New Year’s Eve Munchies

I don't know about you, but I'm absolutely delighted to say goodbye to 2011 and ring in a fresh new year. 2011 has been a difficult one for my family and I. Unemployment, loss of family members, financial burdens and income challenges, and even physical and emotional illnesses have all been unwelcome visitors inside the walls of my home. I'm SO delighted to know that my Creator has promised that He will make His mercies new every morning. Lamentations 3: 22-24 gives me that hope. If you're not a Christian and/or you don't like reading Godly "gobbledy gook", fear not…. I'm just going to say one thing and then I'll share some wonderful recipes with you

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him.'
" -Lamentations 3.22-24

In other words, there's hope for a better tomorrow…and for a wonderful 2012. I look forward to seeing what great things my God has in store for me. Until then, I think it would be best to live for today and plan for a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration! Here are some of the recipes that I think would be perfect to help bring a smile to the faces of your party-going friends and family. Some are my recipes, and others are from insanely talented cooks, chefs, and/or food stylists. My cup of love for them overflows on a daily basis. I aspire to be as talented as their pinkie fingers are…and one day, with LOTS of practice (and a better camera), I may come close!


Bacon Wrapped Scallops w/ Maple-Jack Glaze

With the word bacon in the title, how can you possibly go wrong with this recipe? Well, I suppose if you saw the bacon and then proceeded to drool all over your scallop that would be wrong. But if bacon love is wrong, I don't want to be right. Oh, and of course, the obligatory party food booze can definitely be omitted if you're a non-drinker like I am. Party on, Wayne….


(Recipe from Chef Abbey Steffens, Republic Chophouse)


Photo credit: Grazing for Girls

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Maple-Jack Glaze

Rating: 51

Tender, decadent scallops drizzled with a sweet maple-whiskey glaze. An INCREDIBLY tasteful treat!


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 each fresh sea scallops (u-10 size)
  • 12 each applewood smoked bacon
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Lay bacon on a sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven and bake for 10 minutes. The bacon should be slightly cooked, and still jiggly.

Wrap scallops with bacon and secure with tooth picks.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan or griddle over medium-high heat.

Place scallops flesh side down in pan/griddle and sear until a golden crust is developed. Flip and repeat.

Remove from heat. If desired, scallops can be finished in the oven.

Drizzle with Maple-Jack glaze.


1 cup maple syrup

1-2 shots Jack Daniels whiskey

½ tbsp soy sauce

½ tbsp Dijon mustard

Combine syrup, mustard, and soy sauce in a bowl. Place whiskey in a pan and burn off the alcohol.

Once alcohol is burned off, remove from heat and whisk into maple syrup mixture.

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Curried Deviled Eggs

I don't like making resolutions because, well, let's face it…I'm lazy and I give up a lot when I'm not perfect. Truth is, nobody's perfect, so why bother trying to be? There, I said it. Don't judge. But if I DID make a resolution, it would be to eat as many of these as possible because they're creamy and dreamy and loaded with protein and eggy goodness. Never mind the fat or calories. They don't count when you're having a party, and you can always make a resolution to exercise…oops. Let's move on.


Curried Deviled Eggs

Rating: 51

Easy to make and beautiful, too. Deviled eggs are a treat at any get together.


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


Place eggs in a pot large enough to hold them with some space remaining. Fill pot with cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let eggs sit in hot water, off heat, for 25 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with half ice and half cold water. Transfer eggs to ice water and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.

Crack each egg and return to ice water. Remove the shells.

Cut each egg in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Force yolks through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.

Add mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder and salt. Stir until blended and smooth.

Use a small spoon to fill each egg white with equal amounts of filling. (Alternatively, fill a pastry bag fitted with a star or plain tip and pipe filling into shells. Or use a zip top bag with a small piece of a corner snipped off to pipe the filling.)

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Hot & Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Photo & Recipe Credit: Jessica Merchant

Jessica doesn't know this, but we're twins. The mailman totally did it. We were born 20 years apart, but we're identical. Except for the fact that she's completely gorgeous and thin and stylish and I'm so not. But we're absolutely identical and I won't take no for an answer.  Anyway, my point is that everything she makes and then takes photos of instantly turns to love on my tongue when I make it. Like this dip. Oh. Em. Gee. I'll take cheesy goodness in volumes, please. You can bake it in a beautiful crock like Jessica did, or put dollops of this amazing dip mixture into pieces of puff pastry dough, then make pastry purses around the dip and bake them. Then I double dog dare you not to eat 24 sheet pans full of them before your guests arrive.


Cheesy Ham & Pineapple Bundles

Photo Credit:

More cheese and pork products, all wrapped up in an easy to eat form, which means there's a less likely chance that these will fall off someone's plate and end up smooshed (yes, that's a word) into your carpeting during the party. What's not to love?



Last but certainly not least, you can't forget about dessert. Well, you can, but I can't.  It says so on my drivers license right next to the spot for organ donation.  It says "This woman must have dessert at any given opportunity."  Really it does.  My crazy obsession for mint and cheesecake blended together into a fudgy, chewy brownie = pure love.

Mint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Mint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Rating: 51

20-24 brownies

Fudgy brownies meet cheesecake and chocolate mint cookies. Sinfully wonderful!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped mint cookies


Heave oven to 350 degrees F (325 convection ovens).

Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch metal baking pan with non-stick spray. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Spray the parchment.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in sugar and bring to a boil, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until combined, about 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the mint cookies.

Spread half of brownie batter into the prepared baking dish, followed by cream cheese layer. Distribute the remaining brownie mixture in 8 dollops over the cheesecake layer and spread evenly. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Bake for 24-28 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.

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If none of those recipes floats your boat, you might be need of some major artillery. Don't panic. The wonderful Michelle can help you with that… she's got at least 60 more celebration-worthy recipes to share with you.

No matter what you decide to serve, be sure to serve up your dishes with a smile, and don't forget to find someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight.




  1. Brian Donovan says

    It's a good thing you fed me dinner before I came across this, Darling! It all looks SO GOOD! Excuse me now while I go and continue to drool!

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