chips @.10 = $2.00, 25 blue chips @.20 = $5.00, and 13 black chips @ 1.00 = $13.00
- Set out cheat sheets of what wins for each girls.

Before the game starts you must determine the answers to these questions first:
- Do you want to end at a certain time and the person with the most chips wins?
Our pot was $140. First place received $80, second place - $40, and third place - $20.
- Do you want to increase the blinds every hour?
- Is there a max bet or do you want to be able to play - ALL in?
- Can the girls buy in again if they get out early?

Those are the basics of the game and should help you get started. Watch the poker channel or rent the movie ROUNDERS with Matt Damon. That should teach you the art of bluffing which is what poker is really all about. You can work on reading other players tell and perfecting your own strategy and keep the girls wondering what you are holding. (This of course didn't happen in our group and we played every hand to the river and "shared" with each other what we had. )

Half of us left with empty pockets but we all had full stomachs from the fabulous appetizers and desserts. Here is the recipe for the mini cheesecakes that were served.

For crust (put in food processor for best results)
-15 whole graham cracker (10 ounces total), broken.
-1 sticks chilled unsalted butter, diced
-1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar

For filling
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- .875 cups sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1.25 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1.5 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 medium eggs

For topping
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Or Top with whip cream and a sliced strawberry as shown above.
Make crust:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Get a mini cheescake pan. Combine graham crackers, butter and sugar in processor. Using on/off turns, blend until crumbs begin to stick together. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 3/4 inches up sides of springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

Make filling:

Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in large bowl until very smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs and beat just until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour batter into crust just a sliver below the top of the tray.

Bake cheesecake until outer 2-inch edge of cake os puffed and slightly cracked, center is just set and top is brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Transfer cake to rack. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Top with Topping. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Decorate your own poker centerpiece.


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Thanks for sharing!