Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Eve

My husband and I have made a tradition of staying at home.  We have found the potential danger from drunk drivers is not anything that we want to expose ourselves to.  We wear our best pajamas, have dinner by candle light, play great music (mostly jazz - Jane Monheit, Michael Buble`, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra...you get the point) and spend a wonderful evening together.  We have even been known to dance in the living room.

I make dinner, serve wine, have a spectacular dessert and we open champagne or sparkling wine for our toast at midnight.

For dinner this year, I will be making "surf-n-turf" with filet mignon, a mushroom wine sauce and crumbled Maytag bleu cheese and fresh Maine lobster with clarified butter, and roasted garlic bruschetta.

I fully intend to boil a pot of water and plunge the creatures in head first.  If you try to put them into boiling water tail first, they have a tendency to "flip" their tails and can splash you (or someone nearby) with boiling water......not a good thing.  Being from New England, cooking lobsters is something that we grew up doing.   My husband, on the other hand, grew up on a farm in Indiana where they still work the land growing corn and soy beans.  He is having some difficulty with the "cooking a live lobster" thing and has asked about having just the tails.  I have reassured him that the lobster will be fine and if he is that uncomfortable with how I plan to cook the critter, I will be happy to use my knife to "do the deed".  Ultimately, he will be fine and really I do not want him to miss out on the claws.

The veggie will be a grilled asparagus salad with caramelized shallots, toasted pine nuts and a light balsamic vinaigrette served in a slightly sweet yellow bell pepper.  I will also roast the tops of the peppers, peel and dice them to add to the salad.

For dessert, I am making a silken vanilla bean flan with fresh strawberries and a very lightly scented spearmint whipped cream.

For breakfast on New Year's day, chocolate Belgian waffles with strawberry sauce and vanilla whipped cream and coffee made in my brand new French press.  My last French press met an untimely and sudden demise.

Making coffee in a french press renders a completely divine cup of dark, rich coffee.  No coffee maker that I know of can produce this kind of drink.  It is simply wonderful.

I think that should about do it for us.

I would love to know how you celebrate New Year's Eve...

I wish y'all a very happy and safe New Year celebration.

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