Thanks for such a warm welcome back!
As planned, I braved the “blizzard” last night so that I could attend Joey and Nicole’s annual Christmas Party. I’ve been hearing about it for ages from Erin Gunn Brennan, but this was the first year I was actually able to go. After an intricate commute involving the subway, PATH, and NJ Transit, I finally arrived to this beautiful sight:
Nicole had cooked up a storm, and more food kept arriving with every guest. I obviously had some of everything, with everything including cheese and crackers, baked brie, risotto balls with marinara sauce, 3-later bean dip, bruschetta, celery and cheesy buffalo chicken dip (the best!).
The party had two requirements for entry. First, every guest had to come attired in an “ugly sweater.” Erin Gunn and Allan modeled:
(Allan decorated his sweater all by himself!)
The appetizer table continued to grow, with spinach artichoke dip …
… and bacon-wrapped cream cheese toasts …
… and a taco roll:
Of course, I was full by the time dinner came out. (Oh wait, did you think all that was for dinner??) There was a 6-foot salami and cheese sandwich, but the real star was Nicole’s penne a la vodka and meatballs!
I made myself a plate (with tomato-mozzarella salad, too) because I loooooooooooove penne a la vodka:
And then, Santa arrived!!!!
Everyone was SO excited:
Which brings us to the second requirement for entry: a gift for the White Elephant (aka a Yankee swap, headed up by Santa himself).
I picked lucky #19, and the gift I chose contained two bottles of Jameson. But I’d had my eye on #2’s present:
Obviously, I swapped my two bottles of Jameson for the cheapest ice cream maker ever.
After the gifts, some brave souls bundled up to go sledding in the backyard:
Others were less bundled:
Significantly less bundled:
Rationally, I stayed inside and watched the dinner table transform into this:
I made myself a dessert plate including red velvet cake, Erin Gunn’s red and green cupcakes, an oreo ball, and a macaroon:
A broom became available after a few ornaments met an unfortunate fate, so AK demonstrated his broom bass abilities:
I finally broke into the liquor supply around midnight:
The chocolate liquor supply, that is!
I love everything mini …
… but it was cuter than it tasted.
Meanwhile, the boxes of beer on the porch primped for their photo shoot:
Just like in the commercials, as Erin Gunn pointed out:
Eventually, everyone started to feel too old for this craziness:
We moved the party downstairs, where I napped on the floor until Erin Gunn gave me permission to go to bed for real.
This morning, there was a mad rush to inhale the breakfast of champions: penne a la vodka, macaroons, meatballs, and PBR:
I had two plates of pasta, a meatball, and approximately five macaroons. I hope I don’t have to eat again for a long time!
24 hours, 30 pounds of food, and unquantifiable amounts of fun after I departed from Brooklyn, I was home again (with my ice cream maker safely in tow). I think a nap is definitely in order 😛