Holiday Entertaining: New Year’s Day Gatherings

New Year's Day Entertaining. Modern Entertaining By Rebecca Gordon Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand How To Make A Bloody Mary Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Editorial Director Modern Socials Game Day Entertaining Cooking & Baking Tutorials Holiday Entertaining 

Southern Socials

New Year’s Day Gatherings

Celebrate the year ahead by offering guests traditional dishes filled with the comforting favorites southerners have come to expect on New Years Day. If luck is what you seek, Hoppin’ John featuring seasoned  black eyed peas served over rice will do the trick while many will opt for an extra helping of Classic Collard Greens for the hope of wealth & prosperity. A wedge of Buttermilk Cornbread completes the menu for a meal that’s both comforting & lovely. When a toast is in order, handcrafted Bloody Mary’s are the perfect cocktail to feature for the day. Look for my pointers on how to make your best as outlined in The Essential Guide To Crafting A Bloody Mary for a host of irresistible flavors, spirits & garnish options. When something sweet is in order, Pecan-Oat Double Chip Cookies can be made well in advance so guests can enjoy them when they please. Follow my timeline to prepare this menu of classic holiday fare everyone will rave over.

The Menu

New Year’s Day Gatherings

A selection of classic favorites are guaranteed to get the year off to a great start. 

Hoppin’ John

Classic Collard Greens
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread
Pecan-Oat Double Chip Cookies 

Bloody Mary’s * Sparkling Water

The Planning & Logistics

Soak dried black eyed peas the day be fore cooking them. Prepare them up to a day ahead of time before serving, if desired as the flavors will only become more prominent. Place them in a slow cooker to keep them warm & serve the rice to the side. Do not add it to the mixture as it will expand under constant heat. For more details, look to Cooking Classics: Hoppin’ John, The Basics: Dried Black Eyed Peas & The Basics: Long Grain White Rice.

The collard green leaves can be prepped for cooking the day before you plan to cook them. Look to The Basics: Collard Greens for details on how to remove the tough stems as well as how to store them properly.

Prepare & bake the cornbread just as guests arrive so it can served fresh & hot.
Bake cookies the morning of the gathering.

Offer a selection of mixers, spirits & seasoning blends so guests can concoct a Bloody Mary that suits their own taste. 

Hoppin John By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickHoppin’ John 
makes 6 servings

A smoked ham hock may be substituted for the diced smoked ham, if desired.

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup diced smoked ham
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 lb black eyed peas, soaked & rinsed {about 6 cups}
5 cups water
1 Tbsp chicken stock base
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long grain rice
Kosher salt
Toppings: Diced plum tomato, scallions & parsley

Sauté the onion, the celery & the ham in a Dutch oven in hot oil over Medium-High heat 8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic & cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in the peas, the water, the chicken stock base, the vinegar, the thyme, the crushed red pepper & the black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to Medium & cook, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to approximately a 1/2 cup & the peas are toothsome-tender. Stir the mixture occasionally while cooking & add a little additional water if you feel it necessary. 

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water & 1/4 tsp kosher salt to a boil over High heat in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir in the rice, place the lid on the saucepan & reduce the heat to Low. Cook 20 minutes. Remove the lid & fluff the rice with a fork. Remove the thyme stems from the black eyed pea mixture & serve over the rice. Season with kosher salt & sprinkle with the desired toppings. 

Baking Tutorials: Buttermilk Cornbread By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Baking & Cooking Tutorials Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Pastry Chef Food Stylist Photographer TV Cooking Personality Writer Southern Hostess Game Day Entertaining Modern Southern Socials

buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstick

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread
makes 8 servings

Authentic southern cornbread doesn’t have sugar in it & starts with an heirloom cast iron skillet, generally passed down from generation to generation. Since this may not always be possible, start your own family tradition. Cast iron skillets make wonderful gifts & be sure to accompany with my easy recipe.

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Dab a small amount of vegetable oil in the bottom & around the sides of a well-seasoned 8-inch cast iron skillet using a paper towel. Place the butter in the skillet & place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the butter melts. Whisk together the cornmeal, the flour, the baking soda & the salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk & the eggs just until blended. Remove the skillet from the oven. Whisk the melted butter into the cornmeal mixture. Pour the cornmeal mixture back into the hot cast iron skillet. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until set in the center. Loosen the edges with a small palate knife. Slice into wedges & serve with additional softened butter.

Cooking Tutorials. Collard Greens By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Classic Collard Greens. Cooking & baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks. Editorials Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Food Stylist Writer Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickClassic Collard Greens
makes 12 servings

Once the collard greens have been prepared for the cooking process, expect a yield of approximately 2 lbs. 

5 lbs fresh collard greens
2 Tbsp butter
1 large sweet onion, diced 
1/2 cup diced smoked ham
6 cups water
4 tsp chicken stock base
3 Tbsp a red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper & kosher salt

Wash the collard greens well in a sink full of cold water being certain to remove the grit. Repeat the process several times until the water is clear. Cut the stalk & remove the center, tough stems from each leaf. Stack several leaves at a time & cut them crosswise. Make several cuts lengthwise to create approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces. For more detailed information on how to clean & prep them for cooking applications, look to The Basics: Collard Greens.

Melt the butter & sauté the onion & the ham in a Dutch oven over Medium-High heat 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the water, the chicken stock base, the red wine vinegar, the brown sugar & the crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to Medium & cook, partially covered, 30 to 35 minutes or until the collard greens are toothsome-tender. Stir the mixture occasionally while cooking. Taste the greens & season generously with freshly ground pepper & kosher salt. 

Baking Tutorials: Drop Cookies By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques & Instruction Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Editorial Director Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Photographer TV Cooking Personality Southern Hostess Game Day entertaining Modern Southern Socials

Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickPecan-Oat Double Chip Cookies
makes 3 1/2 dozen

The Basic Fundamentals

Twelve portions of dough will fit on each half sheet pan. Be certain you do not flatten them before baking for the best texture.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecan halves
2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 {10-oz} package bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter & the brown sugar with an electric stand mixer on Medium speed until light & airy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending on Low speed until incorporated; add the vanilla. Pulse the pecans & the oats, separately, in a food processor several times until finely ground, about 15 seconds. Whisk together the pecans, the oats, the flour,  the soda, the salt & the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the pecan mixture to the butter mixture & blend on Low speed. Just before the dough is completely blended, add the chocolate chips to the bowl & give the mixer a few spins to combine. Portion the dough using a small spring release ice cream disher onto parchment paper-lined half sheet pans. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until the centers of the cookies have soft set centers. Cool completely on the pans.

The Recipe Box. Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern HostessFROM THE SOUTHERN HOSTESS OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK
{helpful advice}

How To Host A New Year’s Day Social

Keep the menu simple & be prepared for a slower pace. Choosing items that can be prepared in stages & finished just as guests arrive is the ideal solution. As far as the social hour is concerned, a Bloody Mary is always a good cocktail choice on New Year’s Day as the tomato juice is loaded with good for you vitamins & minerals. 

New Year's Day Entertaining. Modern Entertaining By Rebecca Gordon Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand How To Make A Bloody Mary Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist Editorial Director Modern Socials Game Day Entertaining Cooking & Baking Tutorials

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Essential Guide To Crafting A Bloody Mary

From juice to spice & an eye-catching garnish the ultimate concoction can be yours. Follow these pointers to create your own signature blend.

No. 1

The Tomato Juice

You’ll find several options to use as a solid base for a delicious batch of Bloody Mary’s. There’s straight up tomato juice which is fine, however I prefer to start with vegetable juice as it’s filled with a combination of flavors you’ll traditionally find in a great recipe such as tomato & celery juices. You can even try a prepared blend but I find you still may want to add a few extras.

No. 2

The Spirits

Traditional recipes call for vodka. If certain brands speak to you by all means go with what you know but try experimenting with enhanced formulas for a truly exciting cocktail. Peppercorn, lemon, lime & even cilantro flavored varieties make for exciting combinations. You may also consider tequila, gin or bourbon. A bottle of champagne or white wine added to the overall blend transforms the combination into a sangria of sorts for a festive option. Float lemon & lime slices in the mix for added color & appeal.

No. 3

The Spices

Salt, black pepper, celery salt & cayenne are the basic additions to a custom blend but try a collection of spices that you may otherwise use to flavor savory dish at the grill. Chili powder, cumin & garlic powder can lead you down a road of barbecue inspired Bloody Mary’s while paprika, black pepper, cayenne & ground thyme can mirror blackening seasoning. Open your spice cabinet & try a few items that speak to you. 

No. 4 

The Extras

A dash of this & that usually makes for an excellent Bloody Mary blend. Steak sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice & even beef bouillon have been know to make an appearance in my game day glass. Sweeteners such as molasses or brown sugar added in small quantities are great for rounding & balancing the overall blend. 

No. 5

The Garnish

While celery sticks reign as the most classic way to garnish a Bloody Mary, a host of savory delectables are just waiting to crown your custom concoction. From simple to downright daunting, some even consider the beverage to be a meal in itself. Thinly sliced citrus perched on the rim of the glass can finish without flaw or you can thread a cornucopia of pickled pretties & fresh produce on wooden skewers. Some top picks include:  Pickled okra, cocktail onions, olives, blanched green beans, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes & peppers. As for more elaborate items, you’ll find everything from pork rinds, shrimp & bacon. 

The Tune
“It’s Been A Long, Long Time” Doris Day 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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