Sigh... It's been a busy week, or at least it must have been, because I have been neglecting my blog! I can't believe I've gone a week without writing at least something. So let me try and catch up...
Work has been exhausting this week. My boss came back from his vacation earlier than I thought, and there has been a lot to do, including ten watch appraisals, which are signed with the name of my boss even though they are researched and written by me. I don't mind--I'd rather have him take the responsibility! And I have the fun of researching and learning about interesting expensive watches. It's made me think that it might be worthwhile to get certified as an appraiser, which I can do through a program at NYU (I think), and then maybe I could start my own side-business appraising art, watches, and jewelry. Or at least use it as leverage at work. Hey, maybe my boss would even pay for it? Hmmm...
This week I hosted Craft Enrichment Night at my house, which was really fun. Ladies from church came over and we made origami and handmade paper and ate lots of weird cute Japanese candy from Fairway. Exhausted from work, I had a hard time following origami instructions, but it was very relaxing to pull a screen through a bath of cotton pulp and form a small sheet of handmade paper. Our papermaking instructor, Jill, gave me a really good idea. She was making paper with bits of oregano in it, and I thought it might be cute to make a series of sheets of paper, each one incorporating a different herb or spice. Then I could take them and write a recipe on each page using that particular spice, and bind them into a very fragrant cookbook!
The other thing that kept me occupied all week was getting ready for our housewarming party. My roommates are all back from their summer travels and we have been bragging so much about our apartment to everyone, so we decided to have a party. It was also good to give ourselves a deadline to finish unpacking all the random little boxes that were still laying around, get all our pictures hung up, and make the place look like a real house. I hung paper lanterns down the hallway and in the living room, creating a fun and festive atmosphere.
But mostly I have been obsessing about what food to make for the party for the past two weeks. Making the food is really my favorite part of having a party, and I wanted everything to be delicious and perfect. In my search for ideas I came across Nigella Lawson's book "How to Be a Domestic Goddess," which is full of amazing baked goods, some of which I knew would be fantastic for the party. So yesterday morning I had my final choices narrowed down, went to the grocery store in the morning, and around noon started baking and making things. I spent the entire day in the kitchen, Michael Jackson music on the radio, diet coke at the ready, just having the best time concocting good things to eat. First I made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, then a zucchini cake with lime curd filling and cream cheese frosting (from Nigella's book), coconut macaroons, chocolate walnut brownies (also from Nigella's book, and these are amazing!), and I was going to make shortbread biscuits with strawberries and cream on top, but then I decided that the strawberries would be really good on the chocolate brownies. I also put little mozzarella balls on toothpicks with basil leaves and cherry tomatoes, and I made little sandwiches of cucumber, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and chives. Later I made some pizzas with cheese, tomato sauce, and basil. It was the perfect amount of food, and it all turned out really great--well, except for the zucchini cake which suffered from my refusal to buy self-rising cake flour, but it was still edible so who cares.
The party was so fun. A ton of people came, and everyone ate, talked, hung out in our various living rooms, snuck onto the roof (we're not supposed to go up there, so I had to shoo them all down eventually, after enjoying the cool breeze and amazing view myself for a moment)... I was delighted to find one guest washing all my dishes at one point during the evening! I'll have to invite him over again for sure. All in all it was a really fun night.
So today I'm just relaxing and resting my feet. Soon I will go eat some leftover zucchini cake and get ready for church. This evening I am having one more small dinner party and then I will be done being a domestic goddess for the time being. I will go over to Peter & Josh's house to play Rockband and watch Mad Men and just be one of the guys.