Holiday, Recipes

2014 New Year’s Eve Menu

New Year's Eve Menu 2014

Hello, 2015. Pleasure to meet you.

Taking a quick break from breaking down cardboard boxes (thanks, Amazon!) and putting Ikea furniture together to do our first post of 2015. In our last post we shared our New Year’s Eve tablescape along with a PDF template for our food tent cards. Now let’s get to the foooooooooooood! Here’s a look at what we ate during the final hours of 2014 (and also the first few hours of 2015).

Sausage Bites

Sausage Bites Bon Appetit

These are are our take on Bon Appétit’s Pigs in Sleeping Bags. Rather than make our own sausage, we used a chicken sausage with spinach and feta from Wegmans. These might be my favorite of the lot and are normally the reason for our first empty plate of the night. They are much better hot, but they’re not too shabby cold at 2 AM, either.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we make deviled eggs for pretty much every occasion (and many times for no reason at all). We used our classic deviled egg recipe, spiked with Sriracha and dusted with cayenne. After staying up late many times to make these eggs, it’s nice to finally eat them late at night.

Mini Mac ‘N’ Cheese (#glutenfree)

mac n cheese bites

Because it’s more fun to eat mac ‘n’ cheese with your hands, this Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins recipe from made several appearances in our house during 2014. Also, these are baked in a muffin pan to facilitate maximum crispy-edge-ness. We modified the recipe by skipping the breadcrumbs and used a gluten-free elbow pasta from Barilla. Oddly enough they actually turned out better than gluten-full pasta, as the edges were even crispier than normal. We also added a dash of nutmeg for fun. It’s a great base recipe to tweak (each time we change up some part of it), so feel free use your favorite cheeses or even add some spices to your liking. We do want to warn that these don’t quite hold up as a leftover, so be sure to eat all of them the day they’re made.

Caprese Bites

caprese bites

In a world full of heavy, meaty, carby appetizers, these Caprese Bites are here to add a bit of freshness to the table. A classic italian combination of tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar made party-ready with a toothpick. Our secret weapon is Acetum Blaze Glaze, which is basically a pre-reduced balsamic glaze that will save you hours over the stove reducing vinegar. Definitely worth keeping a bottle around for balsamic emergencies.

Mini Chicken & Waffles

Mini chicken & waffles

Wanna trick your mouf into thinking you’re at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, but don’t feel like jumping on a plane to L.A? Here’s the secret: Mini Eggo Waffles and Chic-fil-A nuggets. (Chicken from Popeyes would also probably work fantastically.) You could go all homemade if you want, but then you wouldn’t have time to make anything else. There are tons of variations on this appetizer, but we serve ours with a blend of pure maple syrup, Log Cabin syrup (for texture), and Sriracha for a small kick.

Spinach & Kale Bites

Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Bites

This is a small cheat, as these are frozen and are supplied by Trader Joe’s. They’re pretty good when they’re hot, but be sure to re-heat for guests, as they’re not so good at room temp.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

white chocolate & cranberry cookies

These cookies have become a holiday staple in our family. It’s unfortunate, because I don’t really like white chocolate all that much. However, it’s a crowd favorite that ends up on all their Christmas wish lists, so we make a couple batches in early december and freeze the pre-formed dough to ensure we’re fully-stocked and ready to bake throughout the season. The recipe is written down on a scrap of paper from my mom, so who knows where it originally came from. It’s a fairly standard cookie nowadays, so take your pick from Google.

Cheesecake Bites

cheesecake raspberry bites

Tina first saw this “recipe” on the mint love social club blog. The reason for the quotes around “recipe” is that there’s really no recipe other than cutting a frozen cheesecake into squares, adding a raspberry on each, then popping a thick toothpick in the middle. Seems a little too easy… After stuffing my face with salty snacks it’s nice to have a sweet, fruity, creamy bite. But don’t count how many you eat, as you don’t want to realize you just ate an entire cheesecake one bite at a time.

NYE 2014

We clearly ate well and this was for a small gathering of about five people. Just imagine if we had a full-blown par-tay…

Stupid Disclaimer: No compensation or free stuff was provided from anyone for this post. All references to websites, products, and/or brand names are done so because we actually use and like them.


My Hidden Talent: Deviled Eggs


I thought long and hard about what the first post should be – something possibly irrelevant in the bigger picture of this blog – but in the back of my mind I wanted it to mean something. At first I was holding out for a “crazy” idea of a post that would go viral and end up being referenced by Padma Lakshmi on an episode of Top Chef. Then, I figured that it could pull at some heart strings with a tear-jerking post about life, death, food, love, and labradoodle puppies. However, I was standing at a urinal and it became so clear…so simple: Deviled Eggs.


Possibly an odd choice to an outsider, and in no way an attempt to fill an internet void of deviled egg recipes (’cause there ain’t no void), but it’s perfectly fitting for who I am and what I want this blog to be about.

Somewhere in the twelve years that I’ve worked at my current job, I have earned the respect and envy of my co-workers for one thing: My Deviled Eggs. Never have I seen excitement over such a simple dish. Nor have I seen the harsh disappointment at the absence of it. My boss has even gone as far as hoarding eggs for an afternoon snack…There’s an unspoken rule in my office, and that’s whenever we have a pot luck lunch, I am required to bring deviled eggs. For our Christmas party this past year, I tried to mix it up by bringing tortillas and Awesome Sauce (it was partially a Korean taco party, hence the tortillas…and I’ll get to the Awesome Sauce in another post). Anyway, I did not provide the eggs as assumed by everyone and sadness hit the office in a way that made it seem like I ruined Christmas.

 “It’s not a Christmas party without your deviled eggs, ” said one crestfallen coworker. Cue the sad Charlie Brown music.

Look, I obviously like my own deviled eggs, but I don’t necessarily think there’s anything extraordinary about them. Maybe it’s the simplicity. Maybe nobody else ever learned how to make them. Or maybe I’ve just worked there so long and have consistently brought the eggs into work, that it’s created an odd psychological dependence on them (Deviled Egg Dependence or D.E.D. is not currently recognized by the American Medical Association).

Either way, I’m the Egg Man at work, so I might as well fully embrace it.

But, wait… How the heck did I even become the Egg Man? Again, after over a decade my memory is a bit fuzzy. I don’t remember the first time I brought the eggs into work. And if I really give it some thought, I CAN’T REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I EVER MADE THEM!

I clearly did not invent these magical delights, so I’m assuming that it’s a recipe that I picked up from either my mom or my grandmother. But it’s still an odd feeling not being able to remember when or where I learned it. I supposed it could be a power hidden in my DNA, like Wolverine. But Egg Man would make a pretty sad comic book hero and definitely wouldn’t warrant a movie trilogy.

So, I wasn’t blessed with any athletic or intellectual talents, but I was given this minor food gift.

You know, as I think about it even more…

Deviled Eggs have to be one of the first dishes I ever made without using a recipe and one in which I relied solely on taste to season and add ingredients. So in the most simplistic terms, when I make deviled eggs…I am about as close to being a chef as I’ll ever be.



  • 1 Dozen Extra Large Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise – It has to be Hellmann’s brand, no deviation allowed (trust me, I’ve tried and it makes a huge difference).
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Relish – DO NOT USE SWEET RELISH. There are few things more disappointing to me than biting into a deviled egg, only to find out that it’s SWEET. Gross. Seriously, if you like sweet eggs stop here, because this is not dessert.
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper


1.  Make Hard-Boiled Eggs. Simple, right? Well… I have a very specific method that I learned from watching Tyler Florence in the early days of Food Network: Set the eggs in a large pot and fill with warm water from the tap, then place on a stove to boil. Once the water starts to come to rapid boil, set your timer for 10 minutes. No less, no more. I’ve found that ten minutes is the perfect amount of time to produce perfectly-cooked, bright yellow yolks. Too long and they start to turn an ugly green color, too short and they won’t cook through. There are a ton of methods for peeling hard boiled eggs and every grandmother out there has a secret that she swears by (“Honey, place two nickles in the water with the eggs and the shells will fall right off!”) I prefer to drop the eggs in an ice bath for about four minutes to cool them down. Then, I peel them under lukewarm running water.

2.  Slice the eggs in half, lengthwise and place the yolks in a separate bowl. For aesthetics, I like to cut them with this crimped cutter thing (to which I know not the correct name). Adds a nice ridged cut.



3.  Mash the yolks up with a  spoon until you have a fine powder, or you can no longer feel your arm. I like a smooth, well-blended filling without any “pockets” of dry yolk. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.


4.  Now you have two options for filling the eggs. You can get all Martha Stewart and use a pastry bag/piping tip, or you can keep it easy and fill it with a mini ice cream scoop. I use the former when bringing eggs to parties and work functions, while the latter is the quick method for when I’m having a casual BBQ at home.


5.  Garnish with something pretty like a fresh dill sprig or dust the tops with paprika and you’re all set!


 Alternate Toppings and Fillings:

  • Sriracha – Duh, right?
  • Curry – A nice twist that I was exposed to at Wayfare Tavern.
  • Cayenne – I prefer a nice kick, so I normally replace the paprika with cayenne.
  • Bacon – Again, duh.
  • Pickled Watermelon Rind – If you can find it, this adds a nice crunch and new dimension. OR you could make it yourself.