Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

Well, I'm counting down the hours until the shows are over today and I'm officially OFF for 24 hours! Ohhhhhhh, it's the little things...Anywho, thought I would take a sec to do a little holiday post before I head to the theatre. I'm just snuggled up by the tree, drinking my coffee, and blowing my schnoze repeatedly. Yes, ladies and germs, it's Christmas and I'm sick. Blah. But I'm refusing to let it hinder what little time I actually have to celebrate.

So as you know, Dave and I are celebrating solo in the city. While I always miss my family, it's so nice to spend the day with each other. We can wake up at our leisure, open the gifts when we feel like it, stay in our pajamas all day, and best of all, not spend the day bouncing back and forth between houses that you forget it's even Christmas, because you are too busy watching the clock and traveling between families. If you've ever seen that movie Four Christmases (if you haven't don't, because it wasn't good) then you've seen a pretty vivid picture of our holiday. Ahh, the joys of holidays with divorced parents...If I had it my way, I would just park my booty wherever that sweet baby Hayden was. This sweet child gets so excited about Santa and every single little gift that I sometimes worry he might pass out!!! It's the most precious thing in the world. Plus he always looks adorable in his Christmas pajamas: those little chubby legs normally sporting a candy cane stripe! I love that boy.

It's been a busy week. Had a press event at Serendipity launch of the cast album and a naming of a sundae after us. Very cute. Click here for the link to the article and photos from that morning on Total Disclosure: I ate that gigantic sundae before 10 a.m. I have no shame. Meghan and I also had an afternoon of beauty and exchanged our gifts on Monday. This was much-needed and a ton of fun. We hired a stylist to come over to the apt. and give us cuts and a blow-out while we drank champagne and opened gifts. SO. MUCH. FUN. Sweet Meghan gave me my very own copy of The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. We so enjoy her blog and musings on life, love, cattle, and cooking! I finally settled on getting Meghan these awesome cashmere hand-warmers and a subscription to Food & Wine (my ultimate addiction). Oh, and Meghan also scored a gorgeous vintage bracelet from her beau, but I'll let her tell you more about that. What I WILL say is, 'Good job, Garrick!' So, looks like we were good girls this year. These belles are having a good Christmas!

In other news, our Christmas Eve plans have changed. We received a really cool invitation to make some new friends and nosh on some fantastic food by Danny Meyer's exec. assistant and her husband. 8 of us will be celebrating first with cocktails in the rooftop bar at The Gramercy Park Hotel, followed by dinner at Balthazar! So excited.The group is really diverse, working and successful in different fields, so I know conversation will be interesting. And they are all either married or engaged. As cheesey as it sounds, we need more couple friends. So, it should be a really fun night.

Well, gang, I gotta go play dress-up and jump around on stage. Hope you are all enjoying time spent with those you love! That's what it's all about...


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sancerre and Christmas Tree Cookies on a Sat. night...

Let me just start out by saying how incredibly jealous I am of anyone who has any sort of Christmas 'break' whatsoever. Also, apparently today marked our 100th show. Who knew?!

Work has been crazy, and Dave and I have been busy with two sets of parentals visiting in the last two weeks. First, my dad and his wife, and then Dave's mom and step-dad. To say that we were a little worn out after the consecutive visits would be an understatement, but it was nice to play host to family, especially during the holidays. Barb, if you are reading this (which I know you sometimes do), we are mailing the cd of pics on Monday.

I've been burning the candle at both ends trying to complete all my shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, etc. And I must say, I'm pretty pleased with my level of commitment to making sure the holiday is just swell, even if I only have Christmas Day off and will have slept maybe 3 1/2 hours leading up to the day's festivities. I kid, I kid...

The one thing I HAVE NOT done is plan the menu. I have a general idea but need to make it a bit more cohesive. The big debate: Standing Rib Roast VS. Leg of Lamb??? Another dilemma: Roasted Garlic Potato Puree VS. Root Vegetable Gratin?? or both?? Probably both...ohhhhhhhhhhh, or maybe Cauliflower Gratin? My friend, Cauliflower, gets a bad rap but when in season and from my favorite purveyor at the farmers market, it's really wonderfully delicious! In all seriousness, please weigh in on the protein. My head is spinning right now and I can't really think straight, so any help in decision-making is greatly appreciated. Also, I haven't nailed down a dessert so please, fire away. Cristin, I know you have an arsenal of sweet treats, so lay it on me!

What I can say is this: there WILL be caramelized brussel sprouts, wasabi and ginger deviled eggs (one of many nods to our Southern heritage--very excited about these! I'm soaking them in a soy, orange peel, and anise mixture overnight before peeling and stuffing them with the wasabi/ginger yum yum goodness. eloquent, I know.), creamed onions with lardons, bacon fat, and chives (mmmmm), roasted mushrooms with garlic and thyme, and a few stinky cheeses with prosciutto-wrapped figs and local honey to nosh on while cooking. I need to figure out a green or two to throw in there...I think I can handle that. Seriously, this is what is getting me through the next week. Well, if I'm being honest, it's the food and the impending Christmas Eve viewing of The Black Swan. Excited. Very excited, indeed.

As far as libations go, I've infused 2 vodkas: Pear and Ginger (this will make a divine martini) and Pomegranate and Rosemary (this will make a refreshingly festive vodka soda). I'm gifting some of the small batches I made, so no need for concern. I'm not going to be polishing this off all by my lonesome...Honestly people, what do you take me for? The only thing I've left to do in this department is gather the final ingredients for Dave's favorite winter cocktail: The New Deal It's an updated/modern twist on a Manhattan with a splash of pickled cherry juice. So good. Trust me, or rather, trust Dave's palette...

I made the traditional Smith family Christmas tree cookies yesterday afternoon in my few free hours. This was bittersweet, as I was alone (boo hoo), but thanks to my Pandora Christmas station and a slight mishap with a hand-mixer and a generous amount of flour, I was laughing, singing, and dancing all over that kitchen!

Tonight, I had the most wonderfully fulfilling conversation with my beautiful, stunning, smart, strong, and loving sister. Hilly, if you are reading this, then please know how much I love you and how proud I am of you. I miss that infectious laugh!! So glad I got to hear it several times tonight. That should be enough to hold me over for 48 hours or so...

And now, sweet friends, I sit here tending the blog I neglected yet again, sipping Sancerre, eating cookie after cookie, and feeling thankful for all of you. Not a bad way to end a 3 show day, if I may say so myself. Wishing you all the happiest of holidays! If you find yourself without plans for the 25th, then make your way over to 281 Devoe St.! The more the merrier! All my love and best wishes!