15
Jan
08

New Years Eve and a 1K Week

I checked my stats yesterday and noticed that Good Home had over 1,000 hits in a week for the first time ever (that’s a lot for my blog). It was the week of New Years, so to celebrate I thought I’d share a pic or two from our New Years celebration.

New Years Eve Dinner

We stayed home New Years Eve. Linda and Jim, and John’s brother Ben and our sister-in-law, Lise came over and we cooked non-stop from 6:00 to 9:00 when we finally ate. We had the best time. Lise and Ben brought divinity and pecan rolls they’d made with Lise’s mom. Linda and Jim brought steaks as thick as your arm for us to cook. John and Ben made Steak Au Poivre, which is steak coated with cracked peppercorns; seared, then laced with a flaming cream sauce. I think its either a Jacque or Julia recipe. If enough people say that want it (I don’t know how many meat lovers I have reading), I’ll see if he will write it down for me to post. Steak lovers can die without regret once they’ve eaten it.

I love this picture of Ben and John stoking up the cream sauce. We love fire in the kitchen.

Heh, Heh, Fire

Linda recreated a salad from a description Ben and Lise gave her of one they ate a restaurant in Dallas. Ben, what was that place called? It had candied pecans and blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. I think apples, too. We improvised the candied pecans, which were tasty as snacks. I keep thinking one day I’ll make a huge batch and give bags of them out as Christmas gifts.

Since we were eating hunks of meat the size of dinosaurs, and pan fried potatoes, too, I roasted pears for dessert, a simple and light recipe I adapted from one we heard on NPR’s Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetta Kasper (She doesn’t know it, but I claim Lynne as my radio girlfriend. I love her.). The recipe is below. It’s easy and pretty, too. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures.

Everyone left by 11:30 p.m. and we were snug in bed by 12:00. A perfect New Years Eve!

Roasted Pears

Adapted from Sally Schneider’s book The Improvisational Cook. Sally recommends using lemon juice (instead of orange juice), and didn’t include the orange zest, but oranges were what I had. I’m sure the lemon version is very good, too, but the orange wasn’t bad if I say so myself. And the zest is pretty.

Serves 6

6 not-quite-ripe pears such as Comice, Seckel or Bartlett, halved (with stems left), peeled
and cored, except for stem (The stem looks nice and I think helps hold things
together.)
Juice from one fresh orange
Zest from one fresh orange
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
Butter
Balsamic vinegar (Optional, but I highly recommend it, especially if you use orange juice. The tanginess will spice things up a little.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. Arrange pears, cut side down, in a baking dish. Drizzle with fresh orange juice. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the tip of a sharp knife or a small spoon then mix the seeds with some granulated sugar and the orange zest. Sprinkle lots of the orange-vanilla sugar on the pears. Dot with butter.
3. Roast the pears until caramelized, for about 40 to 50 minutes turning them over half way through baking. (I actually guessed on this time, the recipe doesn’t really say how long to bake them.) Baste pears with liquefied sugar mixture before returning them to the oven. If desired, just before serving, drizzle a few drops of fine aged balsamic vinegar on the pears.

Serve one or two pear halves with a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream. Drizzle the sugar mixture from the pan onto the ice cream and pears. Orange peel makes a pretty garnish.

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6 Responses to “New Years Eve and a 1K Week”


  1. January 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Where is my sweet Claire in these photos? Did she not celebrate with you? I’m feelin’ kinda hurt for her…i’m just sayin. Surely she got table scraps.
    P.S.-Your table looks lovely.

  2. January 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I wanted the steak recipe until I saw the fire. Too involved for me. I’m dangerous enough in the kitchen as it is!

    The meal looked lovely. Seems like a perfect way to spend New Year’s Eve.

  3. January 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Yay for 1000 hits!

    I was just wishing that I had the recipe for the pears as I was reading – and then to my happiness, I scrolled down and there it was! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all!

  4. January 15, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Jennie, I don’t think it’s that hard, but if you’re really scared, just do what I do and get your husband to do it. It tastes awesome!

    D, with her Ya-Ya on hand, Claire ate about as much as any of us did.

  5. January 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Gorgeous table setting and meal! Love. It. I seriously think you need to post the steak recipe because how can we eat those wonderful roasted pears without a nice steak? It wouldn’t be right without the other. I love a good fire in the kitchen except our space is quite small and I fear I would burn the walls down.

  6. September 7, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our
    site. Keep up the good writing.


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