For New Year’s Eve this year I decided to change up the usual snacks that I did. But first… let’s look at a little bit of a quickie lunch that Jake and I had earlier in the day.
There’s a market over in La Mesa called the Vine Ripe Market. It’s an ethnic market with lots of Mediterranean items. Jake and I went here a few weeks ago and I remember they had a bunch of different meats. I was looking for a kielbasa for New Year’s Eve dinner and decided to swing by the Vine Ripe market and in addition to my kielbasa, I also found this package of pistachio and garlic chicken cutlets. I picked up a package for a quick lunch that day.
The chicken cutlets are breaded and very thinly sliced. They cook up quick! I pan fried these in a little bit of olive oil.
I also picked up a container of rice which they called “plain rice”.
Quick and easy little lunch! I should have also steamed some veggies or something to go along with it – next time! The pistachio flavor is light but gives the chicken a bit of extra crunch.
Now onto prepping for New Year’s eve snacks! Here’s the giant almost boomerang looking kielbasa I picked up for one of my snacks.
Looks much better than that Hillshire Farm or Johnsonville stuff you see in the regular supermarkets.
The kielbasa was put into a slow cooker with apricot jam, dijon mustard, and little bit of whiskey (for flava!) and cooked on high for 2 hours. It didn’t quite thick and glazed but I think it’s due to the shortened cooking time. I’d definitely want to start this earlier in the day and cook it on low instead to try and get a thicker glaze on this. But the flavor of the sauce was really nice – a good balance of sweet and savory.
I decided that I wanted to do rolled bean and cheese burritos for the boys. I have a tendency to NOT like beans and I thought… I wonder if I’d like refried beans better if I made them myself?
I used some drained organic pinto beans from Trader Joe’s (2 cans), bacon grease from 5 cooked slices of Black Forest bacon (bacon grease makes it extra yummy, you know), one whole chopped onion, chili powder, and chicken stock.
First I cooked the onions in the bacon grease (mmm) and sauteed those until translucent. Then I added in the beans and chili powder and cooked until the beans were heated through. Then I added in a little chicken stock and started to mash, mash, mash the beans.
I mashed them until they got a little finer consistency. I added in a little more chicken stock to make it looser and then added in two big spoonfuls of sour cream into the beans and then stirred it together until it got hot again. This is how they looked!
I made extra beans so we could use some as a bean dip.
Then I made some burritos. I spread some of the refried beans over a tortilla and added a bunch of medium sharp cheddar cheese over the beans. Then I rolled them up.
The burritos were pan fried in a little bit of vegetable oil to get a really nice crispy texture. I topped the outside with more cheese right after frying then topped them with sour cream and a little cilantro. The burritos were wonderfully creamy on the inside and tasted really good! I was really proud of my homemade refried beans – I finally liked them!!
Now this was a big fat dessert FAILURE. I put caramel on top of some crackers with chocolate chips and the caramel just drizzled all over the place and ruined the pan…. ugh. The chocolate got scorched, too. I didn’t think that one through.
These other ones had Reese’s mini PB cups and uhh…. just… no. Don’t try baking them. It doesn’t work. I ended up throwing all of this (including the pan) away.
Instead for dessert I started dipping corn chips into the caramel sauce and HOLY GOODNESS… was that tasty!! Totally the ultimate salty-sweet combination!
Here’s our full spread of snacks! On the white plate is my own version of D Bar’s “crue fries” except the fries are totally baked! Funny that I baked the fried and decided to fry the burritos… but whatever.
The fries I actually steamed first and then baked in a hot oven – they were really creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I’ll have to document it more properly for another post.
After snackies, we did a “Year in Review”. There’s actually a #8 question we added at the end which was “What was your favorite book of 2015?” In case you’re wondering, my answer was “The Martian”.
New Year’s decorations!
For our faces!
Hope you had a great New Year’s eve as well – here’s to a great start to 2016!