Did you do anything fun for New Year's Eve? I remember going to the occasional party, wearing cute dresses and drinking, but I can't even remember the last year this happened. Kids came along, and who is going to watch them that late on a holiday? At least, that is the boat we are in. Throw in the fact that Mr. B works odd hours, and more often than not, it is just the girls and me.
Several years ago, my mother and company were up visiting over New Year's Eve, and they inadvertently started a tradition in our house. The big grocery store has a huge fancy cheese department, and they sprung for some Brie and Maytag Blue, among a couple other varieties. It turned out that both daughters of mine are total cheese nuts. Not normal cheeses like cheddar, but strong cheeses. Expensive cheeses. Stuff I probably wouldn't buy on a regular basis. A tradition, however, was born. Every New Year's Eve, we pick out some fine cheeses. Usually, we just have them as a little snack or dessert, but last night, I decided that we needed a party spread! I used my big wooden pizza peel as a cheese board, baked some spinach-artichoke dip, roasted some garlic, sauteed some grapes, and laid out a fine snacky party table for three. This was pretty much our dinner, but why not? It was New Year's Eve!
It was also a time to hit the olive bar at the store. I also introduced the girls to kumquats! Big Sis liked them. Little Sis? Nope.
My cheese board plan: one cheddar, one flavored, one goat, one blue, and one soft and creamy cheese. The cheese lady at the store had samples of an amazingly creamy smoked cheddar, so we jumped on that one. We also followed her recommendation for a blue, a delicious Spanish blue. It was mild, but flavorful. Joan of Arc brie and goat cheese won based on price, and for our flavored cheese, we hunted down our favorite: rosemary-olive oil asiago.
We also had a small tomato caprese salad (more cheese!), red pepper hummus, lots of raw veggies, apple slices, cold grapes, and warm slices of baguette. If you're wondering about the sauteed grapes, here is the deal. One of my favorite treats ever served at a party involved sauteed grapes (olive oil and sea salt), goat cheese, and toasted baguette. It is an amazing combination of flavors!
We continued the "cheese" theme by watching Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, beginning with the whole "30 Greatest Women" countdown thing that started at 7 Central. Okay, we also played games and did other things, because it wasn't the most exciting entertainment, but when I was a kid, I always watched the Dick Clark show, especially after the 1987 NYE, when The Bangles performed. I was a member of the Bangles 'N Mash International Fan Club, what can I say?
Fergie was the west coast host this year. Not really a fan, but back in the '80s, she was on Kids' Incorporated, which I loved to watch on Saturday mornings as a kid, before it moved to the Disney Channel. (We didn't have cable at that point.) Here is your cheesy video for the day. If you're afraid of clowns, I'm sorry (not really).
Mr. B made it home by 11:30, so I got to ring in the new year with him. There was still plenty of yumminess on the table, and he came home with chocolate wine. Ever had chocolate wine? Oooooo...
Today, there are roofers hammering over our heads. We will have black-eyed peas for lunch. It was a yogurt parfait kind of morning. Tired of my dorky food pictures yet?
I would be lying if I said I never make resolutions, but as always, I will not share them. They are mine. I wish each and every one of you a magical 2014. May all your dreams and plans come true, or at least, let nothing fall apart. Love, light, peace, and hope.
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