Our New Year’s Eve was absolutely perfect. How was yours? Did you go out or stay in?
We decided once again to stay in. Really, I love any excuse to whip up a multi-course meal, and with the temperatures warm and the day sunny, we were both filled with energy and definitely felt like celebrating. After a tough workout at the gym, I headed to the grocery store to stock up for the big evening.
The menu was simple because it was just the two of us, but this could easily be doubled or tripled to serve a small dinner party.
Appetizer: Baked Brie with Cranberry Apple Butter, Brown Sugar, and Walnuts
I have had a jar of Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter around forever, and I thought it would be a perfectly seasonal pairing with brie. This appetizer was ridiculously simple. I cut the rind off of a triangle of brie, then cut the triangle in half lengthwise. I filled the center with a mix of the cranberry apple butter, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts, then topped the next layer with the same. I popped this in a 350 degree oven until it was melted to my liking.
It turned out ooey and gooey with great spicy flavors from the cranberry apple butter and a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar.
To add some freshness and crunch, we used granny smith apple slices as dippers. We also had some whole grain crackers, and we devoured the entire thing. I know baked brie is fairly common, but I still love it. It never disappoints!
We waited awhile before heading back into the kitchen to prepare the rest of the meal. One of the best parts of eating at home is pacing the meal as you like it.
Side dish: Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Butter Glaze
Another super simple dish, I started this one by chopping butternut squash, broccoli, sweet potato, and red onion into chunks, then tossing them in olive oil and putting them in a 440 degree oven until soft and browned around the edges.
While these roasted, I simmered a mix of butter and aged Balsamic on the stovetop, creating a buttery, syrupy glaze that I poured over the veggies before serving. I ended up eating a big bowl of these veggies as my main meal and again for lunch the next day. I always make more roasted veggies than I need; they are so easily heated up for another meal.
Vegetables wouldn’t cut it for my husband’s dinner, so I thawed one of the steaks my mom got him for Christmas, a top sirloin, and prepared it in a simple but spectacular way.
Dinner (for him): Top Sirloin with Blue Cheese Butter
I seasoned the raw meat with a bit of black pepper, seared it in a dry pan that was very hot, then put the pan into the oven with the vegetables to finish it up. While the steak cooked, I made a quick and simple mix of blue cheese and salted butter in the food processer. What a combination! I had to keep myself from eating it by itself. . .
Once the steak was cooked well, as the mister likes it, I topped it with the blue cheese butter. It was apparently incredible, with the butter and cheese softening over the meat with each bite.
Of course, it wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a little bubbly, Perrier Jouet Grand Brut Champagne.
Nutella Mousse for dessert finished the meal off with a little bit of sweet but not too much bulk. We ended the evening perfectly full and festive.
I would definitely make this meal again, from start to finish. It had the perfect mix of flavors and textures, offered some healthy veggies with some decadent cheese and chocolate, and made my warm kitchen smell amazing.
Do you have any go-to entertaining menus or dishes?