Janet's Notebook by Janet Tharpe
Ring in the New Year With Tasty Recipes Between Christmas and New Year's Day, my home is full of guests. It's great to ring in the new year with friends and family I don't see very often. And what do we do... eat!
For New Year's Eve, I put out appetizers for everyone. They are easy to prepare and fun to snack on. Adding paprika to garlic and herb cream cheese makes the most amazing filling for V Seward's (Hanford, CA) Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese. You slather it on bread and then roll everything in bacon... oh my. I mean really, what's not to love.
"While cooking and chatting with a good friend of mine, about recipes, of course, with our love for cream cheese and another great ingredient bacon, we decided to create these amazing little appetizers," explains V. They're very simple and definitely indulgent.
"This is an excellent appetizer for New Year's Eve or any event," says Stephanie Dodd (Kansas City, MO) of her Crab Tartlets. "[They're] easy to prepare and so delish."
These tartlets are similar to a baby quiche and a perfect New Year's Eve munchie. The filling of crab, Swiss cheese, green onion and egg is very flavorful. Starting with frozen mini tart shells is a great timesaver. Everyone will love snacking on these and no one ever needs to know what a snap they are to make! Another easy recipe is Deb Crane's (Eagle, WI) Cocktail Quiche.
"Very simple and effortless make ahead appetizers," shares Deb. " They freeze very well, and you can heat them up, place them on a warming tray, and tada - done." I used bacon when testing these gems. It adds a nice smokey flavor and I just loved the combination with the cheddar cheese. One of the great things about this recipe is you can customize the meats and cheeses to match your taste buds. Bonus, if you have any leftover heat them up for breakfast!
At midnight, I like to toast New Year's with a fancy cocktail. This year, I'm going to make Nancy J. Patrykus' (Spokane, WA) A Red Hat "Scarlett Floozie" Vodka Martini. It's not overly sweet like some fruity drinks. The cranberry juice and lemon balance the sweetness of the cherry juice. It makes a beautiful cocktail and a great way to kick-off the new year.
Tradition says if you eat certain foods on New Year's Day it will bring you good fortune. Before my guests leave, I like to serve a hearty meal and start the year with a bit of luck. Fran Murray (Arizona) and Annette Rinehart (Austin, TX) have recipes they will love.
"My husband, Mark, absolutely LOVES this Mom's New Year's Hoppin' John recipe [and] I always make it on New Year's Day," shares Fran. "It's said to bring good luck for the whole year. So far, it hasn't been wrong." Black-eyed peas are delicious. But add bacon to them... and you have a winner.
Everything is seasoned just right in this recipe. It's so good! "I like this recipe for New Years Day," says Annette of her New Year's Black-Eyed Pea and Cabbage Soup. "The peas for good luck and the cabbage for money, but this really is good for any day. This is a quick, easy and tasty soup.
I really liked the addition of the diced tomatoes and green chilies. You do taste some heat, but not too much. I was a bit concerned that there was no liquid added to the recipe. But as the soup simmered it produced its own liquid. Serve with a side of cornbread and you have one tasty meal.
Whether you're having a quiet night or having the neighbors over for a celebration, I would like to wish you a tasty new year! Photo Caption: Mom's New Year's Hoppin' John © 2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission. Brought to you by American Hometown Media