Party Shopping

I spent 3 hours this morning going to four grocery stores!  Safeway had a $5 Friday sale and surprisingly there was many things I wanted to buy both for the party and for regular fridge stocking.  I made out, pretty much saving over 50% off the regular price.  I was very, very happy.  I feel like I could have completely eliminated my second stop at Fred Meyer but my local Freddy's just reopened after months of renovation.  OMG...it is fantastic!  If you're in SW Portland swing by the Burlingame Fred Meyer, it is beautiful and they have all types of events going on this weekend!  I had a few grand opening coupons and figured I should take advantage since they were going to expire tomorrow (speaking of which I still have a coupon for a 99-cent latte at the Peets located within Freddy's.  Next was Costco for some good, fancy-schmancy cheese.  Seriously Costco has the best deals for good cheese, I had a rewards check so I also picked up a joint xmas gift for the boys.  Last was Winco which was an afterthought since I didn't realize there was one right next to Costco.  OMFG I was so exhausted after all this running around.  Errands suck and are such a necessary evil!

Crash was half day today so I had just enough time to swing by the liquor store for some Gin, and to pop into the post office to mail a Troika Bazaar order, stop by the house to unload groceries then I had to turn around and pick up my le bebe.  Seeing that little one in her classroom when I pick her up brings such a smile to my heart!  

As soon as we got home I had to start prepping for the party otherwise I would be slammed tomorrow!  I immediately got started on the cupcakes, I just baked them today (4-dozen!) and i'll save the decorating for tomorrow.  I also made the spiced nuts- which taste so delicious!  After making these nuts, i'm not even excited about the cupcakes anymore - yes....they are that good!  I have a few other items to prep like the bacon goat cheese pops and washing and separating some grapes for the freezer.

I think it is obvious that i'll be working my ASS off tomorrow.  I think the damn cupcakes will take the most time since i'll have to pipe on the designs.  But it'll be worth it in the end.  Anything that makes for a good visual at a party is a-ok in my book.  Being in the kitchen for so many hours today makes me realize its that time of year again.  Between Halloween and New Year I feel like I constantly "slave" away in the kitchen baking like a crazy person. I use the term "slave" loosely because I enjoy it but most of my days and nights are spent in there.  I'll need to find some new ideas for this year, for sure the nuts will be revamped and spiced up for xmas for the teachers.  Anybody have any good baking ideas or recipes they'd like to share?

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