Monday, January 11, 2010

Celebrating the New Year

I always see the beginning of the new year as a time to reflect on the previous year and to make changes or plans for the new year. My 2009 was filled with many blessings that I am very thankful for. This year will be more of the same or maybe even better!

This is the first year that I did not leave the house for New Year's Eve. I was disappointed that there would be no fireworks on the bay this year. I celebrated by making some hors d'oeuvres and buying a bottle of champagne. I didn't drink any champagne and I fell asleep way before the countdown. But I was awaken by fireworks at midnight. One of my neighbors had a huge fireworks display. It was very impressive and loud.

I found inspiration for the hors d'oeuvres and cake on various websites:
Mushroom-Brie Phyllo Puffs
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Beef Crostini
Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

My plate: (clockwise) caramelized mushroom/onion/brie phyllo puffs, chocolate ganache cake, beef crostini with horseradish, and Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings.
I caramelized a small pack of sliced button mushrooms and sliced onions for 20 minutes. After letting it cool, I added some of the mixture with pieces of cut up brie onto phyllo dough and wrapped it. I baked the wraps for about 25 minutes.

For the beef crostini, I seasoned a beef tenderloin and seared it in a pan on all sides then put it in the oven to finish cooking. I made a horseradish sauce with sour cream, worechestshire sauce, grated horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I toasted the baguette slices with olive oil. I rubbed the baguette slices with garlic and seasoned them with salt and pepper before topping them with slices of beef and the horseradish sauce.
Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings: The wings were marinated in fish sauce and sugar, dusted with corn starch and deep fried. The sauce is made by simmering fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. The fried wings are coated with the sauce.

2010 (Food) Wish and to Do List:

1. Eat more healthy, be more healthy. I did well last year by cutting out soda and not eating as much bread and white rice. Also I have been eating much more fresh vegetables and fruits. I want to do better in 2010. I would like to see myself eat more fish (not fried). I also read somewhere to practice portion control by eating from smaller plates. And I will definitely increase my workouts.

2. Cook/eat more meals at home. I think out of laziness and being terribly disorganized at times prevents me from cooking more. I just need better planning and organization.

3. Try more different cuisines: Korean, Japanese, Indian, and French are a few I want to explore more.

4. Learn new recipes. I often am browsing the Internet for new recipes or I will read or see something that inspires me to try a new recipe, but I will stop myself from trying them in fear that I will fail.

5. Share my love of food with more people by hosting more gatherings in my home.

6. Buy myself much needed kitchen appliances, serve ware, dinnerware, etc. I'm going to need them if I plan on cooking for more people.

7. Volunteer more this year. I want to get involved more with feeding/helping those in need in the San Diego area.

8. Enjoy the beach more. As my time here passes, I find myself spending less and less time at the beach or anywhere near the water. There will be a time in the future when I will not be living near the beach so I need to fully appreciate it right now. I hope to have more cook outs, picnics, and long walks on the beach.

9. Get a patio set and new grill. I would like to get a grill that can accommodate gas and charcoal, do they even make such a thing?

10. Road trips. The last time I took a road trip was to Laguna Beach.