January 30, 2015
At Home with Friends

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New Year’s Day Brunch: Beverages

For New Year’s Day Brunch, you need two beverage stations: One station is for coffee and tea, the other is for cold beverages (a.k.a. alcohol). While it’s fun to create and serve a signature drink, for New Year’s Day I like to keep it simple. Really good, spicy Bloody Marys with extra Tabasco on the […]

January 28, 2015
At Home with Friends


Fresh Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is really easy to make. The tricky part is knowing how much to make and how to keep the fruit looking and tasting fresh, after it has been cut up. When calculating how much to make, I usually allow ½ cup of fruit salad per person if there are several other food options. […]

January 26, 2015
At Home with Friends


Blintz Souffle

As I have already said, this is my mother’s recipe. Her original called for 3 tablespoons of sugar added to the egg / orange juice mixture. Frozen cheese blintzes tend to already be very sweet, so I omitted this sugar. I think this makes them better. It’s a really simple recipe. Over the years, the […]

January 21, 2015
At Home with Friends


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

This is another one of those dishes you can add to a brunch or dinner buffet. I grow rosemary in my garden and have the other ingredients in my pantry at all times. New Year’s Day, I put the potatoes in the oven when I got up, they developed a beautiful crust and complimented the […]

January 19, 2015
At Home with Friends


Roasted Tomatoes

It might seem silly to post a recipe for roasted tomatoes, but the more I talk to people, the more I realize that there is a need for even simple basic recipes. With a recipe this simple, it’s imperative that you use the best quality tomatoes you can find, and the best quality olive oil […]

January 16, 2015
At Home with Friends


Pumpkin Monkey Bread

This is a recipe I used to make years ago using store bought biscuits. I was testing it two weeks before the New Year’s Day party and it was cooling on my kitchen counter one evening when two friends stopped by for an impromptu dinner. We sat at dinner commiserating about how we had eaten […]

January 14, 2015
At Home with Friends



At breakfast in Morocco recently, I was drawn to row after row of lipstick-red mini tagines. I lifted the lid on one and to my delight saw eggs that looked like they had been basted, nesting in a bed of luscious tomato sauce. After the first bite, I decided that I had to make these. […]




4 Weeks Before

  • Invite guests: Send evites early as people may have established New Year’s Day traditions

3 Weeks Before

  • Plan menu: My menu had some food that needed to be kept warm. Omit this if you don’t have equipment like a chafing dish.
  • Arrange support staff or kitchen help if you will use it

2 Weeks Before

  • Finalize menu
  • Make detailed shopping list
  • Decide what you will buy readymade

7 Days Ahead

6 Days Ahead

  • Do grocery shopping: non-perishables, ice, frozen orange juice, blintzes, etc.

4 Days Ahead

  • Set-up buffet table

3 Days Ahead

  • Do grocery shopping: perishables, cream cheese, smoked fish, fresh orange juice, eggs, etc.

2 Days Ahead

  • Prepare and bake Pumpkin Monkey Bread
  • Roast leg of lamb for Lamb Hash
  • Bake potatoes for hash
  • Chop onions for hash
  • Buy and arrange flowers
  • Buy bagels, pastries, breads, fish, cream cheese, etc.

1 Day Ahead

Morning of Party (My party started at 12:30 p.m.)

  • 10:00 a.m.
  • Prepare fish platters (2 hours ahead)
  • Slice breads

Have a drink and wait for your guests to arrive!

January 12, 2015

New Year’s Day Brunch Menu




* Fresh fruit salad (GF)

* Apple fig crumble (GF)

* Greek yoghurt (GF)

Smoked salmon platter (GF)

* Capers, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced Persian cucumbers and pickles

* Bagels and cream cheese

* Pumpkin monkey bread

* Shakshuka (GF)

* Blintz soufflé

Lamb hash (GF)

Chicken livers with mushrooms

* Roasted Tomatoes (GF)

* Roasted fingerling potatoes (GF)

* Knishes (kasha, potato)

* Rugelach (chocolate, prune, cinnamon)

* Poppy seed strudel





Bloody Mary

(GF) Gluten Free

* Vegetarian

January 9, 2015