Monday, December 14, 2009

weekend fun

I had an amazing weekend full of so many great things that I would love to share with you. Unfortunately, it is nearly midnight on Sunday night and I am exhausted after all of the fun and amazing things that happened all weekend so it is taking all my mental powers to write this boring introduction to a few highlights of the weekend. So without any further fanfare, I'm going to jump right in and start with Friday night.

Do you recognize the woman in this photo?
That is right, Friday night I met the one and only Pioneer Woman. And you will never guess what she said to me! "You look familiar." I was a bit star struck (blog struck?) and I asked if she has seen my blog. She was so warm and friendly and chit-chatted so easily. She told me to facebook or email her. I haven't yet because, well. Just look at what happened for the rest of my weekend. (I'll tell you more about meeting her later).

You might be wondering what I ended up wearing to the fancy dress up party Friday night. Thanks for all of your votes but I ended up going with a third option. You see, Thursday night I went looking for a new top to wear for my dessert party and of course couldn't find anything I liked. But I did find this amazing dress and fell in love with it. And it was on sale, so I wore this instead:
It was literally about zero degrees outside that night so not the greatest weather for fancy parties but I had good cab luck on my way down there. Unfortunately, I was not as lucky post-party. The party was held down on Wall Street which is pretty dead in the evenings anyway. I thought luck was on my side when a cab stopped to let someone out. As I shivered on the corner waiting for the guy to pay and get out, I realized there was a problem. The passenger was extremely intoxicated and was refusing to pay and he and the cab driver were yelling at each other. The door was open so I finally yelled at the guy to just pay and get out because it was freezing. He leered at me and made incomprehensible mutterings and soon the driver was out of the cab yelling at the guy to pay an additional $40. Then I figured out the problem. I asked the cab driver if the drunk guy had puked in the cab. When the driver said yes, I opted for a long subway ride and then caught a cab for the three block walk because I probably would not have survived it in the cold.

Saturday was baking, baking, baking and more baking. Somehow I managed to get everything together just in time for the party. And I must say, I think it all turned out really well this year. Here's a quick peak at the spread: 
A couple of new items I added to the menu are French macarons:

While they were far from perfect, they passed as the real deal and I think I know how to improve them for next time. This year I ended up improvising a couple of other items that ended up being a big hit all in the spirit of not wasting anything. First up, I made marshmallow to top my brownie s'mores and had some extra so I thought back to my spring peeps experiment and decided to give it another whirl and this is what I came up with:

Snowmen! Aren't they cute? Someone even mentioned them to me tonight.

The other last-minute impulse item were these:

I had made three different frostings for three different dessert items and had quite a bit of each left over. There was less than two hours left before the party started and I hadn't yet showered for the day but my friend asked if there was anything else we could frost. My solution? Cake pops! I experimented with making cake pops one other time with a couple of friends and the results were disasterous so I probably should not have gone down this path but I had some brownies I'd baked in miniature cupcake form but they turned out a bit ugly so I wasn't planning on serving them so I thought why not try? This is where hours and hours and hours of blog reading can really pay off! I've read about cake pops on Bakerella's site and Pioneer Woman's site so often, I was able to throw these together without instructions.

We smashed the brownies up into the three different frostings, rolled them into balls and stuck them in the freezer for a bit to help them keep their shape. I dug around in my cupboard and found some white chocolate chunks which I melted with a little bit of cream and then died it red. We then dipped the balls, added sprinkles and I got in the shower while my friend finished the process because we were getting dangerously close to guest arrivals and no one needed to see me sans make-up in my yoga pants covered in flour.

As we were making this little concoction I referred to them as brownie balls and my friend said that sounded a little dirty so we started brainstorming other names which somehow devolved into Santa's balls (seriously, that is way worse than brownie balls!) and finally Rudolph's nose. But the Rudolph name didn't roll off the tongue so easily so ultimately they were called reindeer balls. Awesome, I know but somehow we all found it hilarious all evening. Oh, and people loved eating them! They were delicious. I think the reindeer balls may need to find a permanent place on the baking roster.

Today was spent sleeping in very, very late (I was up until 3 with a couple of very kind guests who helped clean up), brunching with my friend who traveled all the way from Connecticut to help me prep for the party (this is two years in a row I've had overnight guests for the party and I think it is the way to go!) and then we saw the movie Up In the Air - which I loved. I sent my friend back to Connecticut and traveled up to Inwood for a friend's party and from there I went to another party.

Needless to say, it has been a very long weekend - a good one - but a very long one. So I need to get to bed and prepare myself for the work week which actually includes a couple more parties! Gotta love the holidays!


Tiffany said...

I'm so glad you got to meet PW. Your new black dress is gorgeous, and I'm so glad you had help for your party! I love the last-minute reindeer balls. (Giggle, giggle.)

What a great weekend!

Tiffany said...

In a funny twist of coincidence, I too made "reindeer balls" yesterday!! I mashed up some brownies with cream cheese and chopped cherries, rolled them into balls, and dusted with powdered sugar. Not quite as red as yours, but tasty nonetheless! ;)

Alisa said...

I am happy for you that you got to meet Ree- I can't wait to hear more about it.
I love your green top-
Reindeer balls?? I think we may have a new tradition on our hands.
Somehow growing up, I started calling Monkey bread, "monkey balls." The name stuck. We call it that, and forget often that it sounds odd-

Annie said...

glad the party was a success! you put in so much work. it makes me tired just reading!!!

katie said...

I love the Pioneer Woman! And I need those desserts....they all look so good!

Jen said...

That green blouse you're wearing is so beautiful on you! And I'm a little jealous you met Ree.

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