Holiday musings as we approach New Year’s Eve.




Our kitchen is (nearly) ready for New Year’s shennanigans.


Christmas has come and gone, and even though our new place is not at all decked out for festivities, visiting our families has given us quite the heavy injection of everything from Christmas carols to holiday lights. We received some fabulous gifts as we do every year, and of course that includes some pretty killer cookbooks that I’m excited to dive into over the next few months:

  • The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook: We only started coming here towards the end of our tenure in the New York metropolitan area, but it was certainly a case of better late than never. I’m hoping that both this book and the next can go far in both upping our culinary prowess and help fill that New York-sized hole in our hearts.
  • Le Bernadin Cookbook: As I’ve gotten more comfortable cooking fish—in particular whole fish—I’ve started to dabble into more advanced preparations, largely via Eric Ripert. It was only a matter of time before I wanted to explore some of the dishes that made him so well-renowned in the first place, and now that we’ve learned that the fish counter at the nearby Cross Street Market is the purveyor who supplies all of the sushi restaurants nearby, I’m really excited at the prospect of making high-quality fish dishes.
  • Moro: The Cookbook: I’m familiar with Sam and Sam Clark from their contributions to the Tapas cookbook, but I wasn’t aware of either Moro or Morito until Tim Mazurek (of Lottie and Doof) name-checked them in this piece for Serious Eats as favorite resources for dinner party recipes alongside Jerusalem, which is a favorite in our household already. The blend of Spanish, Northern African and Eastern Mediterranean flavors is one that intrigues me a great deal and given that we will be likely having at least a few dinner parties in the coming year, we’re going to need some new recipes to add to the repertoire.

(I also asked Michael for Mimi Thorisson’s A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse but since we haven’t done our gift exchange as of this post I don’t technically know if that will be added to my collection.)

With one holiday behind us and our apartment is in surprisingly good shape, I can now fix my attention on our New Year’s festivities. This year we’re entertaining a few friends—the first official, but also casual gathering in our place—and while we’re still working on the menu, I have my outfit picked out (probably this t-shirt and my favorite pair of yoga pants), I have a brand-new marble server on which to display small bites and some cheeses, and we have several games queued up that I’m sure will either take a turn for the dark or merely incite a lot of cursing. (Seriously—don’t believe that benign copy on the Dutch Blitz box and instead believe me when I tell you it gets very intense very quickly.)

As the header photo implies, there will also be much in the way of fizzy drinks all evening, from cocktails to flutes of champagne to toast 2015 in style. I have a feeling I’ll be whirring up some mimosas with citrus airs, and perhaps I’ll have to make some rosemary-gin-lemon sparklers at some point too. I’m going to also share one of my new favorite crostini assemblies early next week that was inspired by our trip to Barcelona and specifically a fantastic lunch at Tapas 24 and ideally, that (or at least a variation on it) will also be part of our New Year’s spread.

I hope everyone has had a fabulous holiday season so far!

  1. Tracy said:

    Wow! We are almost neighbors! I’m in Highlandtown and what’s so cool about this city is the promanade that goes from the Korea Warm Memorial on my side of town all the way over to Fed Hill. Welcome to B’more HON! I hope you find the city warm and welcoming. We’re known for our charm 🙂

    • Thanks so much hon! I’m looking forward to walking the promenade when the weather gets a little nicer out. 🙂

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