A Simple Celebration

January 4th, 2010 First off, a big HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you out there!!  I have a sense that this is going to be an amazing year for all of us...can't you feel it in the air?  I have so many friends and acquaintances whom have mentioned how 2009 was a great year for them, but they know that 2010 will be even better.

I love seeing this despite all of the changes we've all had to go through with our little economy acting as it has been...many of us are more appreciative, grateful and hopeful.  And yes, we had quite an extraordinary year ourselves with our new family addition being at the top of our list.  Very happy and grateful...not much can get us down.

And so, a simple celebration for the start of this New Year.  I've always loved New Year's more than the other holidays during this time.  There's nothing like a fresh start, a clean slate.  New Year, Old Traditions... for us that means ringing in the new digits with a fiesta, including our own take on Cole Slaw, Tortilla Soup and homemade Guacamole.

Recipes after the jump!

New Year's Cole Slaw

Finely slice 1/2 a head of cabbage, grate one carrot and julienne 3 radishes.  Toss in a large bowl along with: 1/4 c mayo, 1/8 c light sour cream, 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs vinegar, and kosher salt/ground pepper/dash of garlic powder/1/4 tsp of celery seeds to suit your taste.  Combine all ingredients well and eat soon or chill for 30 minutes.

Tortilla Soup

In a large soup pot, combine at least a quart of chicken stock, a quart of water, and 1 1/2 c each of corn kernels and black beans.  To that add one can of diced tomatoes, 1 c of your favorite salsa, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, 1/4 tsp onion/garlic powder and 1/4 tsp cumin.  If desired, add 1 1/2 c of cooked and shredded chicken (or add finely diced raw chicken when soup has come to a boil).  Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for at least 30-60 minutes.  Once the soup is boiling you can also add 1/2 c of uncooked rice to thicken things up.  I wait until the soup has been simmering for about 30 minutes until I add sliced mushrooms and diced zucchini (or whatever else we have in the kitchen).  The longer you cook this, the better it is.  Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips and avocado (we add it all!)....and enjoy.  Even better the next day as leftovers.

Homemade Guacamole (the only kind there should be!)

Combine 2 diced avocados, 2 tbs finely diced onion, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp vinegar, and a sprinkle each of kosher salt, ground pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Mix well, but gently.  Have extra avocados handy to make seconds and thirds.