Saturday night was my Annual Holiday Party with the Costa Mesa Crew. The party is definitely getting bigger (compared to last year) with two new kids joining the party this year, and the announcement of another. Robin graciously hosted the party again, while i cooked up two versions of Pot Roast, a traditional one with gravy, and another Asian styled one. Unbeknownst to me, was that I basically made Beef Noodle Soup, without the noodles.
Robin made his famous pecan tarts, and a big batch of mussels. Shane and Joann made some spinach and artichoke dip, and mac and cheese. Jen and Andy made the mashed potatoes, while Tiffany and Ben brought some roasted vegetables and some lemon curd cupcakes.
It was fun watching the kids of the same ages interact with each other, and play without too much supervision. Can’t wait until next year when Alice will be a year old and get to play too instead of hanging out on our shoulders all night.
Saturday Joy and I headed over to her friend Thao’s house for their annual Christmas Party. They’ve got a friend Tom who’s a chef at Cheesecake Factory and has cooked up a feast last year, and he was back again to go over the top once again. There were vases of slab bacon, trays of blue crab rolls, and a huge spread of food to fill everyone up. We baked up our first perfect batch of macarons for the party and filled them with an Earl Gray Tea Ganache which was delicious.
Expecting people to stay late they even ordered large pots of bun bo hue which were left in the backyard for late night eating, but i couldn’t wait and had it for dessert after i cleared off a few plates of food.
It was a fun party and we skipped out on the Gift Exchange this year, and spent the time just hanging out with Emily’s kid Zoe. We don’t get so crazy anymore and we skipped out early to head to the magical house to see Nina who drove down from SF all afternoon.
After a one year hiatus the Raytheon Christmas party was back with a vengeance and a cause. The theme for the party was Babes in Toyland! Holiday Party & Fundraiser! and was held at the Shark’s Cove in Manhattan Beach. It was a double duty party which also raised a bunch of gifts for Toys for Tots and $300 for Hurricane Sandy Relief. The girls did their little dance routine, and of course the highlight of the party is always the White Elephant Gift Exchange with brought in close to 50 gifts.
The highlights of the gifts were a Christmas Vest, Mmmm (kevin) bacon! T Shirt, Male Urinal and of course the every so popular Stir of Echos VHS tape dating back to the original Christmas party. I upped the ante this year by getting a scripts, with film slides and photos from the movie which i found on eBay last year for the party that didn’t happen.
December weekends get filled up so fast with various holiday parties i had to book my very own the first weekend of December. Its one of those sad realizations during the year when you notice that you haven’t seen certain people for an entire year and so it was time to get together with the old Costa Mesa Roommates for a feast.
With a few new additions and another on its way we had to have it at Robin’s spacious recently completed house. I asked everyone to bring something to eat and i’m so proud that everyone actually cooked something and the only thing store bought were the crescent rolls. (which i found out not many people have had before!)
For the main course Robin cooked a beautiful 10lb coffee crusted prime rib, along with pecan tartlets, . Joy and i made corn chowder, mashed sweet potatoes and macarons. Ben and Tiffany made cornish game hens, a lemon tart, chocolate pudding. Shane and Joann made bbq riblets and cheesy potato hash. Jon and Janelle made fried rice. Andy and Jennifer made baked fried chicken and veggies.
The kids even had a table to themselves and were pretty good (and quiet) while they ate. I think Noah has a new found love of Crescent Rolls along with Milo Milk.
Lots of wine was consumed and stories shared and its always makes me thankful for December get togethers as a reason to see everyone again. Weekends throughout the year seem never free with endless birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and kid things that we’re having to plan fake holidays as a reason to get together now.
I had been battling a cold for the past week and did my best to get healthy again by Saturday for Andrea’s annual Christmas Party, this year titled Hipster Holiday Soiree! I drank gallons of water with emergen-c, chicken soup, and plenty of tylenol to get well enough to attend. I made a pot of chili from scratch (even the beans) bought a pretty clever white elephant gift too, and I was pretty happy that all i really needed to buy for my outfit was a t-shirt from H&M that was on sale for a buck!
The Hipster scene is a pretty interesting/lame style thats been pretty popular and by seeing that i bought my shirt for a buck it must be on its way out the door pretty quickly. Its sad that I needed some help trying to even figure out what a hipster is, but there are plenty of sites that can teach you a thing or two about it.
or i could’ve just went to Urban Outfitters and just bought anything off the rack and been done. Thankfully it doesn’t really take that much beyond an American Apparel hoody, ironic t-shirt and some converses, oh and a strange hair cut or facial hair.
For our gift exchange gift we bought Banky’s Wall and Piece and a stencil to do your own graffiti. There weren’t too many gifts that were stolen, but there was an unexpected Hello Kitty theme in the gifts, with a shirt, blanket and bag in the mix of gifts. Joy and I ended up with a shake weight that Joy was actually pretty excited about getting and was actually worried about getting stolen. That was until the very next gift open was another shake weight. Everybody got a kick out of them, and we ended the night at a respectable hour after eating plenty, drinking a little, and even getting a little dancing in.
The 5th Annual Hermosa Beach party was this Saturday with the theme Secret Desires. The desires ranged from 32oz Miller High Life, to Island’s Cheese Fries. The alcohol flowed freely throughout the night, and food was munched on. This year’s white elephant gift exchange was a little dull on the gifts, and only two gifts were stolen the entire time. Stir of echos reered its ugly head again nicely framed for the new recipient’s wall. Its amazing how a simple gift can pass so many hands, and come back every year bigger and better. Eventually we’re going to have to get it actually signed by Kevin Bacon, that would be something.