Ringing In 2013


We have a close-knit group of friends here thanks to Ethan’s job, and although these soldiers are game for low-key gatherings (with not much effort involved), I wanted to do something special for NYE.  I didn’t have much time or money to work with, but I did have a slew of tasty-sounding recipes I wanted to try.  So I started with that.  I began prepping the night before and worked in the kitchen the entire day of New Year’s Eve!


| Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches, recipe here |


| Homemade Soft Pretzels, as seen here, recipe here |


| Homemade Cheez-its, recipe here |


Popcorn was a last minute decision.  Easy to make, easy to eat…you can’t go wrong with popcorn in our house!  We have a Great Northern Popcorn popper, which produces kernels way tastier than the microwave variety.


| Crab dip, recipe here |



I love balloons for any occasion.  It took some research to find the best deal (Anchorage has only TWO party stores), but I finally purchased a helium tank.  Now they aren’t as cool as Geronimos, but they were perfect for sucking on during our crazy marathon of Catch Phrase.  Is that bad?  I still think helium voices are hilarious.  Simon however hated the balloons.  He stalked and popped the small red ones that were first to float down from the ceiling.


We did have one major casualty of the night: my homemade fortune cookies (recipe here, not that this picture tempts you to try them!).  They never got crunchy and were fickle in the oven.  Oh well.  We still read our proverb fortunes and laughed about it at midnight.


Final note:  all recipes were produced sans food processor, electric mixer, and rolling pin.  Most of them I used a whisk and the best tool of all, clean hands!  My kitchen is not where I wish it was in the small appliance department, but I think I did an okay job!  Would you agree?



  1. Wow those Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches look so yummy yummy!!!
    I think I will try this recipe 😉

    1. They are insanely delicious; if I made them again, I’d make the sandwich ends a little smaller. They are prone to crumbling in half when on the cooling rack!

  2. oh wao Dana!!! what a spread! I bet you all of those friends love you for pampering them so much. That cheez-it recipe is going on my file for sure. ANd the pretzels seem yummy!! Love your photos as always! happy 2013!! PS Your hair cut is really, really cute! love

    1. The cheez-its are best super thin and crispy…I should have rolled my dough out more! & thanks for the compliment!

  3. damn girl! I’m impressed with how much stuff you made!! those pretzels look bomb.

    1. An unwritten resolution is to actually put some thought into get-togethers. Seriously, the pretzels were beyond. I ate so many and never got tired of them. & they are surprisingly easy to make! Working with dough always gets me anxious, but I whipped them out no prob.

  4. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    Keep practicing and you will be in charge of food for our New Year’s eve party 2015!!!!

  5. So much food! Looks delicious! Send some to me in Kansas! haha especially those brownie cookie dough sandwiches yummm!

    1. I don’t think it will keep for that distance! Maybe if you all come visit us I’ll bake and cook like crazy again =)

  6. Way to go, girl! What an awesome gathering. Everything looks delicious and fun. xoxo

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