confessions of a modern mom

What’s the Best Way to Start the New Year?

Happy New Year!!! Hope you all had a wonderful celebration of closing out 2013 and ushering in 2014. We certainly did! We started off the evening with the girls, popping champagne poppers and lighting sparklers.

Then, we left our darlings in the care of a wonderful babysitter (I booked her 2 months ago!!!) and headed out. We had the most wonderful night with amazing friends – my best friend from the age of nine! Really, she is my sister, we just don’t share any blood. I love you, Ruti!

But I digress, as usual…The night was amazing – from the delicious appetizers at Ruti’s house to the incredible seasonal, farm-to-table cuizine at Thirty Acres in Jersey City to the lovely (read: empty!) bar where we got a table for six to ring in the New Year with champagne, poppers and sparklers…The perfect sendoff to the old and welcome of the new.

We woke up on January 1st, ready for a fresh start. OK, I wasn’t quite so ready, so Zack sent me back to bed. I love that man. When I re-emerged a few hours and a shower later, I was ravenous. Luckily, there was a beautiful spread of cheeses and meats laid out by the fire. Is that the best, or what?

After I got my fill, I grabbed the baby and headed to the store. I picked up a few ingredients, including the various requests made by Bella:

If it’s not clear what that means…6 Marshmallows, 3 apples, a bunch of grapes and 5 pears.

We returned from our excursion, and Zack got right to work. His first order of business was making his incredible Firecracker Shrimp. This incredibly flavorful and delicious dish is super easy to prepare. Within minutes, you too can have this delightful treat. Serve it as an appetizer with crusty bread or as an entree over rice. Either way, your mouth will thank you! The firecracker heat will wake you up and give you the boost you need to kick off the New Year with a bang!

Zack’s Firecracker Shrimps

(I wrote shrimps because it has been a long-running discussion, erm fight, that the plural of shrimp is shrimp (like deer). My family, and pretty much everyone from Israel, uses shrimps as the plural form. Luckily, both are correct. I just like to say shrimps cuz I know it bugs him!)

2 tbsp olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic (minced or diced)
1 tsp chili flakes
1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sherry wine
1/8 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
french bread/crusty bread warmed up

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the oil until garlic softens.

Add shrimp to the pan, adding salt and pepper. Once they curl, flip over the shrimp.

Pour in the sherry until it cooks down a bit. Add the heavy cream and stir.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir into the sauce. Toss in the parsley and add the hot sauce to taste.

We like to pour the mixture into a giant white bowl and serve it with crusty bread.

Simple as that! Enjoy!

Wishing you all a very happy New Year! May 2014 bring you laughter, great food, exciting adventure, interesting discoveries and lots of joy.



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