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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year....

"Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever." ----Mark Twain

This year, my New Year's resolution is to refrain from making any New Year's resolutions. Naturally, I have hopes for the future (you might even describe them as high in the sky apple pie hopes).
But I am not going to let a few fleeting resolutions govern my aspirations for 2007.
(It must be my Scandinavian side coming out again: The Official Denmark website reports that only 20% of Danes will make New Year's Resolutions this year, making the Danes the least likely Europeans to try to make a change in 2007).

Whatever the influence, my outlook is simple: When it comes to 2007, and every year thereafter, I want my life to remain a big, long adventure-- full of great food, hard work, excessive comedy, and entertaining people.

I worked on New Year's Eve, at a nearby hotel restaurant where I have taken on some night shifts. While it wasn't the most eventful New Year's, there's something to be said for making sure others are full of champagne, fed, and off to bed. Plus, I had my own feast to look forward to the next day!

On New Year's Day, my family and I had our traditional holiday feast. We were joined by some very close family friends, including one who flew in from San Francisco that morning just to partake. The family has two daughters, one older than me and one younger, and we have all grown up with one another since the very beginning. Ever since I can remember, we have gathered together on New Year's day to eat, lounge sleepily, and watch football. Of course, I have always been partial to the first two.

Not only did this weekend kick off the New Year, but it also marked the 21st birthday for the youngest of the childhood trio. We finished the New Year right and got in the birthday spirit by celebrating with a night of karaoke at a local Japanese restaurant. All the stars were out that night--Pat Benetar, Beyonce, Queen--the list goes on. We sang like champions, the last great performances of 2006.
You will never find another with more love for karaoke than I! It rivals my love for bakeries, and I'll prove it to you: every time I go out to karaoke, I get so excited to sing that I forget to eat dinner. (And when I forget to eat, it's not without good reason). The restaurant had closed by the time I remembered I was starving, but luckily I sweet-talked one of the waitresses into getting me a bowl of cold edamame. It was all I needed to keep the tunes going--- a little soy bean magic, a sake bomb, and I was ready to rock.
Today, we recapped our outstanding performances for the rest of the family, while baking up a storm in the kitchen, feasting on a huge New Year's spread, and toasting our good health.
Nothing says New Year's Day like toasting some champagne and baking up some Cranberry Orange Scones! A simple yet delicious recipe!
Mixing it up with some gingerbread cupcakes Gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
From all of us at The Great American Bakery Hunt, Happy New Year!
"It's been a long December and there's a reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last...can't remember all the times I told myself to hold on to these moments as they pass"--Counting Crows
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