After a rather quiet holiday season, we descended into party mode this week in Suburbia. I had holiday lunches both Thursday and Friday at work, first with our county curriculum administrators group and second with my office staff. Friday’s lunch was bittersweet because it also served as a farewell lunch for my assistant who’s taking a new position and leaving after Christmas. I hate to see her go and hate even more the thought of having to hire and train someone new.
Last night, Adventure Guy and I hosted members of our Sunday school class for our annual white elephant gift exchange. Adventure Guy is so excited because my gift came from part of the “bag of crap” one classmate won on woot.com. He’s forever trying to get a bag of crap and missing out. But I? I am the proud owner of a whole bag of random computer cords. Don’t be too jealous.
This morningAdventure Guy took the kids with him for a final round of shopping while I took advantage of the time to get a pedicure so that I’d be ready for my open-toed shoes this evening’s outfit required. Toes grandly decked out in holiday-appropriate “I’m Not Really A Waitress” red, I tackled the typical Saturday laundry tasks plus made an appetizer to take along tonight and some sugar cookies for DD2’s Christmas party tomorrow.
Yes, somehow along the way I seem to have agreed to host eight 7th grade girls for a Christmas party tomorrow night. In retrospect I’m not sure how that happened. But, I’ll admit that DD2 is not only persuasive but also quite the party planner. She has decorated ornaments for each of the guests and come up with additional goody bag materials which she has now artfully arranged in preparation for her guests. I figure now all we have to do is order some pizza, put out a few other snacks, and turn them loose on the air hockey table, Wii, and cookie decorating station. And, the party is only scheduled to last for two hours. I can stand anything for that amount of time, right? Or at least I hope that’s the case since Adventure Guy already announced that he and Soccer Boy will be vacating the premisesin favor of seeing a movie rather than hanging out with squealing, giggling girls. I just don’t understand how they could make such a choice!
One thing that’s crucial when things get this busy is to stick to tried and true recipes. I followed my own advice this weekend by serving drip beef and making vanilla bars for the Sunday school party and taking along black bean dip to tonight’s party. Tomorrow, the family’s favorite sugar cookies will serve as both dessert and entertainment for the girls.
Here’s the drip beef recipe. It’s a family recipe from Adventure Guy’s side and is always a hit for winter parties, from Christmas to New Year’s to the Super Bowl.
3-4 lb. roast, cut into pieces
1 Tbs. garlic salt
1/2 Tbs. oregano
1/4 Tbs. rosemary
3/4 Tbs. savory salt
2 beef boullion cubes
peppercorns to taste
2 cups water
Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 8-12 hours, breaking chunks of beef into smaller pieces before serving. Serve on rolls to make sandwiches. Serves 10-12.