Posts Tagged ‘New year’s tradition’

One New Year’s Eve, Vonnie and Linda decided to eat dinner together– they had no idea it would become a 30-year (and counting) tradition for them and their families.

Food traditions are often started on a whim or out of convenience, but these little decisions change the flavor of our lives by adding a richness and stability that we look forward to. Linda and Vonnie are close friends for lots of reasons, but one dinner one night created a bond, a ritual, that has lasted for most of their adult lives.

They’ve even created a blog to chronicle their New Year’s memories and recipes, check it out at http://www.thirtynewyears.blogspot.com/

Although they had a hard time picking one recipe, they ultimately choose Steak Diana. This beef tenderloin dish has been cooked more than any other  (3 times) and it’s from The Cook Book, published by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Steak Diane

Four 4- to 6-ounce beef tenderloin steaks

2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 Tablespoons minced shallots

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup beef bouillon

Pound steaks between two pieces of waxed paper. Dredge in flour mixed with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add steaks. Brown one minute on each side. Remove to platter.  Spread both sides with mustard and sprinkle Worcestershire sauce & set aside.  In same skillet melt rest of butter, sauté minced shallots briefly, add mushrooms and sauté a minute or two. Add brandy and flame. Stir in bouillon and remaining Worcestershire. Cook and stir until hot. Return steaks to skillet, reheat 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


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After interviewing Julie about her family’s Christmas ravioli extravaganza I was inspired. I love dough and pasta, then heck, I should make some ravioli’s too!

So it began.

For 2 weeks I made ravioli’s by myself. I made pumpkin which turned out a little too pumpkin-y and chicken sausage, which was good, but I was wearing out. Yes, as I should have learned from the interview, making lots of ravioli might require more hands. I called SOS and my trusty help came running. Thank you family.


Cheese filling.


Dad picked his own apron fyi.

Ravioli Exhaustion. I owe her yet again.



This was a BYOB party (Bring your own bowl). I did this partly to save on late night dishwashing and mostly because it was kind of fun to tell people. The party started at 5pm and lasted until 9pm. I wanted people to feel like they could drop by and weren’t committed to midnight.


Cheese Ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli

Chicken Sausage Ravioli

Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce (with a little help from Paul Newman)

Dad’s meatballs

Garlic Butter Sauce


Garlic Butter

Plain Butter




Sparkling Cider

Diet Coke



Desserts: (another bowl friendly item)

Ice cream: Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla, Cookie Dough, and Peppermint

Toasts and celebrating every hour on the hour!

The party was a smash, at least I think so. The best thing about this experience was that I got to talk to almost everyone! This is usually not the case when I’m hosting. Since I decided to serve each person to order from the stove, I had the chance to chat with my guests. Yes, it was busy night boiling for me, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

We had so much fun. The pumpkin ravioli’s turned out to be the big hit! Who knew? Certainly not this hearty eater.

And then there were the toasts. Every hour until all the guests left. I thought people might tire of the toasting, but no one did. In fact I think people liked it even more as the night went on.

Each guest took home one or two individually wrapped cinnamon rolls. I made 60 in total! I love the idea of celebrating the sweetness of a new year with something yummy. (I stole this idea from a children’s book author that I like). For the recipe see my blog about my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls.

With one guest left we invited her to participate in our New Year’s ritual.

That night we received a message that one of younger guests was still requesting dad’s meatballs when he was tucked into bed. People did scrape the bowl looking for more.

Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy them too!

Dad’s Meatballs:

1/2 pound of Italian sausage

1/2 pound hamburger

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

garlic salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs

(dad also tossed in some black olives and chopped tomatoes in some of the meatballs)

Butter for frying (2 to 3 tablespoons)

How to:

Mix all ingredients together (except butter) in a large bowl.

Form golf ball sized meatballs and set aside on a plate.

Melt butter in a deep frying pan. Add meatballs.

Fry in pan until cooked through and brown on the outside.

Serves 10

What an excellent way to start the new year. All that work was so worth it!


Thank you Kendra for the use her pictures, Jennifer for helping out at the stove and Roger for answering the front door!

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