Ok, off to fantasy land for me once again. If I could, this is what I would love to do for New Year’s Eve. I’d love to have a house large enough to hold 30 people and have a cocktail party complete with dancing, so I’d have to have a large finished basement or a Victorian type mansion complete with ballroom. I think I’ll go with the later. I would have big beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and a huge dining room. The table would be set with a beautiful silver taffeta fortuny crush tablecloth with a black crush runner down the center. I would set cake stands in varying heights and styles around the table and they would be laden with finger foods. In the center I would have a lush floral centerpiece in mauve and pink. It will look something like this one that I found on the internet. I would include the tea candles surrounding it.
I would have small clusters of pink, silver and mauve balloons in corners around the main rooms. I love balloons. Soft music would drift in from the surround-sound speakers located in each room to set a romantic mood. The party would begin at 9 pm. The guests would be dressed in black tie attire. At 10 pm the band would arrive and the music would become more lively. The guests would float back and forth between the dining room and the ballroom. The bar would be set up in the ballroom along with two tables of punches, one alcoholic, one non-alcoholic. Small tables seating 6 people would be scattered at the end of the room nearest the bar, the rest would be for dancing. The room would look similar to this one I found on the internet. Wouldn’t that just be perfect? A gal can dream.
The conversations would be loud, the laughter would be infectious. There would be cheese, fruit and crackers set at each table for noshing if one wasn’t in the mood to go to the dining room to get the real goodies.
At 10:30 pm the waiters would have the dining room table cleared and begin serving a lavish dinner. The menus would be printed out and framed for people to take home as souvenirs and would read as follows:
Champagne Fruit Salad
Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon
Flaming Baked Alaska
The tables would be cleared at 11:45 pm so people would have time to get ready for the main event. Two large screen TVs would be rolled into the room and positioned so everyone could see the ball fall in Times Square. The waiters would pass out noise blowers and silly hats to everyone and then take their stations at their assigned table with a cold bottle of bubbly waiting for them to pop open and pour at 11:55 pm. The champagne would be Dom Perignon, of course. Nothing but the best!
Midnight, the band is playing Auld Lang Syne as the ball drops from Times Square, the corks are popped, the champagne is poured, toasts are made, the guests are blaring their noise makers and are kissing each other. The outlook for the New Year is great.
A lavish Viennese dessert table is available in the dining room, which a rich assortment of pastries, petit fours, mini-cupcakes and cheesecakes, and chocolates of all kinds. There are many types of cookies to choose from as well as shot glasses of black-and-white chocolate mousse. There is also fresh fruit for the health conscious.
The music slows down to soft romantic tunes.
At 3:00 am the house is finally empty and I drop dead in my bed with a smile on my face and a kiss for my hubby.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!! Just in case I can’t post for the next few days. Hubby just took my computer into the Geek Squad to be fixed. Pray for me!
Here are some recipes for you to enjoy:
Endive Spears with Lobster, Avocado, and Grapefruit
Crab or shrimp may be substituted for the lobster.
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1997/1998
1 pink grapefruit, peel and pith removed
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces cooked lobster meat
4 heads Belgian endive (about 8 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh tarragon
1.Using a small paring knife, remove sections from grapefruit. If sections are too large, cut in half crosswise. Set aside.
2.Slice avocado into 1/8-inch-thick slices; cut slices into 1-inch lengths. Toss in bowl with lemon juice, and set aside.
3.Cut lobster into bite-size pieces; set aside.
4.Trim bottoms from endives; separate spears. Place a grapefruit section on top of each endive spear. Top with piece of avocado, then a piece of lobster. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with tarragon. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
Mini Chicken B’Steeyas
B’steeya, a Moroccan specialty, is usually baked as one large “pie.” Here, individual ones make delicious finger food. B’steeyas can be assembled ahead, frozen, and then baked as directed, straight from the freezer.
Yield: Makes 54
4 tablespoons safflower oil
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 10 ounces), halved
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup golden raisins, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds (2 ounces), toasted
12 sheets (each 12 by 17 inches) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper; saute, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool, then finely chop. Transfer chicken and any juices to a large bowl.
2.Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3.Stir 1/4 cup sugar into mixture. Add eggs; cook, stirring, until scrambled but still moist. Transfer to bowl with chicken. Stir in raisins if desired. Season with salt and pepper; let cool.
4.In a food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl; stir in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
5.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a clean work surface, unfold a sheet of phyllo with a short side facing you; cover remaining sheets with a damp kitchen towel. Lightly brush with melted butter; sprinkle with about 1/6 of nut mixture. Lay another phyllo sheet on top; lightly brush with butter. Cut the stack lengthwise into thirds and then crosswise into thirds to make 9 equal rectangles.
6.Working with 1 rectangle at a time, place 1 tablespoon chicken mixture about 1 inch from end of a short side, leaving a 1/2-inch border on long sides. Fold 1/2 inch of each long side over filling. Starting from the end with filling, roll into a log. Repeat process to make remaining rolls (you should have 54). Brush with butter; arrange, seam sides down, on parchment-lined baking sheets. (B’steeyas can be frozen at this point, uncovered, until firm, about 1 hour; transfer to airtight containers, and freeze up to 6 weeks.)
7.Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before dusting with sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm.
MARILYN’S FRUIT SALAD IN CHAMPAGNE
1 Blood Orange (any good orange will do if Blood Oranges aren’t available); WASHED, PEELED AND CUT INTO BITE SIZE CUBES
1 Empire Apple (or your favorite apple); WASHED, PEELED, CORED AND CUT INTO BITE SIZE CUBES AND DRIZZLED WITH LEMON JUICE (to keep from discoloring)
1 Unique Fruit (also called Ugli Fruit); WASHED, PEELED AND CUT INTO BITE SIZE CUBES
2 Kiwis; WASHED, PEELED AND SLICED THINLY
2 cups Seedless Grapes (choose your favorite variety); WASHED
1 qt. Strawberries; WASHED AND SLICED
Korbel’s Extra Dry Champagne (or your favorite)
Mix fruit in a LARGE bowl. Spoon into champagne flutes, leaving about 3”space. Fill glasses with champagne, leaving 1”space from top of flute. Garnish with fresh mint leaf, if desired.
Source: Marilyn Sultar based on a recipe I lost that I called “Punky Frischnacht’s Champagne Fruit Salad.”
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
4 to 6 servings
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups seafood stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.
Contains Shellfish: Consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish may substantially increase the risk of foodborne illness.
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved
Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc – Acidic, refreshing white wine
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
The Pioneer Woman
Ten Things I Love
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive: 5 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 1 serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beef filet steak, 8 to 10 ounces, 2 inches thick
1 piece thin bacon
1 tablespoon butter, more if needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Generously salt and pepper both sides of the steak. Wrap the steak with the bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When melted, add the steak to the skillet and sear on both sides until a really nice color, about 1 minute per side.
Remove the skillet from the stove top and place into the oven to finish cooking. Cook until medium rare, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/bacon-wrapped-filet-recipe.html?oc=linkback
Home Cookin Chapter: Fish And Seafood
Broiled Lobster Tails
Submitted By: SKYGRETCH
Photo By: ChicagoCookie84-Anita
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Ready In: 20 Minutes
“Broiled lobster is the perfect simple preparation for lobster
tail, and promises to please a crowd by highlighting the natural
flavor of the lobster meat.”
2 whole lobster tails
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
Salt to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
1 lemon – cut into wedges, for garnish
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Place lobster tails on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife or
kitchen shears, carefully cut top side of lobster shells
lengthwise. Pull apart shells slightly, and season meat with equal
amounts butter, paprika, salt, and white pepper.
3. Broil lobster tails until lightly browned and lobster meat is
opaque, about 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.
Nutrition Information: Per Serving
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Total Fat: 48g
Total Carbs: 7.4g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9g
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2014 Allrecipes.com Printed from
Exported from Home Cookin 8.56 (www.mountainsoftware.com)
Duchess Potatoes Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
You can make these potatoes ahead for a dinner party by preparing the mashed potatoes, piping them and then refrigerate them. Place the potatoes in a 425°F oven 20 minutes before serving to brown.
2 pounds Potatoes (Yukon Golds preferably), WASHED, PEELED AND CUT INTO QUARTERS OR EIGHTHS
1/4 cup HEAVY Cream
4 tablespoons UNSALTED Butter, DIVIDED
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 LARGE Egg YOLKS
Put potatoes in a LARGE pot (3 qt) and COVER WITH A COUPLE OF INCHES OF COLD WATER. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer and cook UNTIL THE POTATOES ARE TENDER (the tines of a fork easily pierce), about 20-25 minutes.
MEANWHILE, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. Use this butter to coat the potatoes right before they go in the oven.
PREHEAT THE OVEN 425° F.
AFTER THE POTATOES ARE COOKED, DRAIN IN A COLANDER AND PUT THE POTATOES BACK IN THE POT SET OVER LOW HEAT. ALLOW THEM TO RELEASE STEAM FOR A MINUTE OR SO. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes until the butter has been incorporated. Add nutmeg, black pepper, and heavy cream while you continue to mash the potatoes. After everything is mashed together, add salt, to taste, and the egg yolks. Continue to mash UNTIL THE MIXTURE IS SMOOTH. DO NOT OVER-MASH OR YOUR POTATOES WILL END UP WITH A GLUEY.
PLACE A LARGE STAR TIP IN A PIPING BAG. DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THIS STEP! Pipe the potatoes onto a cookie sheet. If you don’t care to try piping or you just don’t have time to fuss, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface. The swirled edges from the star-point piping bag forms or the peaks of mashed potatoes in a casserole dish will brown nicely in the oven. Whether you make piped individual portions or a casserole, PAINT THE POTATOES WITH THE MELTED BUTTER. Bake in the 425°F oven until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.
Home Cookin Chapter: Desserts
November 5, 2009 By Eric Lanlard
A fantastic after dinner show stopper, this baked Alaska recipe
was featured on the second series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard
on Channel 4.
For the sponge
175g Butter (unsalted) softened, plus extra for greasing
175g Unrefined golden caster sugar (we use Billington’s) Unrefined
golden caster sugar
3 Egg(s) (free range)
1 Lemon(s) finely grated, zest and juice
175g Self-raising white flour (we use Allinson) Self-raising white
150ml Ice cream Vanilla
125g Dried mixed fruits
25ml Grand marnier
For the meringue
6 Egg white(s) (free range)
400g Unrefined golden caster sugar (we use Billington’s) Unrefined
golden caster sugar
4tbsp Apricot jam
25ml Grand marnier
Place the dried fruit in a bowl and drizzle with Grand
Marnier. Leave overnight so that the alcohol infuses the fruit.
tip: What to do if you have forgotten to soak the fruit before
baking your cake
Soften your ice-cream (use a mixer with a beater attachment
for ease) and add the drained, soaked fruits to it. Pack into a
loaf tin and refreeze.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC (170ºC fan, 375ºF, gas mark 5).
Lightly butter one of the remaining loaf tins. tip: How to use
your oven properly
In a bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, using an
electric hand whisk, until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg, a
little at a time, combining well after each addition. tip:
Using eggs at room temperature
Once the eggs are thoroughly combined, beat in the lemon zest
and lemon juice, then sift on the flour and fold it in, using a
large metal spoon.
Turn the batter into your prepared tin then place in the
preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer
inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to
cool for 10 minutes in the tin then turn out on to a wire rack to
cool completely. tip: How to cool your cake after baking
Once the sponge is completely cold, make your meringue. In a
bowl, beat the egg whites using your electric hand whisk,
gradually adding the sugar until you have a stiff and glossy
mixture. tip: How to whisk egg whites
Spread a layer of the meringue on the base of the third loaf
tin (not too thick). Cut the sponge in half horizontally and
spread the apricot preserve over both of the cut ends. Lay one
piece of the sponge, jam-side up, over the meringue then unmould
the ice-cream, trim and lay on top. Now place the second piece of
sponge, jam-side down, over the ice-cream. Use the remaining
meringue to cover the top of the Alaska so that it completely
seals the cake, like an igloo! Place the Alaska in the freezer
Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan, 425ºF, gas mark 7).
Remove the Alaska from the freezer and immediately place in
the preheated oven. Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until the meringue
is coloured. You can use a kitchen blow-torch to add a final touch
In a small saucepan heat up the Grand Marnier. Carefully light
it up and pour over the dessert just before taking it to the
note: photo found on internet – did not come with recipe!!!
Exported from Home Cookin 8.56 (www.mountainsoftware.com)
Don’t forget to enter our contest for the $20.00 Amazon.com Gift Certificate. For rules and entry blank, please see the December 27, 2014 post about Kwanzaa. Scroll past the recipes and look for the Rafflecopter link. Contest ends on January 2, 2015, my granddaughter’s 19th birthday!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:
New Year’s Eve Party photo – http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-new-year-party-image7453229
Fruit and Champagne photo – http://www.hazeltons.ca/products/champagne-fruit-salad-bowl