Cooking In Stilettos...
Thursday, January 1, 2009 FoodBuzz 24, 24, 24: A Very Cranberry Soiree...

Ringing in the New Year last night, I decided to keep it safe, simple and, most of all, fun. I often joke that Central Florida is full of transplants - many of us are here sans family and find that we make our own family through our friends. Not to mention, they say who you spend your New Years Eve with sets the tone for the year ahead. Who better to spend it with but my friends.

I was honored to be selected by FoodBuzz to participate in their 24, 24, 24 New Year's Eve Event - 24 meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs. So, after much thinking, I decided to create a dinner for my "adopted fam" with one of the featured ingredients being the festive holiday fruit - Cranberry. I took some of my tried and true recipes and embellished on them a bit while I also attempted some new ones. I have to say it turned out to be a resounding success.

The Menu


Homemade Cranberry Vodka *

Spiced Apple & Cranberry Sangria

Castille del Diablo Merlot

Buffet Selections:

Large Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce and/or Cranberry Relish

Roasted Potato and Onions

Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs with Cranberry Chutney **

Balsamic BBQ Chicken

Roasted Salmon with Cranberry -Mustard Sauce


Panettone Bread Pudding with Vodka Soaked Cranberries and Cinnamon Syrup

I was pretty much pleased with the menu. Some of the menu selections were items that have been a hit at other dinners and the Spiced Apple/Cranberry Sangria was inspired by my recent trip to Jose Garces' restaurant, Amada, in Philadelphia (more on that in a future post). Couple that with my new fave linens from Williams Sonoma (in a festive shade of cranberry!), the party went off with nary a hitch.

Also, as a sentiment to start the New Year off right, my guests and those that were not able to make it will get a little "care package" containing some Cranberry centered items, namely their own small Cranberry Vodka, Erin Cooks! fabulous Cranberry Orange Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies and the recipes for all the recipes used (and some that were considered) for this event. I'm also surprising my co-workers with Confession of a (Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl aka SSG's fabulous Apple Cranberry Crumble on Monday. I was going to make it yesterday however when I was going through the recipe, I forgot two very vital ingredients. Note to self: Shop with a grocery list NOT on the blackberry. Lys = Airhead. Oops! I'll make sure to do an entry on it with SSG's permission of course.

Well, not being one to exclude y'all, I'm also going to make the recipes available for my readers. So, should you want the recipes, shoot me an email at Justanothagal [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject "24/24/24 Recipes" and I'll be happy to shoot them off to you.

Much thanks to FoodBuzz and my wonderful adopted fam here in Orlando. What a way to ring in 2009!

* The recipe is an Orange/Cranberry Vodka because the FN Recipe for Cranberry Vodka is wrong. Just let the vodka soak in cranberries and you will love it. Trust!

** I substituted 2 tbsp. of cranberry chutney for the equivalent of grape jelly. The flavors were perfect with the chili sauce.

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Posted by Lys :: 12:28 PM :: 9 comments

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