Wee interlude from tales of New Zealand awesomeness to recount a little fun closer to home. AT home, in fact.  Continuing with a tradition of picking a celebratory day for convenience rather than because it is the correct one, on Friday I invited my local friends over to meet Bill, who is in Florida for a visit, and partake in pre-birthday festivities. (Bill and I visited the Harry Potter theme park on my actual birthday, of which photos will be forthcoming once Bill gets back home and is able to pull them off his camera and share).

the tiki torches of welcome were lit...

It was a fun and yummy time! I had to get a bit creative with an alternate menu since my oven is still down for the count and thus I was unable to serve anything requiring baking, so instead I purchased some simple finger foods and concocted some things that didn’t need no stinkin’ oven to be made edible.

the nibbles out and ready for guests

The eventual menu consisted of:

assorted wine, beer, and rose sangria spritzers; assorted crackers, chips, breads; olives; sopressata and smoked prosciutto; deviled eggy-weggs; shrimp pate; smoky clam dip; gazpacho; assorted cheeses: manchego, aged cheddar, fresh mozzarella, goat, and bleu; fresh veggie crudites and roasted red pepper hummus….

… and for dessert, Martha Stewart no-bake three cheese cheesecake on shortbread crust with homemade balsamic vinegar/cherry sauce (which was freakin’ delicious!)

Bill grabbing a nibble, once I'd taken a couple of shots of the munchables and allowed him near the food.

le hostess with the mostess....

I’d like to blame the camera for taking crappy photos since only a handful came out in an even vaguely passable format, but it is in fact my own fault for not having learned to use it properly yet. A shift to action mode or even being able to figure out how to get the flash to go off regularly would have helped.

I think it's hilarious both Alli and James appear to be telling 'big fish' stories simultaneously.

me with my Overlord and houseguest.

Manny, Al's Ironman/triathlete husband, with me, Matt, and Alli: three survivors of the CDM marketing department

James having a cocktail on the back porch (with more tikis simmering atmospherically)

Unfortunately not everyone was at the house at one time to get a good group pic, and not a single pic was in focus with Brian, my other friend Manny, and his lady friend Gigi for me to share here – nevertheless, a good time, was, I hope, had by all.  🙂