Let's start out with...
Thank you all so much for reading this food blog. Words can not express my appreciation. Thank you.
(The wine hasn't even been poured.)
One of the best things about being back in NorCal for the holidays is the chance to hang out with the wild and zany peeps I miss so much from the hedonistic days of my youth. High school can be a trying time, so it really helps to have good friends to see you through it. I owe a lot to these guys.
Ninjafuzz, Waldensian, and 742 were kind enough to open their home for us as we rang in the New Year. Major props go out to Ninjafuzz for putting together an awesome bash of mini-epic proportions. I don't think the neighbors will ever forget the finale. Of course, tasty food was involved.
The key to every good party.
Two Buck Chuck was out in force, along with cognac, several types of beer, and an icy bottle of nigori sake. Believe you me, they got the job done.
(Wine is a double-edged sword.)
'Course, some people can handle their alcohol better than others. ... Some people really can't.
(Gotta love the classics.)
I kicked off my nibbling with a classic bruschetta. Clean and crisp, the flavors refreshed my palate for the goodies to come.
(Is there anything cheese and olives can't improve?)
I followed up with a meatier bruschetta topped with mozzarella and a tomato olive tampenade. The freshness of the mozzarella was key, but the dark richness of the olives really carried this dish.
(Smoked Gouda, will you marry me?)
My wanderings were temporarily halted by my need to fully explore an alluringly rustic cheese platter, which offered a delightful selection of smoked gouda, brie, and havarti. If I could have bathed in the smoked gouda, I would have. There was even a bowl of rendered bacon for those who truly wanted to make their cheese and cracker combos decadent. Mmmm... Smoked cheese and meat...
Semajim and his lovely fiancée brought this absolutely gorgeous brie en croute. A tender, flakey crust enveloped a molten core of brie and pesto.
(Hot starch on fat on starch action.)
Oh gods. So sexy. This picture doesn't do it justice.
(I'll take sausage any way I can get it.)
Meaty Italian sausage nuggets of marinara goodness. Plump, juicy, and full-flavored, I really enjoyed sliding these sausages into my mouth.
(Hand-sized pies are always good.)
I don't care how crappy a pie is, make it small enough to hold in my hand and you've got yourself a winner. This gigantic apple turnover was the exact opposite of crappy. The light crust melted away in my mouth and the filling, while redolent with apple flavor, wasn't too sweet. It was like eating Johnny Appleseed's soul.
(Holy Crap! It's a zombie Dick Clark!)
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on the telly, lovely ladies (and Scott) on the couch, killer muzak blasting in the background, and an awesome time was had by all.
(Run, Forrest, run!)
What better way to end an awesome New Year's bash than with fireworks at midnight. I hope the San Jose Police Department isn't reading this. Thank you for organizing the party, Ninjafuzz. You're both a scholar and a gentleman.