I feel like New Years Eve is never as fun as it should be. Like it gets built up so much and then either plans don’t work out or a bar is too crowded, etc. etc. But this year was pretty good, spent with good friends and in my favorite place: home. The only downside: the fact that it was SO FREAKIN’ COLD in Nashville this year! That made for misery during our attempts of getting a cab home. I got to see the guitar drop–a new feature for downtown Nashville this year–and I have to say it was awesome. I vaguely recall a massive multicolored guitar descending over the river front at midnight and I also remember being way into it (got the pictures to prove it) so I feel confident that it was great. Yes, I did say the guitar drop in Nashville was great, don’t judge me. Another part of New Years Eve that I particularly enjoyed was how I spent my last day of 2009: cooking. Some friends and I decided to get together for dinner before going out, since some of us happen to enjoy cooking we decided that we should make a home cooked meal. I was quite impressed with our results!
I got a Le Creuset Braiser earlier this December as a parting gift from my last internship and I wanted to put it to good use. My first instinct was to make short ribs–big fan of short ribs–but my friends are very picky eaters. (Yes Kathleen I am referring to you who will not eat potatoes or most other commonly eaten foods). I knew short ribs would freak them out so we went with the standard: chicken. I found a recipe for Braised Chicken with Garlic and Lemon that was easy and wouldn’t require to much labor the day of so I figured it would be fine. I didn’t really expect much from the recipe because it was so simple that I thought it would just be decent. It was wonderful. It was soooo easy, required few ingredients and ended up tasting delicious. You can see the rest of the menu below but the star really was the chicken. For dessert we enjoyed a cake that I had made the day before. I saw a champagne cake recipe somewhere and decided to replace the champagne with pink grapefruit Perrier–you could barely taste it but it made for a delicious and light cake. It was a good finish to our meal.
I also decided to make a few appetizers because, well, I love wine and dine parties! Especially with great little appetizers. My brother was having some friends over as well and we expected more company after we finished our dinner so I wanted to make sure everyone would have lots of drunk munchies for the night. I made Caprese Salad Skewers, a Baked Brie (my absolutely FAVORITE) and my brother even set up a guacamole bar. I have to say that I was quite irritated when I arrived home the next morning, very hungover, in need of a piece of baked brie and found not even a crumb of food left. Obviously I am so happy everyone enjoyed my appetizers…but my hungover brain was not pleased. I satisfied it instead with some kettle chips…like almost a whole big bag to be exact. All the food was delicious and SO easy. I didn’t want to make anything majorly time consuming because I didn’t want to have to spend all day cooking since I needed to get ready for the night. Everything was quick and delicious! It was the perfect way to ring in the new year. And now I think I’ve finally recovered from the night out.
2 cans of crescent rolls
one large round of brie
one jar of apricot jam
Your favorite nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper unroll the crescent roll rectangle and press the seams together. Place round of Brie on top. Spread a layer of apricot jam over top of the brie and then sprinkle with a thick layer of brown sugar. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place over top the brie round. Seal up the seams and form around the brie until it is all covered. (I put a 2010 on mine with the extra crescent dough I had hehe). Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until it is golden brown.
Herb Roasted New Potatoes & Steamed Broccolini
Pink Grapefruit Bubbly Cake
1 box yellow cake mix and the ingredients it calls for–replace the water with pink grapefruit Perrier
1 bar of cream cheese
2 sticks butter
Bake cake as directed on box. Cool completely before icing.
For the frosting: cream together butter and cream cheese in a mixer and then add powdered sugar until it is the right consistency and flavor–I think I added about 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
AND lots of champagne!
I hope you all are having a great 2010 so far. Sorry we are so random in our posting we’re just trying to get ready for our studies abroad! Speaking of which, Ariel is currently waiting in the airport for her flight to Tel Aviv wooooo!!!!!! If you all have any suggestions of places I should visit while in Florence, or really anywhere in Europe don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me an email!