Welcome to my blog, a virtual scrapbook and road map for crafting a well-curated life. 

My husband and I are 30-something Bostonians with a passion for good food, fine company and exploring new places both near and far.  Follow along as I document our adventures and share my tips for traveling, dining and entertaining in style.

A New England New Year's Eve Party

A New England New Year's Eve Party

A simple, no-cook menu for an easy and elegant New England-inspired New Year's Eve party.

December 31st is just around the corner, and there are few things nicer than ringing in the New Year surrounded by family and friends.  But for those of us still cleaning up from Christmas (and others in the midst of celebrating the festival of lights) the thought of hosting a New Year's Eve cocktail party may seem daunting.  This simple but elegant no-cook menu can be assembled in an hour or two, allowing you to warmly welcome gusts to your home without even turning on the stove.


On The Menu

Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Old Fashioned Cocktails

Rustic New England Cheese Board

Oysters on the Half Shell

Farmers Market Crudités with Fresh Herb Dip

Bluefish Pâté Canapés

 

Owned and operated by fifth generation vintners, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery uses traditional French methods to makes crisp sparkling wine from Massachusetts grown-grapes.  To create "Champagne cocktails", add a sugar cube lashed with bitters to the flute before filling with bubbly.  Garnish with a spring of rosemary and cranberry or two for an especially festive touch.

Owned and operated by fifth generation vintners, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery uses traditional French methods to makes crisp sparkling wine from Massachusetts grown-grapes.  To create "Champagne cocktails", add a sugar cube lashed with bitters to the flute before filling with bubbly.  Garnish with a spring of rosemary and cranberry or two for an especially festive touch.


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Classic Old Fashioned

Muddle one sugar cube, a few dashes of bitters and a splash of club soda in an Old Fashioned glass.  Add a large ice cube and top with two ounces of rye whiskey.  Garnish with an orange wheel and maraschino cherry.

In the spirit of celebrating all things local, I prefer Putnam New England Rye Whiskey from Boston Harbor Distillery.  


Rustic New England Cheese Board

The secret to a perfect cheese board is offering a variety of tastes and textures.  A good rule of thumb is to serve at least three and no more than five cheeses (including one soft and creamy cheese, one firm and familiar cheese and one blue-veined cheese) paired with a selection of fresh or dried fruit, a variety of bread and crackers, one sweet and one savory accompaniment (such as mustard, honey, jam or chutney) and some warm toasted nuts.

Everything on this beautiful cheese board was grown or crafted in New England, right down to the lovely Vermont-made carving board it is served on.

Cheeses

Plymouth Artisan Cheese Co. * Original Plymouth * Plymouth Notch, VT

Jasper Hill Farms * Bayley Hazen Blue * Greensboro, VT

Vermont Creamery * Double Cream Cremont * Websterville, VT

Jasper Hill Farms * Harbison * Greensboro, VT

Vermont Creamery * Classic Chèvre * Websterville, VT

Bread and Crackers

Effie's Homemade * Oatcakes * Boston, MA

Stonewall Kitchen * Sea Salt Crackers * York, ME

Accompaniments

New England Cranberry Company * Cranberry Pepper Jelly * Lynn, MA

Stonewall Kitchen * Maine Maple Champagne Mustard * York, ME

 

 


Bluefish Pâté Canapés

Bluefish, which are abundant in the cold, costal waters of New England, were best described by Susan Orleans as "an oily, violent sea creature whose attitude (cranky) and flavor (rich) are revered throughout the regions".  I recently posted a recipe for house-smoked bluefish pâté, which blends the fish into a rich and savory spread, however the Boston Smoked Fish Co. makes a delicious version that can be purchased online.  

For a quick and easy canape, top a water cracker with a thin slice of cucumber, a spoonful of pâté and bit of pickled shallot. 

I use my indispensable mandolin to create perfectly uniform cucumber slices in less than a minute.

I use my indispensable mandolin to create perfectly uniform cucumber slices in less than a minute.


Farmer's Market Crudités with Fresh Herb Dip

In a food processor, whirl together one cup of mayonnaise, one cup of full-fat geek yogurt, three cloves of crushed garlic, four anchovy filets (packed in oil) two tablespoons of lemon juice and a handful of mixed herbs (I use parsley, basil, tarragon and chives).  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh crudités.


Island Creek Oysters with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

Island Creek Oysters are, simply put, the finest bivalves in the world, and can be shipped overnight (free of charge!) to any location in the United States.  If I don't have time to make a mignonette (1/4 cup champagne vinegar, two tablespoons of minced shallot, a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste), I prefer to serve my oysters with S&F Bloody Mary cocktail sauce.

Island Creek Oysters are, simply put, the finest bivalves in the world, and can be shipped overnight (free of charge!) to any location in the United States.  If I don't have time to make a mignonette (1/4 cup champagne vinegar, two tablespoons of minced shallot, a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste), I prefer to serve my oysters with S&F Bloody Mary cocktail sauce.



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To Ralphie, Our Best Boy

To Ralphie, Our Best Boy

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