Friends & Family

Office Parties

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Does your/your partner’s company throw a holiday party? We attended one at my husband’s office yesterday afternoon. It was pretty low-key: some snacks, a ping-pong table, and coloring pages for the kids. My husband won second place in the ugly sweater contest for that Mario jumper you see in the picture, which isn’t really that ugly but only like four people wore ugly sweaters.

I always find office parties a little awkward–perhaps because it’s never been my office we’re partying in, but also because it seems so forced. I got to have a nice chat with somebody’s wife and daughters, but mostly people kept in small clumps of well-known office mates, talking about office stuff and sports teams, about which I know nothing.

The kids had a blast, though. Violet spun and spun to the Christmas music in her head, and Sam tried his hand at ping-pong.

What are your office parties like? I know they vary hugely in size and style. I’d love to hear your stories.

Cooking & Eating

Three Simple, Scrumptious Party Dips

We are entering party season, people. Maybe we’re already in it–it’s football season, after all, and there were plenty of Halloween parties just a few days ago, and then there will be Friendsgivings and, of course, Thanksgiving itself. Maybe you’re throwing these parties, maybe attending them. Maybe you’ve been asked to bring something–an appetizer? You could just pick up a bag of Doritos. People like those. But if you want to take it another step further, here are three sure-to-please recipes, none of them requiring any culinary skill or know-how. Read on but beware: you might drool. That’s okay. It’s a normal, human response.

These are all my twists on some party classics. For example, the classic “queso” recipe (the one on the back of the Velveeta box) calls for two ingredients. Mine calls for four:

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Four-Ingredient Queso

8 ounces Velveeta
8 ounces pepper jack cheese
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives

Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, stirring every minute or two, until melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Then we have my holiday twist on hummus, which is delicious and healthy (and vegan/gluten free!): Continue reading “Three Simple, Scrumptious Party Dips”