Thursday, January 1, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

As I clean up empty wine bottles and look around at the dozens of empty glasses and discarded party favors around me, I think only one thought: New Year's Eve was a success.

Instead of going out, Noe and I decided to host New Year's Eve at our house (this turned out to be an even better decision than we originally thought as our area of Connecticut was hit with some serious snow and ice yesterday). We decided that I would cook a meal, everyone would donate some appetizers/dessert/booze, and we'd play video games and dance in the living room. In short, the stuff our group of friends does on a regular basis, but with more people and a general air of festivity.

Brian Samas and Sabrina stopped by long enough for Sabrina
to utilize every party favor and Samas to take some excellent photos
(this is one of them).

Dressing up was not required, but most of our guests chose to wear nicer-than-everyday wear (best dressed has to go to Doyle in his tuxedo). I actually got my party dress at Target when I went to buy paper plates and napkins.

I cooked a pan of meat lasagna and a baked fettuccine with asiago cheese - we had about 15 people and with only one small oven, pasta was really my only option (plus, I put these together on Tuesday night and just baked them before the guests arrived, which made it much easier to prep for the party). Katie made one of her spectacular salads, and that along with some good garlic breadsticks and baguettes comprised our dinner. Our friends brought over delicious appetizers and snacks, and our dessert superstars Amanda and Ryan did not fail us - Amanda brought not only chocolate mousse brownies but also her fabulous rum cake (or as we like to call it, "booze cake") and Ryan made his gigantic chocolate chunk - oatmeal cookies.

Samas's camera; photo by Doyle.
Apparently I am seriously contemplating
this glass of wine Amanda is drinking.

We had a really interesting assortment of beers and wines. I brought the Arboleda Carmenere and the XYZin 50-year old vine Zinfandel up from the cellar, Ryan added a bottle of Ravenswood Zin, Amanda added the 2005 Chateau Saint-Nicolas Bordeaux, and Katie contributed our lone non-sparkling white, a California blend called Seven Daughters. The boys made sure the beer selection was equally diverse with selections by Magic Hat, Sam Adams, Leffe, Anchor Steam, Dogfish Head, and more.

(For those of you thinking that we're big-time snobs about now, keep in mind there was also plenty of Cook's sparkler, Smirnoff mojitos in a jug, and Miller High Life.)

Trifecta hanging out with some classy dresses and some good wine -
and getting ready to start dancing!

The evening progresses casually - everyone mingled and ate, poured some drinks, played Guitar Hero World Tour (this game might require a post dedicated all to itself because it is the best video game ever), and those of us who wished to had a dance party in my furniture-less living room. Later on and a few more drinks into the evening, we switched to American Idol Karaoke - on the easiest setting because, let's face it, after a whole bunch of booze and talking over people all night, no one was really in their finest singing voice.

"With a rebel yell, she cried more, more, more!"
John tests out his new microphone stand while Kevin plays guitar.

We did turn off the video games long enough to countdown with Ryan Seacrest, the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, and Lionel Ritchie (what was Lionel Ritchie doing in this group? Mediating the feud between Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas?) For the big countdown, there was plenty of prosecco and - thanks to John - an excellent Oregon sparkler by Argyle (75% Chardonnay; 25% Pinot Noir; 100% delicious). Then the singing resumed once more.

"Islands in the stream; that is what we are..."
Noe and John duet.

Noe and I were extremely grateful to have such a good group of friends to celebrate with us this time around. The people at our house Wednesday night were instrumental in turning 2008 from a pretty crappy year into a pretty great one, and we were happy to see them having such a good time at the party.

Happy New Year!

Here's to 2009 - off to a good start that will hopefully continue throughout the year!


John said...

I believe Noe and I sang together on "Life is a Highway." And yes, it was that bad. Perhaps the best song of the night was Amanda and I tearing through "Don't stop till you get enough" in our extreme falsettos that left us nearly voiceless. Fabulous party!

Amy W. said...

Yeah, I couldn't remember what song you and Noe sang - it was me and you who sang "Islands in the Stream!"