Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We're Back... from NYC, Florida, and Christmas Festivities

Our view from the Bathroom (yes, the bathroom) - looking uptown
In our awesome living room at Trump Soho
Champagne and Strawberries
Central Park - we were pretty cold!

Whew! What a Christmas Vacation it has been this year. After our trip to NYC, we headed to Leesburg, Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family. Then, on our drive home, we drove through snow and came home to find our house covered in snow... I am without a doubt missing that 60-70 degree weather in Florida right now!

We had a great time celebrating our first anniversary in NYC. We planned our whole trip in about 6 hours, so it was definitely Spur of the Moment, which always is the best. We stayed at Trump Soho - which I HIGHLY recommend. Got a huge upgrade and champagne and strawberries which was awesome. We also had great restaurant recommendations which included: Alta (our favorite), Blue Ribbon Sushi (great sushi, ate here twice!), Nobu (not what I expected unfortunately), Aqua Grill (yummy), Lombardi's Pizza (pizza was to die for), and Gramercy Tavern (great drinks, bar nuts, and cheese tray).

Burg Girls - we go way back!
Heather, Sara, Lindsay (+ Baby Ella), Lauren, Annie, and me

After days in the Big Apple, we headed to Florida. The Burg Girl annual Christmas party was planned for that evening. We always have a great time together. Sara hosted it this year and made an amazing meal.... the creamy pasta with shrimp recipe that I posted a bit ago. Got lots of great ornaments and heard some pretty good gossip!!! Good Friends and Good Food with Good Wine makes for a great evening!

Haricot Verts with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Then it was time for Christmas Cooking and PRESENTS! I will post a separate blog on the Christmas festivities but I will leave you with this good recipe. I made this for Thanksgiving in Millry, a couple of times here in Bham, and then for my family's Christmas Dinner. Everyone has liked it so far, so I will pass along the recipe

Green Beans with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Green Beans:
1-2 lbs of Haricot Verts (or thin green beans) washed and ends cut off
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 shallot (optional) chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Penzey's Shallot Pepper (can omit if you don't have a Penzey's nearby)

Directions: Place beans in microwave safe glass dish. Put about 3 tablespoons of water with the beans and cover with a wet paper towel. Cook in microwave for 5 minutes. You want to steam them in the microwave, not cook them, so when you take them out they are still crunchy, not limp. Heat olive oil in skillet. Then add the garlic and shallot (if using). Saute over medium heat until the garlic speaks. Then add the steamed green beans. Cook for about 5-9 minutes, until the green beans are somewhat tender, but NOT soft. Add the seasonings to taste. When done, toss the spicy pecans (see below) with the beans and enjoy a delicious side dish that is anything but boring old Haricot Verts!

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup pecan halves
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs chili powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup warm water until sugar dissolves. Add pecans, soak 10 minutes, drain, and discard syrup

Combine 2 tbs sugar, chili powder, and red pepper. Add pecans and toss together to coat. Place pecans on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. When the pecans have finished cooking, remove from pan and give them a coarse chop. You want them to be bite size, but not a whole pecan half.

The Pearce's wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

1 comment:

  1. Happy New year to you Pearce's! NY looks and sounds like a blast! We missed you at the Christmas party though - happy new year - hope to see you both soon!