Here’s a toast to an exciting, safe, and glamorous New Year’s Eve for us all! I will be on the sofa with a bottle of Champagne, in my Sparty yoga pants, watching my team in the Cotton Bowl, instead of doing the lotus position or planking or whatever it is that people who do yoga do. (I wouldn’t know. I just own the pants.)
While most people think of celebrating bowl games with chili or nacho cheese dip, I prefer to be a little more “casual glam” on New Year’s Eve. You know what “casual chic” is, I’m sure, which, as a hotel in Bermuda once told us, “casual but elegant.” Well, I’ve coined the phrase “casual glam” to describe enjoying fine French wine with fancy snacks, while wearing casual, but glamorous, clothing.
As a multilinguist, I had to look up the word “glam” to ensure that I wasn’t misleading you, Dear Reader. The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “glam” with two meanings: “1. extravagantly showy glamour” and “2. Glitter Rock.” [Glitter Rock is also known as “glam rock.” Think Abba, Elton John, David Bowie.] A search of the word on Urban Dictionary turned up their usual snark. But they’re people born a long time after the 1970s, so, what do they know?
In the spirit of “glam rock,” my nails are painted a chic shade of silver, which my friends (who all survived the 70s) have commented on, favorably. So, that’s how I’ll be “glamming” up my New Year’s Eve. [Note to Urban Dictionary: It is not erroneous to say “glamming” if you’re coining a new word. Stick that in your dictionary of snark.] I’ll be the most glamorous woman in my living room, although the BFF will come a close second.
Happy New Year!
Smoked Salmon Mousse
This recipe has been adapted from the late, great chef and writer Pierre Franey. Tonight, I’ll just be smearing mine on toasted and buttered croutons (pre-sliced baguettes from Wegman’s that I brush with softened butter and toast on baking sheets in the oven).
8 ounces smoked salmon (I like to use thick pieces)
8 ounces cream cheese (not whipped)
1/4 cup fresh dill (without stems)
1/3 cup chopped scallions or very sweet onion
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Tabasco to taste
2 Tablespoons vodka
Garnish: Snipped chives, capers
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until blended but chunky. Adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill. Before serving, bring to room temperature, so that it is spreadable. Serve on or with buttered toast points or croutons or toasted mini-bagels (nice for brunch).
If you want to be really fancy and have more time on your hands than I usually do:
Preheat oven to 450°. Grease a baking sheet or line with a silicone baking mat.
Thaw a sheet of frozen puff pastry for 20 minutes. Open onto floured board and pat out flat. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (stars are perfect for New Year’s Eve; fish are cute; hearts are romantic for Valentine’s Day) and transfer to baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until puffed and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and bring to room temperature. Split figures in half. Fill a pastry bag with softened mousse and pipe onto cooled pastry, using a large cylinder tip or large star tip (if you are really fancy). Garnish with any combination of dill, capers, and/or chives.
 Actually, I had to look up “multilinguist” to find out if it’s a real word, but the online Merriam-Webster is not certain, either, and asked me to explain why I was looking it up. I know. That sounds weird, even to me. I told them I was trying to be pretentiously humorous. I am fluent in English, get by in French and Spanish, can order in Italian, and sing in German.