How I Spent My Saturday Night

Guys. I played this weekend.

The occasion:
Before my friends and I headed out to the ballet yesterday evening (it was my first-ever Nutcracker!), we had a cocktail hour at my house. And so, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon...I made food. And drinks.

Appetizers clockwise from top left:
Frisee Winter Salad
Potato and Onion Flatbread
Asian Meatballs
Risotto Torte (center)
Crostini with Brie, Figs and Honey

To drink:
Ginger-Cranberry Cocktails

Mine may look like a war zone right now, but the kitchen is one of my favorite places to play. And the six-or-so weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year's are, like, filled with reasons to get in there and create delicious dishes, tantalizing apps, sugary confections, and pleasingly potent drinks!

Lucky for me, I get a whole week of cooking with my mom, starting Wednesday! Then, Kelly and Liz and I will tear it up in preparation for the Great Martini Shake-Off this NYE! So rev up your KitchenAid mixers...it's the most wonderful time of the year!


You can call me the artisan bread maker.

Look at that! My first loaves.

I used a recipe for artisan bread. I don't know what makes it artisan bread, but I made it and so am therefore an artisan bread maker, no? Ok, just go with it.

I'm taking the bread to my small group Christmas party tonight, so I haven't actually tried it. I'll let you know how it turns out once the things are sliced and slathered with butter - which usually rights all wrongs.

Anyways, hooray for homemade bread!


I got 99 blog posts...

...And now I have 100! WooWoo! (What? What did you think I was going to finish that title with?)

There were times when I thought I'd never blog again. In fact, if you look down through the archives there on the right, you'll see I tend to hit it hard in November and then taper off in December...maybe one here or there in an early spring/summer month...usually averaging 33 posts per year. Who's to say that this year will be any different - but that won't keep me from throwing a mental party similar to the fete my beloved Gossip Girl threw when they reached 100 episodes last month. Chuck Bass included.

On a mostly unrelated note, I thought I'd share this gem, created by my coworker, office-mate and fellow carpooler, Beth.


Beth is just the best. She's one of those quiet types who, once you get to know them, are, like totally awesome. I feel like I have a knack for scoring coworkers like that. :)  Beth and I laugh and make weird noises. We quote movies and British TV shows at each other. She lets me talk in funny voices to her and looks past all my other quirks. She helps keep the day moving for me - and then we download about everything on the way home.

But mostly, I'm so very thankful for her because she also loves Chuck Bass and knows exactly how this post title should be finished. :)


Chocolates and Cookbooks

It seems the chocolate gods heard my plea for more sweet, sugary balls of goodness and sent a messenger bearing gifts in the form of a friend's out-of-town girlfriend coming and sleeping on my couch while she visited. That darling girl brought me a lovely box of chocolate treats all the way from Wheaton, IL.

Um. Yum.

And in other news, last week was our office Christmas party, and though I did not score the 50 inch flat screen TV, I did get to take home this giant:

A big, fat new cookbook, just for me! I am looking forward to the many culinary adventures we will share, Gourmet Today. We'll be good friends in no time!


Monday Morning Tactics

This morning was one of those mornings. When getting out of bed just doesn't seem to be an option, until you check your phone and realize there's only half an hour to get out the door.

That may or may not have something to do with the two Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ales I had while listening to the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars last night. But! Nothing a small Dunkin Donuts drive-through coffee can't fix. (Except now I kind of feel like that small was too small, and that I should visit the office Keurig with my trusty travel mug.)

So, in an effort to combat today's rain-induced chill and gloom, I threw on my coziest, biggest green plaid scarf and brought some nourishing turkey and quinoa soup and two homemade buttermilk biscuits for lunch. Looking forward to that for sure. Plus, I've got my Christmas Pandora station going strong here in the office.

Here's hoping I can feel warm and snug even outside of my quilts and pillows and kitty.

What are your go-to tactics for fending off the winter chill and gloom when crawling back in bed isn't an option?