Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The years go by and the margaritas go down....

There is something to be said for staying in on your birthday; great parking, you’re comfortable, and apparently you can go to bed before the guests leave. 

After concluding a week of deadlines, I arrived home and went from professional dress to pajamas circa Party #5... It was my party and I wore what I wanted to.  I was first joined by Food Intolerance who offered champagne and a beautiful birthday present.  We made a toast and sampled the appetizers... then worked on remedying said appetizers (see cooking notes).  The Level Headed One arrived in pajama pants and insisted it was not an old fashioned birthday party without flowers and a card.   With my beautiful tulips in a vase and a bit more champagne, it was time to break out the spiked birthday punch: Ina Garten’s Real Margaritas.  I assure you after one pitcher you will agree that good old Ina is a Barefoot Party Girl.  Postponing our main course until the arrival of Karen Walker (who did arrive as fast as possible with a speeding ticket to show for it) we snacked, sipped, and awarded Food Intolerance the worst first date ever. Once Karen arrived with a monogramed birthday present in hand, we enjoyed our gooey enchiladas followed by the decadent cake as hushed and giggle-laced voices meandered through the birthday song.

After cake and conversation our Level Headed One just took wine and headed for home.  With the midnight hour upon us, it appeared I should call it a night.  As one friend cleared a pathway through various pairs of ankle boots and the other served up Advil and a bucket of water, I hopped into bed and bid 31 a fond farewell.  (Rumor has it the party continued with strawberry-peach cocktails and a great kitchen cleaning.)

The next morning I wearily dressed my two year old and wondered if I felt 32 or the aftermath of birthday punch....32 years down, 32 parties to go, and like life and wine I hope they keep getting better. 

Cooking Notes:
Queso Fundido: I cursed my no repeat rule as Party #5 had the best queso in the land.... Queso Fundido put up a fight but eventually, was just as tasty.  My dilemma: the undeniable yeast-like pungency of aged Cheddar and Monterrey Jack.  Success was eventually found with a few tablespoons of salsa and some salt and pepper.  When in doubt, add acid and seasonings! 
Mid Week Winner: This menu was incredibly easy to pull off with a few hours of prep done the previous night.  With the enchiladas rolled and poised for the oven, and the flour-less chocolate cake chilling in the fridge the party was a mere queso and plating away from finished.   What is better than sharing Mexican food after a long day at the office?  Already being home when you finish!

The Party in Numbers:
Parties Completed: 20
Weeks Before Deadline: 33
Bottles Consumed: 3
Justified Purchases: Patron Silver and Grand Marnier 

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