Entries Tagged as 'new years eve'

Makai’s First New Years Eve Parties

January 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

Party #1: Chad and Jen’s House

Dallas and Makai. Makai is wearing his new outfit that he got at Christmas time from Richard and Amanda.

Dallas & Kristin,

Presents for Makai from Quinn.

Party #2: Josh and Liz’s House

Josh’s game room – Pool, Darts, TWO huge flat screen TVs.

Makai was sleeping for HOURS in the corner. People didn’t even know he was there.

Ringing in 2014. Makai woke up MINUTES before and was HUNGRY!

All better after he ate. He was smiling and happy.

Andy, Rita, Mikey.

On New Years Eve we had to take Makai to the doctor. Turns out he has an outer ear infection, which explains why he’d been super fussy in the previous days. Although, he did just get vaccinations, so that’s what we thought was the issue at first. The doctor dug a bunch of crap out of his ear and sent us home with some drops and almost right away, Makai felt a lot better. Still, we were not sure if we would still go to the two New Years Eve parties that we’d planned to go to and had a lot of back up plans.

We decided to get to Jen and Chad’s house early, at 5 p.m. We were the first ones there and Makai was awake for about an hour or hour and a half. After that he fell asleep for about five and a half hours! I was ready at any minute to take Makai home if he was not feeling well or crabby, but he just slept and slept. We even took him to Josh’s New Years Eve party and he slept there too. He woke up at a few minutes to midnight, just in time to ring in the new year with everyone. But he was super crabby, because, HELLO!?!? feed me!! After eating he stayed up and visited for about an hour and then we called it a night. I wanted to get home and get him back to sleep in his bed so he can truly be on the mend.

Happy New Year, Makai! Here’s to hoping this is the only ear infection of 2014 (but all the parents at the parties told me it probably will not be!).

P.S. This is the 8th NYE we’ve spent at Jen and Chad’s and I think the 4th one we’ve spent with our other group of friends at the second party.

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

January 2nd, 2013 · No Comments


Tis the season for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes!! This is the third New Years in a row that I have made these delicious cupcakes. This year I took them both to Todd and Kelly’s New Years Eve party and to Jeff and Heather’s New Years Day party.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Modified From Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Ganache Filling
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (I used more like 3-4 tsp.)

Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Baileys Frosting (I doubled the butter used more Baileys and less than double sugar.)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)

Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.

When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes.

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Todd & Kelly’s New Years Eve Party

January 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

JP and Damian

Marty, Todd, Dallas

Rachelle, Josh, Vanessa, Kelly

Rita and Mike, Mike and Ella

Kelly, Liz, Maria, Jessica, Tonya

Rachelle and Rita

Todd, Kelly, Liz, Maria, Jeanine, Randy

Rachelle and Dallas


This is the third time we’ve gone to Todd’s house for New Years Eve (NYE 2009, NYE 2011). On NYE 2010, we hung out with this group of friends too, but at Frasca, not at Todd’s house. The last few years our habit has been to go to Jen and Chad’s New Years Eve party early, then head out with these other guys late, but this year, for the first time in about a decade, Jen and Chad didn’t have a New Years Eve party! They extended their Christmas visit in California to go through the new year. It all worked out fine, though. We just headed to Todd’s earlier than usual.

Kelly and her famous jello shots.

Simon and Bernie begging for treats!




Todd drawing.

Mike, Marty

Dallas stealing the mic from Katie


Dallas made his famous Korean short ribs and I made my Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. Kelly had a ton of snacks, some punch and jello shots, and a ton of people brought wine and beer and champagne, so we were all set. So set up. So much delicious food and drinks! I got the new Wii U last week (more on that later) and we brought that over. Sing Party, a karaoke-ish game, was a big hit of the night. We also played a rousing game of Pictionary. We also played a little Left-Right-Center. I lost $6. Boohoo.

Kelly and Todd trying to get a midnight family photo with Simon.

It didn’t work!

Mike and Larry

Kelly and Marty


Liz and Maria

Rachelle and Josh

I don’t really know what happened after midnight. It’s a blur. We ended up sleeping in Todd’s spare bedroom so we wouldn’t have to drive home or try to get a cab. I went upstairs at about 3:30 am and was getting chastised for it!! I’m not sure how late the few party stragglers were up!

Happy New Year!

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