Small bites for a happy new year

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{Spinach & feta quesadillas}

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{Slow-roasted tomato & smoked mozzarella crostini}

For New Year’s Eve, we usually hang out at home and make a few finger foods (see below), watch a movie (Despicable Me 2), play a few games (Family Charades). This year was no different.

I made spinach & feta quesadillas, which I got from a cooking blog called Closet Cooking, and slow-roasted tomato & smoked mozzarella crostini, which is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new classic (seriously!) My Father’s Daughter. I also set out a cold smoked salmon fillet picked up from the prepared foods case at Earth Fare.

GP has you serve the cheesy-tomatoey broiled baguette slices with an arugula salad tossed with balsamic vinegar & olive oil. But I was out of balsamic so no greens. Barrak pronounced the crostini a keeper, and says the secret is in the smoked mozzarella. And I love the slow-roasted tomatoes, which get concentrated and sweet and shriveled in a 275-degree oven for 3-5 hours. So plan for that!

If there’s a secret to the quesadillas, it’s the minced herbs: mint, dill and parsley. They make all the difference.

It was nice to have a meatless New Year’s Eve (I don’t count the salmon) as I’ve been considering going pescatarian in 2014 (although there’s a pork roast in the slow cooker as I write this). Cutting out red meat joins other lofty goals like paying off credit card debt, sticking to a budget and exercising more frequently than just on weekends. And still no clothes shopping, of course.

Happy 2014 friends!

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