All I want to do this morning is lay on the couch with a nice warming fire to set the tone and watch the Seahawks play football. But there were a few things that needed to get done first. Before a fire could be made, we had to remove the dining chairs from in front of the fireplace and put them back into the dining room. But before we could put the chairs around the dining room table we had to clear it off and remove the side table next to it. And before the table could be centered under the light fixture we had to clean up the glass from the wine glass that the cat knocked off the sidebar at approximately 6:14 am this morning, God Damn Cat. And prior to that we had to clear out the dishwasher of the clean dishes to replace them with dirty ones, so we would have clean counters for which to set the crock pot with meatballs, sangria, and dessert trays that were left overnight. And in order to transfer the sangria to the pitcher from the punch bowl I had to wash the pitcher by hand because the dishwasher was full again. So with the sweeping of glass, the taking out of recycling and trash, the kicking of said kitten outside’ I can now write on my blog….phew and that was just last night’s party.
We had our semi sometimes annual Holiday Open House, last night, and it was a huge success. This was the very first time in history we didn’t over produce on the food part. We purchased lots of wine and beer, made sangria (just a bit left in the fridge) and because we have very generous friend our wine supply has not dwindled. Excellent! It was fun and we chatted and laughed and I am hoarse from talking, but that could also be due to the fact I only got 4.5 hours of sleep the night before.
On Friday night we went to my company party. I have a great company. Instead of plying us with liquor and sending us to drive home, they provide hotels to keep us safe and cabs to transport us to where we want to go. We stayed at the Westin downtown Seattle and the very fuzzy picture that is posted above is the view from our room. This is a camera phone photo and the quality sucks, but you get the idea.
If we wanted we could check into the hotel as early as 3pm, but I’d been hosting a migraine headache all day and wasn’t even sure if I was going to make it there. We showered and got ready at home and we were downtown by about 6pm and as instructed we were in the hotel lobby by 6:30 to take a cab to a cooking school. It must be a miracle, because as I drank a glass of chardonnay while waiting for a cab, my headache left me….party on, but cautiously.
Cooking school you say!? For your work Christmas party!? Where you, as a person who works with food ALL THE TIME, gets to cook your very own dinner. Wow, sign me up. My original idea of a Christmas party for work is where we are catered to all night long, and then some. But this wasn’t your ordinary cooking of dinner, it wasn’t one of those places where you go through a line, pack a plate with raw goodies, hand it over to some dude with killer spatulas and viola’, dinner’s ready. No it wasn’t that way at all. We were going to have an Iron Chef competition, with 4 teams of 11.
This set up was awesome; we had very large work stations with all the kitchen utensils at our disposal, a table full of groceries and one protein per table to create everyone’s dinner. Our instructions were to create a protein, with a starch and vegetable and a dessert. Ready GO, you have one hour and a half. We were also provided with a chef who would help as much or as little as we wanted. But we needed someone in charge of our team, and don’t you know I work with a bunch of foodies, we had our very own chef who works for my company, step up to the plate and we all fell in around her.
Go get this, chop that, sauté some more, dice some onion, I need cornstarch, plate this up, go warm that. It was really quite fun and in spite of how it sounds it was dinner by committee. There were copious amounts of wine, laughter, and some really great food. We prepared a chicken breast in panko breading that was then topped off in the oven so it would stay moist. We made a macaroni and cheese dish, which was very rich and made with high end incredients. Roasted vegetables with great herbs, and a puff pastry dessert with fresh berries, whipped cream and plated on a dollop of chocolate, were the final dishes.
And you know what? We had awesome food and we came in DFL. We lost out to a very spicy beef dish, some teriyaki salmon, roasted pork with fried rice and some killer desserts. We had fun, stayed up WAY past my bedtime and got kicked out of a bar because it was closing. That hasn’t happened in a very long time, I’m usually getting up for the third time about 2:30am to pee, not staying out. But it doesn’t happen very often and now I’m going to go watch football, but first I wanted to post to my blog.