December 20, 2008

Cookies make me smile.


For the past six years, my friend Karen and I have hosted a holiday cookie swap. The swap takes place at my apartment (shore house north, if you will) so you'll get to see another side of me in this post...the side that lives a commutable distance from Manhattan during the week so I can toil struggle work many (many) hours to afford the shore house.

The first cookie swap was a means to introduce my friends Karen and Sha. Both just had babies at the time, so I thought it was the perfect excuse to get them together. And who am I kidding...any excuse to eat cookies pretty much works for me. I think there were six people that first year, and now folks attend from far and wide...like Dawn, who moved to Chicago this past year but flew in for the cookie swap. And yes; I live in New Jersey. Dawn, we tip our spatulas to you!

Most of the early action takes place at the breakfast bar, which is transformed into the mimosa station (which is probably why the action is there).


We all hang out and catch up with each other...

...and take tea from my grandma's tea cup collection. I am itching to find someplace to display them (there are a LOT) at the shore house. Right now, they spend the "off season" tucked away in my mom's basement.

Karen and I whip up a girlie brunch, complete with scones with clotted cream, finger sandwiches, baked brie, quiche and salad.


Then it's on to the star of the show. Every guest brings six dozen cookies for the swap, and goes home with an assortment pulled from the bounty. As the swap has grown, so has the bounty. We have a whole lot of cookies:




(You'll see my special biscotti was my contribution. For the recipe,
click here.)

Round and round the table everyone goes, until all the cookies are taken.


You'll see intense concentration...


...and the joy of those who participated in the baking portion of the program for the first time:

That lovely lady above is also one of my craftiest friends. Her Piedra jewelry line has been a part of the past two swaps, and how lucky for us (and our ears and necks!) to be able to get some shopping done in between sugar rushes.


A recession sale bin made all of us a little jollier...

And guess what? Daisy wants one of you to be a little jollier, too. One of you will get these fabulous filigree earrings hand strung with genuine garnet beads...


Just leave a comment here by end of day December 26, and if your name is drawn these earrings will be boxed up on
Boxing Day and headed to you.

In the meantime I'll be enjoying cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

26 comments:

Maya said...

Oh, oh..., so yummi..., I think I have to try to make some cookies myself. What an awesome idea the cookie swap is!

Debbie said...

Was this ever such an enjoyable post! I kept thinking... How could I get there next time... What could I contribute? Perhaps I'll start my own cookie swap one day!

At any rate that looked and sounded like so much fun! Thank you for sharing your fabulous time with us!

Blessings - Debbie

HSingMama said...

Your cookie swap looks like so much fun. :o)

Thanks for commenting on my blog...and yes, I'd love to know who makes your Yankee Stadium when you find out. :o)

Jersey Girl in DC said...

That looks so spectacular - love your home away from the shore! :) And your friend's jewelry is gorgeous, love the earrings! My favorite though is your Grandma's tea collection. You definitely need to find a way to put these on display - they're beautiful!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura,

This looks like an absolute blast! From the teacups to the cookies to the friends... such a fun event! Thank you for sharing this with us. I loved going! Now, send me some of those cookies!!! ;-)

XO,

Sheila :-)

Joyce said...

I would love to have a cup a tea in one of your grandmother's teacups(I paint on porcelain, the old way mixing grounded paint and oil and some of her cups look handpainted), along with a platter of those heavenly looking cookies!!!
It looks like you girls had a grand time!!

Lorrie said...

What a fun day this was! A perfect blend of friends, food and fun. These sorts of get togethers are my favorite parts of the Christmas season.

Mrs. Buck said...

so fun! I recently hosted a cookie exchange for the first time - I hope it becomes an annual event!

P.S. the jewelry is so cute, I love the earrings!

Sue said...

Hi Laura...what fun!! Oh how I wish I had friends that would actually participate in such a fun party....I remember when daughter was in middle school we hosted a cookie swap....One girl brought a bag of "generic" Oreo's....how lazy can a Mom be!! Hope your mom is improving...I'm leaving for Jersey on Monday so I'll be e-mailess for a few days. So have a wonderful Christmas....Sue.
p.s. Love the chef nutcracker!!

desiree@lookiloos.com said...

Looks like you all had such a great time. And the cookies look very delicious! I'm gonna grease those cookie sheets ASAP.

Ms. Tee said...

Oh, my - tons of cookies. Yum :) And how fun! I keep hearing about cookie swaps - I'm going to have to do this one year. Hope your mom is doing better & have a Merry Christmas!

Fifi Flowers said...

What a FUN and SWEET gathering!
How is your mother? I hope she is better!
Fifi

Renovation Therapy said...

I missed my family's cookie swap this year due to a storm. Whhhhhaaaaaa.

Those earrings are gorgeous.

heidi said...

What a wonderful cookie party! I love the mis-matched tea cups, and all those yummy cookies, and is that a Miro print on the wall!!??
Wish i was there....
xxooh
p.s....those earrings are gorgeous, pick me!!!!!!!!

allisha said...

Wow, what a spread! Looks like tons of fun! Love the earrings!

Merry Christmas!

Linda Lou said...

I don't know what looks more appetizing, the cookies are the fabulous jewelry, what a fun idea and a way to get your good friends together for the holidays! Merry Christmas Laura....

Laura said...

Hi from one Laura to another! The cookie exchange looks like so much fun. Next year I'll have to try to get my friends to have one. That jewelry is amazing too.

j.cro said...

Everything looks so WONDERFUL!!! I do wish the 'Boken and the Shore were closer together - I'd LOVE to join that cookie swap... Maybe next year?
All the jewelry is just FABULOUS too!!
Hope all is well and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!
Much love my friend.

j.cro said...

I just realized - how much easier would life be if in actuality the Shore and the 'Boken really were closer together? I mean, imagine how easy the commute would be then?

In the meantime - I'm holding out for my Jetsons transportation - that sh*t should have been invented by now!!!

A girl can dream, right?

Kim@ForeverWherever said...

Beautiful earrings. I remember my mom having cookie exchanges every year when I was growing up. One neat thing that she did was to have everyone write out their recipe on one side of a card and bring it. Then she would copy all of them and turn it into a recipe book for that year. Everyone got a copy and had wonderful recipes to last throughout the year!
Merry Christmas!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

This looks like so much fun! Makes me want to host a cookie exchange, too. Or at least eat a bunch of cookies. -J :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, I posted once on here, but please enter me in your drawing!

XO,

Sheila

Blondie's Journal said...

Sure wish I was there, the mimosas are reason enough. A group of us used to do cookie swaps years ago, now we just pass our treats around to each others houses on Christmas morn. The house tour was awesome, but I think nutcracker man is one fry short of a Happy Meal. Since he is your neighbor I would look over my shoulder once in awhile while strolling thru the neighborhood!
Merry Christmas (again)!
Janie

Marika said...

yummy cookies and beautiful earrings!

svelteSTUFF said...

Mmmmmm.... skip the cookies, I'd be after the baked brie and scones - YUM! ... and the jewelry - SWEET! Please add my name for boxing day!!
Sue

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I made the blog!!! Thank you for hosting a great party!

Warmest- Dawn