Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's My Party...

…and I’ll bake if I want to!

I’m throwing a party tonight. I’ve been preparing for days, making lists, checking them twice, thrice, four times. Counting RSVPs, counting again, looking around my house and wondering how best to accommodate the group. Surfer Guy, still recovering from his recent surgery, is doing what he can, but no heavy lifting and he needs to be flat on his back a lot of the time. Still, he’s able to wonder aloud do we actually need this much food?

What’s a hostess to do? I’m only comfortable if I have plenty. So I made two ziti casseroles, two macaroni-and-cheese casseroles (it’s a comfort food Christmas party, obviously), two huge salads (one spinach, one regular), garlic bread, and…

…three cakes. Carrot cake, sherry cake, and an old-fashioned cake with white layers and chocolate frosting. Is it too much?

Maybe, but I used my secret weapon, the Cake Mix Doctor’s cookbook. All the recipes start with a store-bought cake mix and go from there. They turn out wonderful and don’t look or taste like a cake mix cake once you’re done. Even the carrot cake is easy, which is saying a lot. (I’ve made it from scratch before and had that horrible moment when the layers fall apart as you try to remove them from the pan.)

I’ve still got cleaning to do and salad dressings to mix up, but the cooking and baking are done. It’s going to be a great party and it’s for a special group of people. The women are from my “moms” group. We all met when our kids were in kindergarten. We used to have coffee together once a month, then it was lunch, now it’s happy hour and the occasional party that includes the husbands. It was these women who were with me last Christmas on Coronado Island the night I started researching for my book that just came out, Must Love Mistletoe. We had a few cocktails, a few appetizers, and then took a walk to admire the tree at the Hotel Del Coronado. Tonight I’ll be handing out the book that came from that excursion as a party favor.

And Cady, you get a book too! Remember, I said I’d give away one of my books to a commenter from this week. It’s you! Go to my website and click on the e-mail link and send me your snail mail addy and I’ll get the book right out to you.

So tonight I’ll be partying with my friends and my cakes. Do you guys have any special party tips you can share? Recipes for cakes or cocktails? Tips on getting someone else to clean up tomorrow?


At 7:26 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Cady, congrats on your win!

Advice? Christie, I gotta say, it looks to me like you have it totally handled. Getting that cake doctor book. Just can't beat easy-and-turns-out-like-homemade.

Tonight, we've got the annual artwalk. All the art galleries open on Main Street, serving finger food and cocktails.
We wander from gallery to gallery greeting familiar faces. It's going to be freezing out there--we got eight inches of snow yesterday and it'll be in the teens once it gets dark--so we'll bundle up. And afterwards, the dh will have his special Shrimp Etouffee (or however you spell it) made for us to enjoy. I make the rice. You should see my rice. Perfect. Without a fancy rice maker, either. Hey, I need at least one culinary thing I do well!

Christie, have a ball!

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

Christie--sounds like a fabulously fun party. And my clean-up tip? When someone wanders in the kitchen and asks if she can help (because hey, it's not like *guys* ever do that) say yes!! Let her load the dishwasher or wash a pot or two. Every little bit helps!

Love the idea of handing out the book as a party favor. Speaking of the book, I'm free today. Free, free! I have my car back and a list of places I'm gonna go. B&N, here I come. And Target, and the vet and the post office and the grocery store and the dry cleaner and...

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Christie, the party sounds faboo. Man, you're almost as organized as Susan!! And that's saying something! LOL

My me some cake!!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

Chris: The artwalk sounds like so much fun. My little town (a suburb of San Diego) has an "old-fashioned" Christmas weekend with hay rides and pony rides up and down the main street at night. Groups from the local schools do their music thing. It's always great.

Susan: Good idea on taking people up on their offer to help. And Maureen, if you were just a little closer, you could have come to the party!

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Christie, I love the idea of starting with a cake mix! I'm going to have to find that cookbook. It sounds like you've got the party situation covered. Hope you have fun -- and I love your party favors!! (My copy of *Must Love Mistletoe* should arrive this afternoon from Amazon! Yay!)

And congratulations Cady!!!!

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Hey Cady....isn't it fun to WIN???

Christie....ooooh. Wish I could be there! Apparently I have no problem inviting myself! LOL And I bought your book today at Target! They're down to one copy so yay you!

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

Maureen! They had my book at Target! Yeah. My Target has just been remodeled and there are fewer books there...and none of mine. I've also noticed several other authors who have book out are not there so I think it's just my lousy Target. Bummer.

P.S. Party went well, everyone! I had only 2x the food necessary, but some people couldn't come at the last minute so it wasn't really all that too much.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a horrible time to go MIA - I won a prize. Even better since the reason I went MIA - 12 inches of snow and a sick kid meant that I haven't been to the store this weekend. I didn't buy the book yet. Thanks Christie. Glad to hear that your party went well, I am definately looking for the Cake Doctor book as well.



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