While we may finally have a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, staying home this holiday season is still looking like the safest option. When it comes to New Year’s plans, that does put a bit of a damper on the usual celebrations: dinner out, parties with friends, getting out to a bar, etc. I tend to be a homebody normally, so staying home this year doesn’t actually cramp my style.
After working in the restaurant industry for as long as my husband and I did, going out on New Year’s isn’t high on the priority list. The crowds and gimmicks aren’t worth all the time and money you would spend to go out that night versus any other. Especially not when you have my secret Puppy Chow recipe. So we celebrate at home!
Our menu this year includes bacon-wrapped filets, parmesan potatoes, and puppy chow for dessert. That kind of dinner for two at home is well under $50 (depending on the steak you pick up at the grocery store). A steak dinner on New Year’s at just about any restaurant is going to run you in the hundreds of dollars for two people, but I have a few recipes that will help you make a fantastic meal at home.
Steaks are way easier to cook that you might think. If you have a flat top cooker, get it to around 375 degrees and cook the steak on either side for about 4 minutes and then brown the edges and you’ll hit right around the medium mark inside (depending on the thickness of your cut of meat). If you’re using a pan on your stovetop, do the same at the medium heat level. Adjust the timing up or down and you will get your medium rare or medium well as you like it. If you are unsure where the inside is, don’t be afraid to give it a little cut and look inside. If it’s not quite as done as you want, the cut will help the inside to cook.
The world’s best parmesan potato recipe is here!
Puppy chow is NOT for the dogs. If you’ve never made it, you have to give this a try for the holidays. Grab a box of Chex cereal (rice version) and you’ll find their Muddy Buddy recipe on the back. You want the ingredients listed, but my secret trick is to double all of the ingredients EXCEPT the cereal amount. You’ll thank me later.
This year with so many of us at home, having a virtual party is one of the best ways to connect with loved ones. Whether you do a group Facebook call (limits you to 8 accounts joining), Zoom, or classic FaceTime, send your invites to those you love and make time together to catch up and count down to midnight together even when you’re far apart.
When you do, make it festive! Grab a New Year’s party pack from Target like this one and show up with the classic party hats, tiaras, and noise-makers. I highly recommend doing a Target drive-up order. If you have never tried one before, use the Target app to create your order, select the Drive-Up option, and your items will be ready within 4 hours for you to have loaded into your car at your local Target! Seriously. They pop everything into your trunk for you!
I don’t often make it to midnight because I’m a little old lady trapped in a 32-year old’s body. So if you are like me and can’t quite make it to midnight to watch the ball drop, grab your favorite movie, a cozy blanket, and a bowl of popcorn. Relax this New Year’s Eve after a VERY tough 2020 before we head into a brand new, fresh year.
Happy New Year, everyone!