Today is January 7th, 2012, which means that Sweet Amandine is three. It’s been kind of insane, hasn’t it? There was the brain thing, the baby thing, a summer in Berlin, a new apartment and construction projects galore, so(!) much(!) butter and sugar and flour. Whew. I’m so glad I’m here. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you.

January feels like an honest to goodness starting line this year. I’ve got a couple of new projects on the drawing board, and while I’m not exactly sure what comes next, I’m excited. 2012 will be a year for working hard on things I care about. I’m really looking forward to that.

We had some friends over on New Year’s Eve to cook and to eat. That’s Steph up there grinding the pepper for the fennel and Molly working on the gnocchi. The blur all the way on the right is me. I’m making ricotta. We started the evening at 5pm, and instead of putting together the entire meal at once, we prepared one course at a time, gathering around the table to eat whenever the next round was up. It’s my new favorite way to do dinner.

Molly and I figured out the menu over e-mail and texts all week long. We decided to keep it simple, and I’m glad. The salad was butter lettuce in a mustardy vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, ricotta, and sautéed dates. Then, while Molly dropped her gnocchi into the pot and prepared a brown butter sage sauce, I caramelized the fennel and tossed it with the dill and garlic that Steph had chopped.

It was the best night.

We finished with bourbon balls, pear tarte Tatin, and a dance party in the living room.

(Champagne, too, of course.)

And then we found out that on New Year’s Eve, we can see fireworks from our living room. 2012, you're full of surprises already.

No shortage of recipes to share with you tonight, as you can see, but it’s late, so I’m going to sign off for now. I’ll be back soon with one or two from this meal.

Happy 2012.


Adrian J.S. Hale said...

Happy Birthday, Sweet Amandine! Your party looks warm and friendly and full of all the things you'd want for ringing in the new year, especially fresh ricotta and a dance party.

Looking forward to reading and sharing in 2012.

Rogue Unicorn said...

Happy birthday, and happy 2012!

linda said...

your warmth, excitement & happiness comes to touch all of us!
happy 3rd b.day SA!

Jen said...

Happy birthday to your blog! Your New Year's Eve looked wonderful and I'm looking forward to hearing about your projects.

Kasey said...

Happy blog-aversary, Jess! To an exciting and magical 2012 :)

molly said...

well, the salad's got me weak in the knees. so yes, 2012, you're off and running. and yes, sweet amandine (and sweeter still jess + co), happy third! so, so glad you're here.

Amy said...

This sounds like an utterly brilliant New Years Party- I have to admit that I'm very jealous.

tara said...

three! THREE! and what years they've been. here's to many more, each one full best nights.