On restraint, and how it is hugely overrated

Tuesday night was the 10th anniversary of Dan and me spending New Year's Eve with Garrett and Emily. We were at a wedding one year and in Europe the next, although recent years the most important aspect of our destination has been "somewhere we can round up all the children and stick a movie in front of them," which is slightly less glamorous and tends to mean we just switch off hosting. Fortunately, Emily is my perfect partner in crime when it comes to throwing a genuinely ridiculous shindig appropriate for at least two dozen revelers rather than, say, four. There were two kinds of cocktails and a champagne bar. There were about ten different recipes made, not counting the tray of crackers and peanut-butter-based items we tossed in the kids' direction. We had a secret shared Pinterest board for our four-person party. If you don't have a friend like Emily to enable you in your demented personal-cocktail-party desires, I feel sorry for you. I mean, really:

Sparkling cranberries.

Mocha coconut fudge.

Champagne bar including pomegranate-ginger syrup; not pictured: bourbon, ginger, and orange and ginger-cranberry martinis.

Herbed hummus, although I actually made my hummus because I am not lazy like Martha Stewart.

Antipasti bites.

Potato nests with sour cream and smoked salmon.

Cheeeeeeeeesebaaaaaaaallllllll, and at this point I would again like to emphasize that there were four of us at this party.

English toffee bites.

Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds.

Rosemary-roasted cashews and maple-glazed apple-chicken sausage bites.

Anyway, do not be ashamed to throw yourself a fancy party. It's the best. You're worth it. Probably, I don't know all of you that well.

2013 OUT.

Photo credit: Anna Huff