Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekend Wanderings: Holiday Party

This was a very festive, very relaxing weekend. On Friday, I met up with my cousin and his girlfriend for drinks at the Rattle & Hum, and we wandered over to Macy's so they could see the lights for a bit before I headed home to make desserts for Saturday's non-denominational holiday party. It's rare that I have enough cooking to do that I start the night ahead of time, and I'm so glad I did, because it was really down-to-the-wire on Saturday and not needing to worry about the cookies was a big help. For desserts, I made almond cookies, molasses spice cookies and cake balls. The most successful of these was definitely the spice cookies (Martha Stewart by way of a coworker). The almond cookies tasted good, but were more like sugar cookies (both in taste and texture) than the macarons I wanted them to be. France clearly can't come fast enough!

Saturday was spent entirely in preparation for the party, with the exception of a quick run to not one, not two, but three post-offices to mail out my parents' Christmas cards. (After all that, they still won't be collected until noon today. And I didn't get the batch of holiday "forever stamps" I was promised in return for donating my leftovers to the greater-good-family-fund. In time, friends.) When I woke up a little frantic at around 10am (apparently, my body doesn't like the idea of waking up at 8am after making cake balls until 2am), an overwhelming feeling of oh-my-god-I-don't-have-enough-food-or-drinks-for-this-party came over me and I went a little nuts making way too much food, including a cheese platter (cranberry goat, blueberry goat, baked brie, mozzarella, cheddar, hummus, and four types of crackers), a puff-pastry platter (spanakopita, pigs-in-a-blanket, potato puffs, beef puffs, and my mother's famous crab Rangoon), three pizzas (this amazing puff-pastry one, along with a margherita and a pesto/sauteed-onion), and two quiches (both cheddar and broccoli, one with bacon, one vegetarian). These, combined with Roger and I both buying beer, along with all the wonderful things (including homemade hummus, sugar cookies, and Bailey's cupcakes, raspberry-wasabi dipping sauce and so, so much wine) brought by friends, made for an evening filled to the brim. The party went on longer than I anticipated, and it was amazing to catch up with so many people, though, of course, I wish I had more time to talk to everyone. The holiday party is a little tradition that's been going on in one form or another since I was in high school, and now it's the only time I see some of the people who come, so it's really important to me to have it. The guest list has expanded and changed over the years, but it's always a blast and I'm so glad to have been able to work it out this year.

Today, shopping with my mother and sister couldn't wait the way cooking on Saturday could, so I dragged myself out of bed to head over to Woodbury Commons at 8:30am. I'm still very much behind on my holiday shopping (which is really embarrassing when I admit that I usually get gifts for a whopping total of 10 people, most of whom are family or close-enough to be family), but I did pick up three gifts, and a few things that I "needed" for our trip. One thing I've noticed about traveling is that I use it as an excuse to buy things before I go (let's not even talk about once I get there). Iceland? I "needed" hiking boots and a ski-jacket. Maine? A camp shirt and lanterns. France? Apparently a fleece and two striped shirts. I'm going to justify this by saying that I've actually used the boots, jacket, shirt and lanterns way, way more often than I would have reasonably imagined I would, and who couldn't use a mid-weight jacket and more three-quarter sleeve blouses for work? No spoilers for gifts that were purchased, but let me just say - if you're near Woodbury and you need anything for your kitchen, the Williams-Sonoma outlet is closing, and their sales are great.

A few things missing from this weekend's post: pictures (sorry!) and applications (not sorry!). One thing not missing: a really nice time spent with friends and family.


  1. Reading your holiday musings warmed my heart's cockles....I missed my American Christmas this year. I hope you and RogDog have a tremendous NYE celebration and I miss you both!

  2. Reading your holiday musings warmed my heart's cockles....I missed my American Christmas this year. I hope you and RogDog have a tremendous NYE celebration and I miss you both!