The Night Before, The Night Before New Year’s

Strangely enough, this year we have ZERO plans for New Year’s Eve. Usually, we have a handful of invitations to choose from, but mostly we don’t have a sitter. So we may end up at home anyway, but still. Seems like this year our friends all put their energies into Halloween for some reason. It appears that everyone is partied out.

I can’t say it bothers me, really. I am a homebody by nature. Given the opportunity of a party or a night at home reading, home wins every time. But if I have to go out, to me, the perfect night out would be dinner and a show with my boyfriend (a.k.a. spouse). I like that I can take the sensory-overload down a notch, which a party just doesn’t let me do. To me, leaving a place full of activity and noise to go to another place full of activity and noise just seems wrong. What I need in a night out is the opposite.

My downfall is the food though. When we are going out, I want good food. Food cooked by someone else, served to me thoughtfully, and then whisked away to be cleaned up by some other mysterious someone. Basically, I want a night off.

This week, in lieu of big plans for the New Year’s, I decided that I would buy a beef tenderloin and cut myself some filet mignons for dinner. My son once had a bacon wrapped filet and has never forgotten it, so I thought I would wrap them up for grilling. My middle child is on the verge of becoming a vegetarian, other than he too cannot live without bacon, so I am making a HUGE salad at his request. My youngest is a sugar junky (Shocking! Where could she have gotten all that sugar?!), so I must provide a dessert. I had planned to make something new, but she requested ice cream. My machine broke a couple months back, so I had to bite the bullet and buy her Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. She and her dad love that one! My only requirement for the night was a bottle of lambrusco. If you haven’t tried it, you should! This is an awesome alternative for those of us who don’t love the bubbly known as champagne (please don’t hate me).

All of this seemed easy enough, but there was one snag. Nobody could tolerate the wait. I had cut my steaks and they were dry aging in our spare fridge. Every time someone looked in there, all I heard was “When do we get to eat the steaks?” So I broke down and we ate them last night. I added to this menu mini loaded baked potatoes (grown by yours truly) that were buttery and so tasty. I also made my own steak sauce – I call it S-1. Plus I was playing around with a vegetarian “steak” option and made some grilled cauliflower steaks topped with home-made lemon-pepper. To round it all out, I sautéed some porcini mushrooms and then made them into a red wine reduction sauce to serve with either version of steak. Not to mention that I made an anchovie-parsley compound butter. What better way to eat a bacon wrapped steak than topped with butter?? I must say that it was a highly satisfying meal.

I am not sure what we are going to have tonight, but I am not sorry we did it. It was delicious! And to top it off, it was quiet and low key. Just the way I like it!

Here is to a new year of cooking, experimenting and resolutions.

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5 thoughts on “The Night Before, The Night Before New Year’s

  1. Hey Steph, Can you tell me more about the marinated cauliflower steak? I made roasted cauliflower in the oven tonight and my fam just can’t get enough. I love how you sliced it and duplicated the style tonight. Yours looked grilled and I would love to try it! It sounds like from your blog you might have a bit of time on your hands. I would love to get together, get caught up, talk about all things food, kids and husbands. Whatchathink?

    • I cut it about an inch thick and then rubbed it with olive oil and salt and pepper, but then topped it with lemon zest and pepper when I served it. I have an indoor griddle/grill thing that I used because I was worried about it breaking apart and falling through the slats on the BBQ. I would love to get together! We haven’t caught up in ages!! I have both of my younger ones homeschooling now though, so I am still tied up most days. Open to a Saturday/Sunday coffee??

      • Would love it! But you are staying away from Starbucks! It will just have to be my treat. My girls have Sunday school from 9:30 to 12:15. Next week is out but how about the following? Glad you knew who the post was from. Meant to say “your and Toms old work buddy” but launched prematurely. Hugs to Tom too.

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