Happy New Year!! We hope you all had a happy and safe time celebrating the start of 2017.
New Year’s Eve is a magical night, don’t you think? It’s always full of hope, no matter what the previous year brought your way. It’s a night to ring in a fresh start by doing something special.
This year, our something special was a cozy dinner party at home. We briefly considered going out to a nice dinner as a family… but when we called to make reservations and couldn’t get anything before 9:30, we quickly revised our plans. And I’m so happy it ended up that way anyway!
We decided that we’d make some of our restaurant favorites at home, and create something super special for the last night of 2016. We thought about getting all dressed up for approximately 2 seconds, but ended up eating our fancy meal in our pjs and snuggling up on the couch after. No regrets!
Our meal would’ve easily been a couple hundred dollars if we’d gone out to a restaurant. Plus, I’m pretty sure one year olds, pajamas and unlimited wine refills aren’t what a restaurant has in mind on the biggest party night of the year.
Our NYE Dinner Party Menu:
Bacon Dip with Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers
Cale’s Bruschetta Sampler
Baked Jumbo Scallops
Stuffed Clams on the Shell
Garlic Tomato Zucchini Noodles
Hunter happily sat in his chair in the kitchen and munched on all kinds of goodies while we danced and sang and cooked all the components of our little feast.
For our appetizers, we chose an OUTSTANDING bacon dip recipe that we served with rosemary and olive oil crackers. The only adjustment I made from the original recipe, using real bacon crumbles(the Costco kind… lifechanging timesaver!) instead of frying, cooling and crumbling bacon. In case you’re dying to try it tonight…
Bacon Ranch Dip (recipe credit: CountryLiving.com)
1 block softened cream cheese
1/3 C crumbled bacon
3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2/3 C ranch dressing
Mix all ingredients until well combined and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving with your favorite crackers or chips.
Cale also made bruschetta for us, one of his specialties. If you’ve enjoyed fancy bruschetta at a restaurant, you know that you can mix and match different ingredients for endless possibilities. For this reason, we’ve come to really enjoy making this at home because you aren’t limited to choosing 2 or 3 flavors from a menu list… you can try as many as you can think up! We get a nice french loaf from the bakery section and have them slice it for us in store (your grocery store probably has a slicer that you can use yourself or ask a bakery employee to use for you!). Then we pick up whatever cheeses and meats sound good, and occasionally we’ll pick up a jarred bruschetta mix to add in.
For our New Year’s feast we ended up with the following combos:
- sun dried tomato bruschetta mix with fresh mozzarella
- fig jam, brie, and prosciutto
- brie with bacon crumbles
- basil, fresh tomato, and fresh mozzarella
- mascarpone with prosciutto
I’ll be honest, we got done with appetizers and both Cale and I were full and had to wait a while to move on to our main course! But move on we did, because we had some special treats we prepared and we WEREN’T going to miss out!
For our main course, we chose a seafood combo. Scallops were on sale at the store, so we did these awesome baked scallops. Cale sent me a recipe from AllRecipes.com, and I made a few adjustments to fit our taste and use ingredients we already had on hand.
1 lb fresh jumbo sea scallops
4 T melted butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 C diced yellow onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C bread crumbs (we used traditional, but I think it would be good with Panko too!)
4 T olive oil
Mix the butter, garlic, onion, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add in the rinsed and drained scallops and toss to coat. Turn out into a casserole dish.
Combine the olive oil and bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper and dried parsley if desired. Spoon mixture over the scallops. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until topping is brown and scallops are done.
While we were at the seafood counter, we saw fresh prepared stuffed clams… so naturally we added them to the night’s menu as well!
As a side dish, I made zucchini noodles because I was itching to try out my new spiralizer attachment for my mixer!
After spiralizing 5 zucchinis, I warmed about 4 T of olive oil in a pot with 1/2 C sliced red onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Then I added in my zucchini noodles, some basil, salt and pepper and let that cook for about 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Lastly, I added in 1 C of halved cherry tomatoes and continued cooking until the zucchini noodles were to the desired softness. For the first go at my ‘zoodles’ I think it was pretty successful! And a great side for our seafood, too.
We said goodbye to 2016 as a family, and had a countdown to bath time (no midnight for Hunter just yet!) with party poppers and conffetti.
Our dessert was brownie ice cream sundaes, and because we weren’t ready for them before Hunter’s bedtime, he got his baby sundae on New Year’s Day…
Complete with diced banana, a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dribble of chocolate and some whipped cream for good measure!
I hope you all enjoyed your New Year’s celebrations, I know we certainly had a special little night! Hopefully you’ll use some of these ideas to inspire your next date night in or little holiday celebration! After all, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!
Happy New Year to you, our Hunter and Mama supporters! We can’t wait to share 2017 with you!
Hunter and Mama