With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Changin' it up for New Year's Eve

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Changin' it up for New Year's Eve

I caught a segment of the Early Show the other day and saw for the first time, lifestyle contributor, Katie Lee as she served up delicious recipes that she suggested just might bring good luck in the new year.  I don't buy much into luck but these dishes sure did look tempting even to this Northern girl.

  The question was... could I get this one by my non-Southern husband.
I quickly texted him with my idea to have Jamie and her family over for New Year's Eve for some games and then after getting the little ones tucked into bed, a special dinner for the adults and more games until we watched the ball in NY Times Square drop, welcoming in 2011.  Jamie and Josh could spend the night (even though they live only 20 minutes from our home) and in the morning we could have breakfast together.

He texted right back with,  'Sounds like fun!'

Later, when I told him the menu of
Hoppin' John
Collard Greens
Prune Cake
Pomegranate Champagne
(post to follow)
he twisted his face and said,
"I think I'd rather use my gift card from Jill & Brad to Outback for a big juicy steak and a baked potato."

His non-sympathetic, undeterred wife immediately dismissed his comment and went right ahead and began a grocery store list. (actually, most of the items I already had in).
For good measure, I added cranberry chicken and sweet potato fries, just in case the new dishes didn't please)
Here are Katie's recipes:

Hoppin' John (we all like this a lot served over rice)

Some people put bacon in their Hoppin' John, but we never did when I was a child. This recipe really enables the beans to shine. Don't overcook the beans; I use canned black-eyed peas, which don't require a lot of cooking time. You can also add spices: Curry or Italian blends work well.

Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
Cooked rice
Shredded white cheddar
Hot sauce (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in black-eyed peas, broth, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 10 more minutes. Stir in green onions and parsley.

3. Serve on top of cooked rice and garnish with cheese. Add hot sauce, if desired.
Simmered Collard Greens (all but John liked these)

3 bunches collard greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1∕2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1∕4 teaspoon garlic powder
1∕2 teaspoon kosher salt
1∕2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Hot pepper vinegar, optional

Remove the white rib from center of the collards leaves. Stack the leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch pieces. Thoroughly wash the greens. (I soak them and continue to change water until no dirt or sand remains.) Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Stir in the soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a low boil. Add the greens and reduce the heat to very a low simmer. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Stir in the vinegar and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Serve with hot pepper vinegar, if desired.
Larry's Favorite Prune Cake
We loved this! I really wanted to make this exactly as the recipe was written but could not find canned prunes. I substituted dried dates that might have made the cake the tiniest bit dry. The glaze is so good drizzled on. We thought it made a great breakfast bread, warmed in the toaster and topped with cream cheese!
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1∕2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1∕2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped cooked prunes (canned prunes are fine, drained and rinsed)
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the glaze:
1∕2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons (1∕4 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1∕2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, stirring until combined. Stir in the prunes and walnuts. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 60 to 65 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently spoon the hot glaze over the cake to coat. If necessary, collect the drippings and spoon over the cake again.
Fun For the Little Ones
 Personalized PB&J sandwiches made with cookie cutters.
And for baby bird with the longest name and smallest appetite (and because Mom-Mom didn't want to use another loaf of bread, she got what we throw to the other birds...   the bread scraps  :)
She didn't mind a bit and eagerly began sharing with Raider.
Baby Cambrie taking her first steps!
 Caleb was delighted that Pop-Pop was able to make his toy bus work again by inserting new batteries.
He smiled and chanted "bat-a-we, Pop-Pop, bat-a-we," the entire time he was here.


Cindy said...

Congratulations..this Southern Gal has entered you into the Southern Gal club!!
These recipes are perfect!!

I love the sandwiches for the children..cute idea!!

Happy New year..Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Lisa said...

Everything looks wonderful...seems like a great idea...thanks for sharing. Lisa

Susan said...

OHOhhh, LDH. The New Year is off to a great start at your house! Those recipes sound yummified. Mmm mmm mmm .I'd like to come over your house right NOW for those collard greens. Susan

The Tablescaper said...

How neat to try new things for a new year celebration.

Happy New Year.

- The Tablescaper

Olga said...

Wow, everything looks so beautiful and delicious. I especially like the idea of personalized PB&J sandwiches; they would be perfect for any kid party ;-)

Have a wonderful year 2011!

Life In a Little House said...

Wonderful pictures ~looks like yummy food and such a beautiful family~ I like how you tried something different!! I am going to try some new recipes out tonight as well ~;) Happy New Year Love Heather

Mildred said...

It all sounds good! I love those PB&J sandwiches and Cambrie is so cute with her tiny teeth - can't believe she is taking steps! Glad you all enjoyed your time together.

Julie said...

What a wonderful New Year's feast! Love the kids PB & J's.

Happy New Year!!!

Karen said...

Black-eyed peas and collards--mmmm! Reminds me of Grandma's cooking!

Traci said...

Looks like y'all had a wonderful time! Those kiddos are too cute!

NanaDiana said...

It takes a bit of getting used to collard greens and black eyed peas if you are not from the South! I am glad that you were brave enough to step out of the steak and potatoes routine and give them a try. I'm betting the Mr. is voting for Outback next time!;>) Hugs-Diana

Patty@sewingseeds said...

So...did he like them? Sounds like everyone had a good time. Happy New Year!

Dayle said...

I'm Southern to the bone. You're speaking my language, Lorraine. I cook collards a bit different than your recipe, but that one sounds great, too. I think it is an acquired taste for most people.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May it bring health and happines and blessings beyond measure.

Ann said...

I know for a fact that my husband would have the same reaction to the menu only he would have also refused to try any of those delicious looking dishes.
I love the idea of the pb&j sandwiches, that is so cute

Joy said...

I am guessing the collard greens taste similar to spinach? The prune cake looks good... all of your menu would have been interesting to try, but... I think I might have preferred 'Outback'! Glad you had a fun & memorable evening with the family. Happy New Year!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Im grateful for your sharing. I will be back for these recipes .
Thanks. I think I have the same furniture and or almost the same.


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