For me, one of the best parts of the holiday season is getting together with friends & family I don't see that often.
Yesterday I went to Brooklyn for an annual holiday get-together with my friends Hayley, Whitney & Janine Vittles and we had a fabulous time.
The four of us met at my first "real" job out of college, working in client services for a company that does pre-employment background checks in New York City. I started there in April 2005, then Janine, then Whitney, and then Hayley- all within a few months.
Somehow it worked out that the 4 of us had cubicles next to each other, and we had sooo much fun.
In fact, without those girls, you may not be reading my blog right now... because I probably would have jumped off the roof of our office building out of stress and sheer frustration. But they always kept me laughing and they were one of the reasons I stayed at that job as long as I did.
Me at work in 2006
Now over five years later, we are no longer "cubby buddies" but we are still great friends...even though Janine still (jokingly?) insists that we are her co-workers, not friends.
And while it's hard to coordinate schedules with four busy ladies- Whitney has her hands full with work, Janine is in her second year of law school, and Hayley and her husband welcomed their first baby this August - we manage stay in touch through joint emails and try to get together as often as we can.
But even if it means we have to meet up after Christmas, we have not missed a holiday gift exchange yet. We always look forward to catching up, eating good food, and seeing Janine's homemade cards made from construction paper she's saved since elementary school.
Me, Janine, Hayley, and Whitney
This year we decided to meet at Hayley's house first so we could spend some time with her baby. Reed is absolutely adorable and looks so much like his mommy!
And I think the hit gift of the evening was the matching Snuggies Janine gave us with our nicknames written on them. Apparently, iron-on letters do not stick well to polyester fleece, but that didn't stop Janine from trying.
Hayley also made a beautiful spread of appetizers for us to snack on before we went out for wood-fired pizza in her neighborhood.
So in the spirit of holiday merriment, I decided to share with you all one of my favorite party appetizers. My mom used to make it for company, and it is great paired with raw vegetables or crackers.
Boursin-Style Cheese Spread
- 2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons)
- 2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese
- 1/4 t. onion powder
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 1/2 t. oregano
- 3/4 t. salt
- 3/4 t. dill
- 1/4 t. celery seed
- 1 T. minced fresh chives
- 2 T. grated carrot (I used a microplane grater)
Recipe Origin Unknown