Entries Tagged as 'Holidays'

Dallas’ Birthday Dinner @ El Barco

December 11th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Dallas @ El Barco
Dallas, El Barco, East Village, Chicago

Yesterday was Dallas’ birthday so we went out for dinner at El Barco with a few close friends. Dallas got the red snapper that he always gets except they were out of the usual and he had to get the extra large red snapper for two. He still had no problem eating it all, not that anyone was worried.

Four of us split the Big Platter of Grilled Stuff for Three. We ordered the Big Platter of Grilled Stuff* for Three even though we had four people because once I got Big Platter of Grilled Stuff for Two and shared it with Dallas’ dad and it was too much. Even when we ordered down one last night, we still took some home. The BPoGSfT has steak, crab legs, chicken, grilled fish, fried fish, calamari, octopus, shrimp, mussels, onions, broccoli and potatoes and comes with sides of rice and beans.

When we got the bill at the end we were only $14 away from the amount you need to spend to get a free shirt (yeh, it was kind of a large bill with all the drinks and appetizers and entrees), so we each ordered one more beer so Dallas could get a free El Barco polo shirt. Trent expects to see him wearing it next summer when they go golfing.

*Not the real name of the entree.

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First Annual Cookie and Tree Trimming Party

December 10th, 2007 · 13 Comments

Erin & Hixx (photo by Erin)

Erin’s Peanut Butter Kisses
Erin’s Peanut Butter Kisses

Rachelle’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels
Rachelle’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels

On Saturday I hosted a cookie party. My mom, sister-in-law, cousin, nieces, Dallas’ aunts, and some of my girlfriends all came over. Each brought several dozen cookies, which we laid out and sampled over the course of a few hours.

Hixx, Laura, Olivia (Photo by Erin)

Olivia, Stephanie (Photo by Erin)

Stephanie & Jessica
Stephanie & Jessica

I served some baba ganoush (Dallas and I love the Whole Foods brand of it and surprisingly, so did my niece Stephanie who’d never had baba ganoush before), sun-dried tomato hummus, veggies, crackers, pretzels and cheeses to try to counter-balance the sweets. We all, especially my niece Jess, enjoyed spiced cider (spiked or not) that my mom helped make from a Chicagoist recipe.

Mary’s Bacon ~n~ Eggs
Mary’s Bacon ~n~ Eggs

Hixx (Photo by Erin)

Frosty! (Photo by Erin)

We passed the time talking and eating and listening to holiday music and trimming the tree and watching Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns on TV. After a couple hours of sampling all the cookies and candies, we each voted on the one we liked best.

Margaret (Photo by Erin)

Margaret’s Cookies
Margaret’s Cookies

These are all the tasty treats we sampled:

  • Rachelle’s Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels (pictured above)
  • Rachelle’s Seven Layer Bars
  • Rachelle’s Lemon Spritz Cookies
  • Hixx‘s Cookie Bars
  • Mary’s White Cranberries
  • Mary’s Christmas Rings
  • Mary’s Bacon ~n~ Eggs (pictured above)
  • Mary’s Special K Bars
  • Erin‘s Peanut Butter Kisses (pictured above)
  • Naoko’s Half-Dipped Cookies
  • Naoko’s Japanese Cookies
  • Laura H.’s Peanut Butter Blossoms
  • Gail’s Oatmeal Cookies
  • Kelly’s Almond Spritz
  • Kelly’s Jelly Rolls
  • Kelly’s Peanut Butters
  • Olivia‘s Jammy Pecan Thumbprints
  • Olivia‘s Coco-Nutella Nuggets
  • Laura O.‘s Cranberry Bars with Struesel Topping
  • Amanda’s Peanut Butter Balls
  • Amanda, Stephanie, & Jessica’s Frosted Cut Out Cookies
  • Margaret‘s Oatmeal-Chocolate-Dried Cherry-Pecan Awesomes (pictured above)

Rachelle (Photo by Erin)

Cookie Votes
Cookie Votes

Tied for second place were Kelly’s Jelly Rolls, Olivia’s Jammy Pecan Thumbprints and Mary’s White Chocolate Cranberries. Laura O. won the top prize (a holiday spatula and Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book) with her Cranberry Bars with Struesel Topping.

Laura (Photo by Erin)

Hixx, Laura, Olivia, Kelly (Photo by Erin)

Laura, the winner
Laura, the winner!

I didn’t take too many photos, and the ones I did weren’t of the people at the party.. I need to get better at that sometimes.. but Erin has some photos of friends who attended.


More Cookies!

Between this party and my company holiday party, I’m getting into the spirit now. I think my cookie party was a success. Everyone said they had a great time, so I’ll probably try to do it again next year, with a few modifications. Namely, you MUST take home as many cookies as you bring. I have about 500 cookies in my kitchen right now because everyone was being all polite about not taking too much home. Also, I think each person should just make one thing. There were several of us who made more than one candy or cookie and it did turn out to be a bit overwhelming to try to sample everything.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree 2007

Note: In 2010 I finally got around to updating this post with some of Erin’s photos from the party. She had more photos of the people who attended.

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Greeting Cards 2.0

October 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

Greeting Cards 2.0
Seen at Target in Avondale, Chicago

Janelle’s comment was a perfect title for this post.

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