Soup, Sweets and Swap Time….really, an excuse to drink WINE

It’s a new year…the perfect time to go through your closet and declare out with the old…and in with the new.
What better way to embrace this next season by throwing a small gal pal get together…a traditional swap soiree. How do you do just that?

STEP 1…You clean out your closets. Particularly taking the moral high road that you are “making room” for the three new items you ordered from
J-Crew earlier that week (Don’t you just LOVE these CLEARANCE finds? I do!). Even though I have been SUPER tired lately, and socializing feels a bit taxing (it is SO easy just to want to come home and lay like broccoli) I try and socialize a few nights each week so I don’t end up all up in my own head too much (living alone has it’s crazy-making-self-actualizing-over-drive side effects for me)

STEP 2 The night before, make the dough for a homemade CHALLAH bread,  allowing it to rise in the fridge so when you get home at 5 the next
day, it can sit out for 30 minutes, then bake for 30-40. Challah Bread is creamy and stout and fluffy and is one of my go-to homemade recipes.


Hollah for Challah

STEP 3 The morning of, take out the HUGE stockpile of your recent favorite soups (Chicken Almond Mole) from the freezer to defrost, and use the
vitamix to make a cashew sesame seed spread to set up all day.

STEP 4 When you get home, place out all the snacks


Cheddar Pretzels, Belgian Chocolates, Garlic Olives

Cream Cheese Dip and Crackers (Courtesy of R.!)

STEP it’s already too many to keep track of: Make the guests a Welcome Drink: Feige Liquor and Cinnamon Tea


(It's cold out there, people!) See my new cup from the Van Gogh Museum?

STEP (why are you still counting??? You should be relaxing!) ..after chatting for a while, get out the 10 year old bottle of wine you’ve been saving for —-WELL, a DECADE (actually I’ve had it 4 years) with great awe and anticipation…open that baby up!


Opening Wine is an Art...I have yet to Master

This one was a 10 years old Reserva Spanish Wine (my favorite Rioja Tempranillo from central Spain).  Of course, if I do say so myself, perfectly paired mellowness allowed the chocolate silkness of the tomatoes stewed in almonds to emerge. And Look at the some of the Swaping items on the table. I scored a long-sleeve moisture wicking running shirt, a killer orange tube top dress and a new black tote bag (PLUS a black bag to carry borrowed ski boots for my first ski trip EVER this weekend!)


A toast…to another year of life…

to waiting….

to finally receiving….


Silky, Smooth, Friendly, Easeful.

Saying Yes.

With each Drink.

Taking the wine of life, the excess that we have…and sharing it.

Here’s to that Vision for 2011


5 thoughts on “Soup, Sweets and Swap Time….really, an excuse to drink WINE

  1. You reminded me…you asked about a rice cooker. I must say my rice cooker is one of my faves that I use all the time. Not always for rice though. Ours was like $12 at a grocery store and it also steams veggies, and I think can do both at once. I always use it for veggies. The other night I managed to forget to put water on it and then stared at it while wondering why it was not cooking anything…oops!

    That challah looks amazing. I miss challah, so maybe I need to make one.

  2. like i really need an excuse to drink more…hahahh! have fun skiing! I’ve never been but i really want to learn. i’ll live vicariously through you

    p.s. your half must be coming up soon. YAY 🙂

  3. I may attend my very first clothing swap this weekend so thank you for the tips! I am excited because I have heard so much about these events!

    Love the challah bread…love the new Van Gogh cup…love your pretty hair!

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  4. those blasted j crew sales get me too! and then they go and start this discounted factory online store thing on the weekends. bah! damn them and their pretty clothes.

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