Thursday, September 18, 2014

Party All Night

Ever since I moved in with Puff, he has wanted us to host a party at our house. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret - throwing parties aren't really my thing. They require a lot of prep work, and with a rambunctious toddler who takes up a lot of my time, I just was never all that keen on making it happen. However, with all the tension at work recently, it was high time I bit the bullet. Especially after a handful of us realized that those in the offices that surround our cubes were having parties and not inviting us.
Cue the "Cubeland Party!"
No doors allowed.
I had a sick day that I had to use or lose, so I took it the day before the party to prep. It just so happened to be the day that Puff had to unexpectedly head to visit his ailing father. But that meant both he and Bimmer were out of the house, so I could get my cook on.
Yes, you read that correctly. I was going to actually prepare food for this soiree!
The first thing I tackled was the item I thought would be most simple - Cheesecake Fruit Dip. Yes, I got the recipe from Pinterest. And yes, it was delicious. I kinda sorta wanted to lick the entire bowl. And outside a mishap with accidentally turning the mixer on higher, instead of off, it was super easy and quick to make. I served it with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and apple slices. I will definitely be using this again for any future parties!
When searching Pinterest for recipes, I realized that most of my board is covered with desserts. So I had a great selection to choose from. However, I wanted something super simple and quick and easy. And chocolate. Or well, Nutella flavored. Since I'm a whore for some Nutella. So I stumbled across some Nutella Gooey Butter Cookies that looked easy enough, so I went with it. (Another co-worker was bringing some blondies in case my Nutella fascination wasn't shared by all in attendance.) They were amazing and got rave reviews. I sent lots of them home in baggies. And they were fresh for several days afterwards too.
Inspired by this post of a Strawberry Spinach Salad, I sorta winged it with putting this one together. I wanted something green and healthy for those in my group who like to eat that way. (I don't care for spinach, so I actually didn't eat any of this.) But since all it took was emptying out a bag of salad, slicing some strawberries, and tossing in some sliced almonds... I was down with that. I actually threw it together right before they arrived at the house. As for dressing? Well, I didn't get all fancy and try to make my own. I'm not that adventurous. (Nor did I want to buy things like paprika that I knew I would never use again!) So I just bought some poppyseed dressing and also had on hand Ranch and Italian. That way they could pick their own option.
Since I was preparing everything the day before, the spread pretty much became all cold items. (I did hem and haw about this for half a second but decided to not worry about it). I did a Pinterest search of a bunch of pasta salad recipes and just decided to throw something together that sorta kinda sounded about right. I mixed and matched a few and while I was at the grocery store, I threw in my cart some spiral pasta, zesty Italian dressing, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Total crap shoot - especially since I don't normally eat tomatoes, or, ya know, cook in general. But I thought it at least looked pretty!
The item I was most scared about making was the dip. I found several variations of a loaded potato dip, but this Neiman Marcus dip won for me. I also cheated a little bit and bought already shredded cheese. No sense in making more work for myself, right? I wasn't so sure I would like this dip, but ohmyheavens. It was everyone's favorite. And I could seriously just make a bowl of it and eat it for dinner.
So how did the party go after all of that prep? WONDERFULLY!!! All 8 of us who work in Cubeland were able to make it and we hung out for a few hours, had some frozen drinks, (and my new fave Malibu rum mixture - with raspberry lemonade) and ate and chatted and played with Bimmer. (Since Puff had to go to visit his dad last minute, she was an unexpected guest at the party, but she was so well behaved!!!) I am so grateful for the relationships I have with these girls. I know there will be changes coming soon to the dynamics of our office and I cherish the time I get to spend with them.

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