Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Morning After

Hi, my name is Madeleine and I'm a procrastinator.

No, really. It's a problem, and has been since the early days of finishing high school English essays during my lunch break... the day they were due.

Luckily we don't get graded out here in the real world, but habitual procrastinating still leads to some not-so-convenient scenarios like:

- being extremely late to work in bumper to bumper traffic, freaking out but having absolutely no control over the situation
- constantly getting flustered before leaving the house due to running around and grabbing random items, hoping you've remembered everything
- being the queen of typos (many of which can surely be found in past blog posts)
- not performing at the top of your game- this goes for acting scene work, writing, meetings, washing dishes and/or working out

Since I'm sick of nearly hypervinilating on a daily basis due to my lackadaisical ways, I've decided that "prepare ahead of time" will be close to the top of my 2011 New Years Resolution list.

Yesterday was a prime example of my pushing things 'til the last minute.

It was 11:30 am, the house was still in shambles and I hadn't even decided on what to make for the pot luck.

People were due to arrive at 7pm and there was a lot to be done.

First things first: come up with a recipe for the party...

I opened a cabinet to get a pot for boiling water and spotted my once-used cake pans.


At first, I toyed with the idea of carrot cake, but seeing as my brownies already contained black beans, I figured I should go with a sure fire crowd pleaser- aka no vegetables of any kind, anywhere.

That's when red velvet cake came to mind. 

I found a recipe at Smitten Kitchen and moved onto cleaning...

That took about 4 hours, but was well worth it. I don't think I'd ever seen our house so spotless.

Alex and I rushed to Target for some last minute items + our presents for the white elephant gift exchange, drove home as fast as possible, despite LA Saturday traffic and got to cooking.

He made Vietnamese spring rolls...

As I got messy with the red velvet...

Thanks to my procrastinating, I had about an hour to take a shower, get presentable and make my cake before the guests arrived. 

And that, my friends, is why these photos of the preparation process are so random and sporadic...

Homemade vegan buttermilk (1 1/4 cup of almond milk + the juice of half a lemon)

A new way to grease your baking pans: place them (with a teaspoon of butter) in a pre-heated oven for about a minute, spread the melted butter all over with a pastry brush and line the bottom with parchment paper. Perfection.

An egg going in...

The fun part...

The mess in my previously spotless house was beginning to form as the cakes came out of the oven to cool...

With the cake done (save for the frosting), it was time to get the party started...

As the guests arrived, the food table came together. People brought so many fantastic dishes- from homemade dips and pizzas to pasta dishes and pies...

After a good bit of food and drink was had, we made our way to the living room to begin the highly anticipated White Elephant Gift Exchange (if anyone has a clue as to what that name signifies, I'd love to know). 

I picked # 9

The camo snuggie was a hot commodity...

And games were a big hit...

The first gift Alex picked was Monopoly- SCORE!

But after someone stole it from him....

He ended up with faux gold pimp chain.

(This is when the "no sharing" rule is applied in our relationship)

Of course I pick the gift that tells me not to.

And this is what I got:

A Transformer mug set, complete with hot cocoa mix and candy canes.


Speaking of, it was time to get back to the kitchen to work on my cream cheese frosting... With a little help from Mike, of course.

The key to this frosting was *real* whipping cream- when folded in with the cream cheese and sugar mixture, it came out perfectly light and fluffy, with a tang!

Because who doesn't like their red velvet cake with a side of PBR?

After the cake was unveiled and eaten, the party kept building, along with the mess...

....Until I finally went to bed.

Only to wake up to this:

At least I found some beauty in the madness...

And was able enjoy some left over spicy bean dip with eggs, along with coffee in my brand new Transformers mug.

Although the house is a complete mess again, it was totally worth the great night of reckless abandon and holiday cheer!

Now that I'm all fueled up, it's time to tackle that mountain in the kitchen.

Right after I finish this...

See you later :)


  1. Looks like a fun time was had by all. A "white elephant" is a gift or object that you already possess that you don't want or no longer have use for. (Alex D-K will probably have a comment on that statement!) So technically, you aren't supposed to go out and buy it! It's like re-gifting, only tackier, because you might give away something you've used. I once got a great Flatt & Scruggs record album that way (only slightly scratched).

  2. I went to a white elephant party last week and got an opened box with funny noses... not sanitary or cool. This looked like it was less tacky!