new year’s fun

because we are old now and because we are boring (and frankly, we wouldn’t have it any other way), for new year’s, erik and i stayed in and played several heated games of Scrabble while watching a Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci Fi channel. the only thing that would have excited us more would have been a Law & Order SVU marathon. but we capped said games with chicken wings (super yum) and this lovely drink. erik didn’t make it until midnight and i barely held on in time to watch the ball drop. it was a good time. for new year’s day, i decided to only engage in one food tradition and that was to make my mom’s version of bunuelos. basically, you take this recipe for flour tortillas (or whatever your favorite is), heat some oil in a large pan, and fry the tortilla dough (don’t cook the tortillas first – place the freshly rolled dough into the oil) until they’re puffy and brown on both sides. sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on both sides of the tortillas and serve hot.

for the past few years i’ve alternated between dishes like Hoppin’ John, black eyed peas, etc. for good luck, but this year we simply found a really good sale on some nice new york strips  that were cut by the butcher up in Jackson. we grilled those and invited erik’s parents and our niece over for dinner. my mother in law brought her amazing twice baked potatoes and i made a batch of the Pioneer Woman’s macaroni and cheese (from the latest addition to my cookbook collection, given to me for christmas by my sister in law). carb-a-rific and all around comforting meal to usher in 2010 …

Mistletoe Kiss Cocktail
recipe adapted from the link above

You Need:

2 ounces gin (i loooooove Beefeater’s gin)
1 ounce grenadine (you can use 2 oz, but i think it’s too sweet)
4 ounces pomegranate juice
squeeze of lime

combine all of this together in a cocktail shaker with some ice. shake it up and pour into a glass with ice in it.

Pioneer Woman’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese
recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook

You Need:

4 cups elbow macaroni
1 beaten egg
about 4 Tablespoons butter
about 1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk (i eyeballed this – i have no idea if i actually used 2 1/2 cups)
a teaspoon or so of dry mustard
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups shredded gruyere
salt and pepper
a cup or so breadcrumbs
a couple Tablespoons butter

bring salted water to boil in a large pot. cook the macaroni until barely al dente. drain and set aside. heat the oven to 350. grease a large baking dish. in a large pan or pot, melt the butter. whisk in the flour. let it cook for a few minutes. stir in the milk and mustard. cook this until it’s thick. pour (slowly) some of this mixture into the beaten egg to temper it. then add the egg mixture back into the sauce. stir the cheeses into the sauce. stir in salt and pepper. in a small pan, melt the couple of tablespoons of butter. cook the breadcrumbs in the butter. stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce. pour into the baking dish and sprinkle some more shredded cheddar onto the macaroni. sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni. bake for about 20 minutes or so until the top is golden.

many games of Scrabble (three of which i won) and his crowning glory is this:

sigh. men. they never grow up do they?

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