A festivus for the rest of us

We are officially old farts who weren’t sure we’d make it to midnight responsible adults who chose not to drive on NYE.  Instead of maddening crowds, high cover charges, and all-day hangovers, we opted for close friends, tasty food and a professional noise maker in the form of a 2 year old up way past his bedtime. Personally, I think we did it right (even if we can’t help but recall that 4 of the 6.5 players from last night were in our house a short 2 years ago making asses of ourselves screaming the countdown at the TV and drinking champagne well past 1 AM).

Now, B makes a mean butt.  And by butt, I mean shoulder.  Pork shoulder, to be precise. My man takes his bbq seriously, and practice makes perfect.  He put the Big Green Egg to work for our New Years Eve celebration (if you don’t know what that is, go here and prepare to be amazed:  www.biggreenegg.com ).  To go with the pulled pork, I made some mac and cheese from scratch and some cole slaw from a bag (hey, there’s only so much creativity that needs to be mustered with shredded cabbage).  To that add one lovely green salad provided by K (we can pretend we’re ringing in 2011 with health food) and some really creative “leftovers” dessert parfaits.  A fine feast to bid 2010 adieu and ring in a brand new decade full of good things to come (and possibly a new wardrobe of stretchy pants).

Goat cheese rolled in crushed pistachios and cranberries.  Go make this.  Right now.  It will impress absolutely everyone you know with your culinary genius.

B would have shot me if he knew I left the lid open on the BGE long enough to take a photo (or 4), but it had to be done.  Pre-pulled porky goodness.

Post-pulled porky goodness.  B even has special gloves for the pulling of pork and such things.  I think he can handle Uranium with them too.

Kicked up Mac and Cheese.  The big one is the good spicy one.  The small one is a bland version for my dear knocked-up friend D who can’t have anything spicy for fear her fetus will burp fire or something.  It could happen.  Really.

The feast. And no, I didn’t burn the rolls again, that’s just a shadow.

Our friend K is the queen of the creative, kick ass dessert. This is left over chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cherry pie filling, more chocolate cake and pudding and whipped cream – all stuff she had in her fridge (K is an impressively healthy eater).  Huge hit!

The “party” lasted until 10:30 (we preemptively watched the ball drop east coast time).  B and I made it to midnight to watch the re-run of the ball drop, but barely – we were asleep by 12:10.  We’re fun.  Tell me what you did for NYE – I thrive on vicarious living!

Happy 2011!

Kicked up Mac & Cheese
(adapted from: http://www.allrecipes.com)
(serves 8 – I doubled it and made the 2 batches)

1 1/2 cups rotelle pasta (I used orecchiette)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese**
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. A little at a time, whisk in milk, mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat and whisk in pepperjack, Cheddar and Parmesan until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta and pour into shallow 2 quart baking dish.
  4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in bread crumbs and chili powder. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

**I used all shredded mexican blend cheese rather than the pepper jack, since I was making some of it mild.  I added all the spicy stuff to the sauce after sequestering some in its own little non-fire breathing dish.


This entry was posted in appetizer, bbq, cheese, cooking, dinner, food, healthy, holidays, nuts, pork, recipes, Uncategorized, whipped cream. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A festivus for the rest of us

  1. Every single time I read your blog I always happen to be hungry…now I am starving! Happy 2011!!

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