Party at Sweetnicks!

by Cate on January 1, 2006

Let the Party Begin!

First, let the beautifying begin! Nicholas needed a haircut, and The Girlfriend joined in the fun for her very FIRST haircut. I think it’s safe to say they had a good time. When they’re done, the stylist picks up a piece of their hair from the floor and puts it into this “machine” and with a little bit of whizzing and magic, their hair mysteriously turns into a tattoo. Pretty cool!

Lookin’ Handsome

First Timer

Pretty in Pink

Tonight’s festivities went off without a hitch, and as planned, were nice and relaxing. The Husband and I have done a Seafood Feast for about 9 years now, forgoing the madness of actually going OUT on New Years’ Eve. It’s a tradition we love, and tonight we got to share it with The Neighbors. Breaking the purity of a seafood-only feast, we added a few other things to the table. Everything was delicious, but light enough that while full, we weren’t overly stuffed. Perfect!

The Neighbor took her regular bartending role, turning out a new drink that was simply yummy, Chocolate Covered Cherries. She made a few different versions of it, tinkering with the measurements each time and forcing me to do the taste testing … I warned her, any more taste testing and dinner wasn’t going to get done! :)

Chocolate Covered Cherries

And lest we forget the kiddos, we made nice and healthy Banana Pineapple Smoothies, topped off with adult cocktail trinkets to make them look just as festive as our own drinks.

Banana Pineapple Smoothies

I made some minor modifications to the menu, adding a Tried-and-True, Spinach Cheese Squares. I love these, and have fond memories of my Mom making these for dinner parties growing up. Usually Nicholas will eat a few of them — another great way to sneak some veggies into his little belly without him being the wiser.

Spinach Cheese Squares

Salt and Pepper Shrimp are another favorite in our house. This recipe comes from Donna Hay, and you definitely have to like salt to like these.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Another Tried-and-True hit the table with Scallop Casserole. A recipe that could not be easier … mix a bunch of things together and bake for 15 minutes. Gotta love that!

Scallop Casserole

OMG Mussels hit the table … we love these, especially the cognac, white wine-studded cream sauce that is at the bottom; great for mopping up bread with.

OMG Mussels

The Neighbor also cooked, making a yummy Crab Spread appetizer, and she pulled together a recipe for me, Artichoke Crostini, since the kitchen was getting backed up. The Artichoke Crostini is a recipe I pulled from a recent Everyday Food issue, but was nothing special and won’t be repeated. We also had Shrimp Cocktail, Buffalo Wings, Raw Oysters (love them!), and the requisite Chips and Onion Dip.

First New Years’ Eve for the Lovebirds … note the discreet hand-placement: hers around his waist and his around her neck. Our cutie patooties!


Don’t forget to send in your pictures for Weekend Dog Blogging #15. If you have a kitty picture, it goes to Clare at Eat Stuff and your herb pictures go to Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen. And on that note, I’m leaving you with my submission for Weekend Cat Blogging: Miss Sugar keeping warm on the kitchen radiator.

Sugar’s Second Favorite Spot in the House

Tune in tomorrow to find out what Mom has planned for our traditional New Years’ Day Dinner. Until then… Happy New Year!

OMG Mussels
Yield: 4 servings

6 ounces bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Creole or other whole grain mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1/4 cup cognac
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus additional for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving

Set a very large saute pan over medium heat and render the bacon in the pan until crispy, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper-lined plate to drain. Add the shallots to the pan and saute, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. Raise the heat to medium-high and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Reduce the wine until nearly evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mustard, cream, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring the pan to a boil. Add the mussels, cognac and parsley to the pan and stir once, cover with a lid, and cook until the mussels just begin to open, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir the mussels, and return the bacon to the pan. Serve in a very large, deep bowl, with a thick slice of crusty bread and more parsley for garnish.

Scallop Casserole
20 Town House crackers
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 oz butter, melted
1 pound sea scallops (cut in half, if large) or 1 pound bay scallops
4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Crush crackers into fine crumbs. Place crumbs, parsley, oregano, garlic and pepper in a mixing bowl and combine well. Stir in melted butter. Add scallops and cheese and mix well. Spray or butter a 2-quart baking dish or 4 individual ramekins. Fill with scallop mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes. Serves 4.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

it's only fuel January 1, 2006 at 5:27 am

Happy New Year Sweetnicks! Thanks for posting those recipes, as I was scrolling down through the pics I was saying to myself, “OMG…yummy! I hope she posts the recipes!” And you did:)

Payton and Nick are very cute, makes me *almost* wish I wanted my own!


Cate January 1, 2006 at 3:30 pm

LOL – hope you make ’em! Spinach Cheese Square recipe will be loaded today. Never got your e-mail, by the way, but still have the crackers for you…


Cyndi January 1, 2006 at 11:28 pm

Wow! I would have been in heaven with some of those seafood dishes. DH is allergic to shellfish, so I would be wasting my time making them here, so the only shellfish I get is at restaurants or when I insist on putting a few shrimp on the barbie with our other grilled meats. The scallop casserole looks heavenly. I think I like them even more than I do shrimp.


Melissa CookingDiva January 2, 2006 at 3:28 am

I love your photos! Thank you for sending your entry for the New Year’s Dinner Recipe & Photo Swap…and, Happy New Year from Panama! Hugs,


sailu January 2, 2006 at 7:24 am

Lovely pics!Happy New Year to you and your family,Sweetnicks.Your kids look cho chweet..:)


Clare Eats January 2, 2006 at 12:28 pm

I hope you had a fabulous NYE!

I Loooovvvvveeee Mussels


sarah January 3, 2006 at 12:18 am

happy new year!

i absolute LOVE the name OMG Mussels! LOL! i think i might have to borrow that OMG for something…


Cate January 3, 2006 at 3:12 am

Sarah – thanks! We have a few OMG recipes, and they’re definitely keepers, a few steps above WOWs. ;) Borrow away… hope to see you tomorrow for the kick-off of ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday!

Clare – me too! Mussels, oysters, shrimp, crab, clams… all shellfish. Yum-o!

Thanks, Sailu!

Melissa – Happy New Year to you too! Glad to join in the fun – looking forward to the round-up.

Cyndi – the Scallop Casserole is great, and if it’s just you eating it, it really doesn’t make THAT much. Go for it!


Ruth January 3, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Everything looks delicious – especially Nicholas and his girlfriend!!!

I remember fondly NYE parties with little ones – they’re so much fun.

Thanks for sharing.


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