Thursday, January 8, 2009

our rockin' new year's eve

this new year's eve was a quiet one: matt, little m, my mom and i hung out at our place. my mom provided the babysitting while matt and i cooked up a storm. we decided that it would be fun to make a bunch of courses for her, and since she loves playing with m and we love cooking, it was a fantastic arrangement for us all! it was a very european meal, minus the cigarette smoke everywhere and poor exchange rate- i think we started around 8:30 and it lasted until 11 or so. each course was sort of a taste of something; instead of eating a full serving at each course, the three of us shared a couple of bites of every menu item. 

this post is long, with lots o' pictures, since we had TEN total courses.

little m, obviously distraught that she has to go to bed early and only gets to eat pureed veggies, while the rest of us get to eat copious amounts of yummy.

course one: we started with a cheese plate; hello, caramelized onion cheddar cheese, can i name my next child after you?

course two: gougeres, or cheese puffs; how can you go wrong with gruyere anything?

mama bear surveys her next cheese puff conquest

matt pours out some celebratory prosecco from the magnum that we got especially for my mom since she's such a heavy drinker (i kid, i kid)

course three: pate (wrapped in bacon) with cornichons and mustard on the side; ok, this is SO not my scene, but my mom and matt are fans. i think pate is essentially fancy cat food, so that shows i'm not such a foodie after all.

mom and i in a jovial new years mood

course four: winter squash and pear soup

course five: avocado grapefruit salad; so fresh and so clean, clean

course six: first time homemade pasta queen cornelia upstages the old pro, matt. my mom had incredible skills with the pasta maker!

course seven: mushroom ragu on homemade paparadelle; i love mushrooms, so this was my happy place.

course eight: sauteed cauliflower; somehow a very simple preparation - just a quick saute- of this humble and overlooked vegetable elevated it to sublime.

course nine: rump roast; matt was kind of disappointed with the meat because it was a little overcooked for his tastes. perhaps that's what happens when you freestyle and try to combine three different recipes and cooking times... or maybe that's what happens when you are too busy eating mushroom ragu to fastidiously check the oven!

the finale! course ten: apple cake with warm caramel sauce. uh- caramel. do i need to say any more? (of course, i am kind of a caramel junkie, so this word may not have the same draw for all y'all that it does for me.)

not even midnight, and matt falls sound asleep on the couch with a full and delighted belly while my mom rocks all the dishes. sorry dick clark and ryan seacrest, we missed you out on you this year! (but we did enter 2009 with contented palates and a clean kitchen.)


  1. It was one rockin' new year's celebration at your house. I love how you and Matt have thoroughly embraced the slow food movement. It really is inspiring.

    The four of us really need to get better at collaborating on night's when we make meals that warrant their own special post. Geoff and I were doing something similar, by ourselves, just two miles away.


  2. I am so amazed at your culinary skills. My six girls all conquered
    Kraft macaroni and cheese and Kara's daughter says she makes a mean bowl of cereal. I think some of them can cook but their hubby's are picky eaters, so they do the cooking in the household. Your evening sounded delightful. Wish I could have been there to share in an evening with your mom.

  3. so yum. i am with you on the pate; that was the only pic i gave a yucky face to on this post. can i come play when we enter 2010? and by then, little m will be able (hopefully) to hear bits and pieces of the clinking dishes and the jovial laughter emanating throughout yer home. wow, so much will be in 2009!
    love you!

  4. um, ok. you are amazing. amazing. and yeah, pate, ick. and midnight on new years? didn't happen for us either. and i wasn't even bothered. feels strange.


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