Holiday Party and Scrumptious Bites
|My Yule Angel - how awesome is she?|
Tis the season, and with the season comes company holiday parties. Since I'm fond of my coworkers, I figured I'd enjoy myself, but didn't expect to have the rockin' good time I had - which was why I told Ben that I would pick the kids up from Jess's by 6:00.
The party was from 3:00 - 7:00; I'm done at 2:00. I didn't know how to get to the party's location and asked my charming coworker if I could follow her. She said was leaving at 2:00 but had to make some stops. Fine with me. First we stopped at the Post Office down the street to mail the holiday cards (whose design I chose and greeting I wrote) for the smaller of the two divisions housed in our facility .
We then motored on to Cumbies (Cumberland Farms for those of you not local) so I could cash in the $30 scratch ticket I picked out an allotment of pre-scratched winners one of the higher-ups was doling out as gifts. Our next stop was to a UPS drop box. We pulled up and I watched as my coworker carried the boxes to the drop box, stuffed one in and then proceed to wrestle with the door that wouldn't shut. Whence she hoisted a large branch off the ground then prodded it through the opening is when I got out of the Jeep. One of the boxes was jammed and she'd written it off as forever stuck. Good thing I like a challenge. I pulled down on the door and saw the stuck box. I reached my arm in and shoved. There was some resistance, but the box fell into the belly of the metal beast. I did the same with the box's twin; there was one other box that slid easily down. After one other stop for some fuel and cash for her, we jaunted on over to the party.
The head of HR (who'd organized the entire affair) was there, as were a few others. We put our things at a table then I perused the table of raffle prizes. Then I moseyed on through the arch to the bar/food room. A lab guy I've seen occasionally was wearing a Santa hat and the coolest T-shirt - it was black with a silvery Bill Murray face. Awesome. I told him so and we chatted about Bill Murray's awesomeness for a few minutes. I'm going to have to remember to ask him where he got it.
I got to know a couple at my table little better. Since I work in a high-traffic area, they've individually passed by my desk, and I've had the occasion to perform basic admin services for them. But those were generic, work-friendly interactions. Here we had (what I hope) was a great sampling of what we're like outside work. One topic on which we bantered was music/concerts (they recently attended a Metallica concert). Whilst my concert-going experience isn't vast, it's good. The best concert I've ever attended was Garbage on their Version 2.0 tour, a fact about which I boasted proudly. They seemed impressed, which fluffed my pride. She said (I'm paraphrasing here) "Shirley really put on a show, huh?" To which I replied, "Absolutely." I would like to hang out with them again.
The higher-up who was giving away winning scratch tickets as gifts sat down next table and was quite amusing and loose. (I'd pegged him as a quiet, unassuming type). The HR head, also at the table, asked him to emcee the raffle. He was absolutely hysterical; stand-up comedy could have been a realistic career goal for him.
At 4:45 it dawned on me that I didn't want to leave yet, AND I wanted to go to the pizzaria with the couple and my coworker (among others) after the party. I called Ben at 5:10 to see if he get the kids. Needless to say I was slightly perturbed when he replied, "You told me you'd get them, so I didn't make plans for me to do it." In retrospect it was a good thing - not only because I had Shiloh's car seat, but the cocktails might loosened me up too much. Besides, Ben said he wasn't going to go to golf since he hadn't seen me at all this week. After the kids were put to bed we actually a great time. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
Since I don't want to meet the Grim Reaper via a myocardial infarction because of my beloved Pats, I'm off to bed, but not before sharing these scrumptious bites I made earlier.
I just want to reach into the picture and straighten the plate a touch... But I'm an OCD freak.
My Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Phyllo Cups are inspired by these sausage-stuffed mushrooms. I've made a few tweaks, though.
What you'll need:
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb hot Italian turkey sausage (removed from casing)
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 medium shallot
2 cloves of garlic
8 baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1/3 c marsala wine
1/4 c mascarpone cheese
1/3 c Panko bread crumbs
1/4 c Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-2 boxes of phyllo cups (can be found in the frozen section of most grocery stores, will be right next to the puff pastry)
How to make:
Heat the olive oil in a pan; plop in the squishy sausage and season with the crushed red pepper if you need an extra kick. Sauté until cooked, about eight minutes. Toss in the chopped shallot and garlic. Stir it about a bit. As soon as that glorious intermingled scent of sausage, garlic and onion hits your nostrils (this takes about a minute) add the diced mushrooms. Stir again. Let it sit for a minute before drizzling in the marsala. After another minute passes, swirl in the mascarpone cheese. Don't let self-doubt fill your psyche as you gaze at the watery concoction, this is whence you sprinkle the Panko in to suck up the puddle. Next add the Parm, remove from heat and scatter the fresh, green parsley. Gently mix then spoon into the phyllo cups and enjoy. (Not-so-interesting sidebar - with a spoon, Shiloh at a few baby-sized bowls of this stuffing tonight; she didn't like the phyllo cups.)