December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! It's kind of neat to think that while I was spending time in my kitchen cooking for my New Year's celebration later tonight, someone else- somewhere in the world was ringing in 2012. I watched the fireworks in New Zealand this morning while I was on the treadmill!

New Year's Eve is a laid-back holiday for my husband and I... no wild parties, (especially not now with a 3 month old), but we still have a great time... most of the time. Our first New Year's Eve together, we spent the night on the couch in our apartment, I worked a 12 hour day, got home at about 8pm, we toasted champagne- which we found out that night that Matt was allergic to... he popped a few Benedryl, and I think we were both sound asleep by 1030... We've gotten better since then. We've spent three of the past five years with friends of ours and their two kids, and we'll be bringing our son along this year. It's a low-key night of games, great food and drinks, and Dick Clark. Someday, I want to go to, or host a swanky cocktail party, but that can wait (high heels aren't that comfortable anyway).

Food-wise, there is no other time for hors d'oeuvres like New Year's Eve. I look forward to a night of snacking and sampling a variety of different things. I'm happy as long as there are mini-hotdogs. Yes, mini-hotdogs. Not gourmet, not complicated... simple, delicious, mini-hotdogs wrapped in refrigerated biscuits, baked until golden brown, and dipped in either barbecue sauce, or spicy mustard. For me, it just simply isn't New Year's without mini-hotdogs. That being said, I think I would get sick if that's all I ate all night, so there has to be other things. This year, my friend Shannon is in charge of chicken wings, mini-meatballs, and a veggie tray (I think- she's always full of delicious surprises!)... I was responsible for: the ever-important mini-hotdogs, pulled pork sliders, and tomato-avocado salsa and chips.

Apparently, at some point in the 4 years that I have been friends with Shannon, I made a tomato-avocado salsa, (guacamole, basically), and it was phenomenal. She has asked me to make it several times since then... the only problem is, I have no idea what recipe I followed, or made up, and have not been able to make it again since, so I always come up with something else to bring. She asked me to bring it for tonight's festivities, and this time I knew I needed to come up with something, so I created my own. ...I have no idea if its the same thing that I made before, but it's good!!

Tomato-Avocado Salsa

2 Haas Avocados, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes (small), diced
2 tbsp, chopped cilantro
4 tbsp, finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Halve avocados, slicing lengthwise. Holding the avocado in two hands, one on each side of the slice, twist to separate. Gently run knife along inside of avocado, slicing into small squares- scoop out into large bowl. Repeat process for both avocados. Keep pits in bowl with diced avocado- keeping the whole pits in with the salsa helps prevent the avocado from browning. Dice tomatoes, chop onion, cilantro, mince jalapeno- placing all ingredients into the bowl with the avocado. Juice lime into bowl, add salt and pepper. Stir. Serve with tortilla chips... a margarita would be good too!

I would share my recipe for the pulled pork, (something I usually make with chicken), but I have no idea where the recipe came from, and I don't want to get in trouble for stealing a recipe without giving credit where credit is due.

What kind of food traditions do you all have for New Year's? Anyone else love mini-hotdogs as much as I do?!?

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year's!!

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