It's Begining to Smell A Lot Like New Years

Tonight I raced home from work, (well, as fast as Boston public transportation would allow) tied up my hair, put on some music and got to work. Although I won't have pictures and recipes to post until after this is all over, I thought it would be fair to at least share my starting line-up:

Philly Cheese Steak Spring rolls
- This is my take on the Cheese steak spring rolls that I had at Foxboro Stadium back in September. They were created by Davio's, located right here in the Back Bay and let me tell you, if you ever have the opportunity to get your hands on some of these, do NOT turn it down.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Potato Skins
- After living in DC for 3 years, I developed a strong love for the pulled pork. It's gotta be done right though, not stringy, not soggy. Just chopped pieces of delicious BBQ sauce laden pork stuffed it into potato skins and topped off by melty cheddar cheese and green onions. Mmmmm..

Cranberry Salsa
- This is inspired by one of my Mom's friend's recipes and not only does this look pretty, but the combination of savory and sweet with a bite of heat is addictive. Although, this almost was the salsa that never was. Who knew it was so hard to find cranberries in December in Massachusetts. Cranberries and Baseball, that's what Massachusetts does! Right? I recommend keeping a bag on hand in the freezer (advice that would have saved me from paying a visit to several area grocery stores during my lunch break!)

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Bread
- I had seen something similar to this in one of my cooking magazines, only it was a breakfast sandwich of sorts. My recipe is a little different, starting with earthy spinach, tangy and soft goat cheese among some other herbs and spices creating a crunchy, bread exterior and soft yummy center.

Fresh Veggies and Herb Dip
- This classic standby got an update by using a combo of rich Greek yogurt and sour cream combined with lots of fresh herbs, garlic, and slightly nutty Parmesan cheese. A cool accompaniment to some hot dishes.

And last, but most certainly not least-

Carrot Cake
- This is a recipe that I actually got from my manager. With fresh carrots and sweet crushed pineapple swirled into a whirlwind of spicy cinnamon cake and topped by a cool cream cheese frosting, this cake is a winner every time.

So there you have it. I am currently covered in flour and it looks like a tornado break-danced in my kitchen but I have a huge smile on my face and a feeling of accomplishment. Can't wait to put the finishing touches on everything tomorrow and then to kick back and relax with friends as we ring in the start to a new year.

Happy 2010!

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