I spent the early part of New Year’s Eve in a cookie decorating bonanza! One batch of sugar cookies (I use this vegan recipe and it takes like a grand total of 30 seconds, is easy to work with, and is totally delicious), a cookie decorating kit with icing…
My darling and oh-so-talented little sister
My adorable and hilarious ten-year-old cousin…
And my boyfriend :D
So diligent with the sprinkles. He gets serious cool points for this. I picked him up from the airport and brought him to *this*.
HAVE I MENTIONED I’M HAPPY YOU’RE BACK?!
Anyway, creativity was boundless…
And we are equipped with some beauties for our annual holiday bonanza on Sunday.
Decorating was followed with a spirited game of Texas Hold ‘Em (Kayla’s idea) using Smarties, rather than cash as currency.
I totally CLEANED UP with the Smarties- a total winning streak. But, lost $1 of actual money because Kayla charges when you curse in front of her and I’m hella competitive.
Then we had a dance party, hahahahaha. There are pictures but I think I’ll spare you, Steve.
Neither of us, once reunited, felt like hanging out with other people, so we decided to spend our New Years in. With a feast, obvi. I had a hankerin’ for sushi, so we hit up HMart, where I whipped out my camera and took this picture before the sushi people could blink. They looked startled.
But it was awesome, cause they just sliced up one of those there rolls in the foreground, and then I bought it. Freshness!
In back, a mango that I sort of just ripped up with my bare hands while Steve was cooking (I was hungry!).
The aforementioned sushi:
Good, but I have to say once you’ve had the awesome black rice stuff, this seemed boring.
I had a craving for cold vegetables (isn’t that impressive of me? How rare that I crave something that isn’t cheese-stuffed or chocolate-coated). They had these gorgey things in the sushi section:
Green beans (are people familiar with those awesome megalong, chewy, almost meaty tasting Asian green beans?! So yummy), bean sprouts, and spinach, all simply dressed with sesame oil.
Finally, slightly whacky red bean porridge:
I was thinking how black eyed peas and lentils and things like that are always traditional New Year foods, so I was going for something comparable.
It tasted like eating mochi filling straight up. So think about that for a minute. It’d be intense, right?
Ohh… yes… Steve’s.. creation. There were fresh potato noodles that were sort of all whirled up together and you throw them in boiling water and they sort of… clump. And then you can attempt chopsticks repair and it was just… interesting.
But anyway, put enough oyster sauce on anything and it tastes good.
Upon exiting HMart, we went by this bakery/restaurant that I had always sort of fantasized about going into because it’s called Chicken House and it’s just an evocative title to me. And is clearly a Latin American bakery and I sort of live for that stuff.
So I’d been nervous to go in all aloney which was silly, but I took Steve with me. And I looked at all the yuca and plantains and goodness all around me and my eyes sort of glazed over. And I got a horchata, the beverage I cannot stop drinking of late.
And Steve got a tres leches, which made a marvy dessert.
But I have to say, the main attraction of the evening was that we decided to go all James Bond (except I hate all the Bond girl names so I continued to be Ileana :D) and make ourselves some martinis. And then there was backup wine, in case we didn’t like them. And champagne (well, California “champagne”) because it was New Years.
Let me add that Steve is an intense environmentalist and avoids grocery bags at all costs, which is how I ended up carrying a bottle of gin in my purse. Klassy.
Those martini glasses were purchased at the dollar store. Aren’t they lovely?
To make a martini, Steve considered it important to put on a tie. I certainly did not object :D
He mixed up gin, vermouth, and, for a dirty martini, olive brine. LOTS of olive brine. EXTRA DIRTY, these were. Um…
Yeah… not so much.
So then we just went for fun variations.
First the “Steve-Tini”, which involves blueberries, Muscatel wine instead of olive juice, and Reddi Whip on top, hahahaha.
Sort of peculiar both in looks and taste.
Then we went for the chocolate martini, which began by melting together some chocolate and gin in the microwave.
The ensuing sauce was AWESOME!
There was all kinds of ridiculousness, and we ended up not paying attention, due in part to the fact that Steve has no TV, to when the New Year actually began. Meaning we looked at a clock and it was 12:18. Already 2011. Oops!
So we pretended we were in Chicago and counted down to Midwest New Year. And I had someone to kiss at “midnight”