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
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Pillsbury.com
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
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.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!