New Year’s Celebrations

I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person. Usually, I go to bed by 10 PM. I have been to a number of New Year’s Eve parties, and they are like proms. Big build up, fancy dresses, and mostly they don’t live up to the hype. I now prefer an evening with good friends and good food, which is precisely what we will be doing this year.  We will be going to  a life long friend’s house for dinner. We still have to chat about the menu, but I do know that he is preparing rack of lamb on the grill.  We will bring a veggie, as yet to be determined, plus some appetizers. And some nice wines.

I believe that how you are on New Year’s Eve can set the tone for your year.  If you are drunk and out of control, then you are starting your year in chaos.  If you are with good company, sharing positive thoughts and good memories, then your year will reflect positiveness and optimism. At least you are off to a good start!

2015 presented many challenges for me.  Work was tough, with me being  out of state during the work week for 8 months. We moved from upstate NY to Pennsylvania, from a 4 bedroom, 21 acre farm to a 2 bedroom high rise apartment with 2 dogs, and 2 smuggled in cats.  Yikes. Fortunately, we found the home we are in now, and love where we are living.  (Need a bigger kitchen, though… next project).  I started a meditation class, and have found that to be hugely helpful in bringing calm and focus into my life. My horse is boarded at the best horse barn ever! The care is amazing, and I have made some wonderful friends and riding buddies. Everyone at the barn made little holiday gift bags for each other, with little gifts and treats for both human and equine.

And I started this blog.  I am hoping this catches on, and we all get to see some wonderful stories here.  So, when you share your  food rituals, please, include your background story around it. I want to hear WHY you do what you do.

I am including the two appetizer recipes that I will be making for our New Year’s celebration. These are two of my favorite go-to appetizer recipes. Simple and delicious.  And I wish everyone peace, happiness and love in 2016 .


Asparagus Puffs

20 slices thin white bread (Pepperidge Farm makes a skinny bread)

3 oz blue cheese

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 sticks of butter, melted

1 egg

20 asparagus spears, tough end trimmed off

Trim the crust off of the bread slices and flatten the bread with a rolling pin.

Blend the two cheeses and the egg together and spread onto the bread

Roll the asparagus spear in the bread, and make sure the roll sticks together.

Dip the roll in the melted butter, thoroughly coating the roll.

Freeze the rolls on a cookie sheet until completely frozen.

Remove from freezer and cut each roll into 3 pieces.

Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Serve warm.

This recipe is  great to make ahead of time. I keep a bunch of them in the freezer, and I have an appetizer on hand when I need one.  The bread ends up tasting like puff pastry. Enjoy!

Baked Sea Scallops (courtesy of Rachael Ray)

8 large sea scallops, trimmed of foot at base of each scallop

2 TBS melted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped

1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated is the best

salt and pepper

2 TBS olive oil

1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the scallops with melted butter, garlic, shallots, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a shallow casserole dish.

Combine the olive oil and bread crumbs. Scatter the bread crumbs over the scallops.

Bake the scallops 10 to 12 minutes or until the bread crumbs are deep golden and the scallops are opaque. Serve 2 scallops per person as an appetizer, more per person if using  as an accompaniment to a main dish.



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