Several years ago, we gave up on an evening out on New Year's Eve. It costs a fortune, especially when you have to factor in the baby sitter. Even when you go to the best of restaurants, you usually don't get the best of experiences. Finding a cab is a nightmare and by the end of evening you're inevitably surrounded by drunks.
Photo Credit Amanda Sudimack, Artisan Events
Instead, we host a kid-friendly New Year's party, ranging in size from 10 to 20 guests. Now you might think that given my occupation, the last thing that I want to do for the evening is slave away in the kitchen. And you'd be right. I don't and I won't. Instead, I call this my odd bits party. The menu doesn't get finalized until I've had a chance to dig through my freezer and the reaches of my cabinets to determine what can be used to create something fabulous. Lobster shells made into stock back in September? Lobster Bisque. Pears, a gift from my mother-in-law, on the verge of becoming overripe? Pear Frangipane Tart. Lambs in a Tuxedo left over from an earlier party. Beet puffs too. Smoked trout from our Christmas celebration of the twelve fishes transformed into trout mousse. In fact, it's 1:00pm. Our guest won't arrive until 7:30, but all I've got left to do is freeze some ice cream and clean the house. Heck, I may even take a nap.
For those interested, here's our full menu:
Oysters and Cocktail Sauce (Thor brand cocktail sauce, a gift from Dirk of Dirk's Fish & Gourmet)
Smoked Trout Mousse with Cucumbers
Caramelized Onion Dip with Potato Chips
Beet Puffs with Goat Cheese Mousse and Micro GreensLambs in a Tuxedo
Braised Lamb on Polenta
Green Beans (courtesty of Amanda Sudimack)
Pear Frangipane Tart
Cocoa Nib Ice Cream
Ann Cooper and Sam Kass on School Food
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