Friday, January 2, 2015

Ringing in 2015 {Five on Friday}!

Happy New Year! 
To be completely honest, we rang in the new year asleep in bed by 10 pm. And I kind of liked it. No crowds, no expensive covers, no taxis and no hangover. However, we did have some of our best friends over on New Year's Day to really kick off the year right -- friends, fire, food, football (and bubbly)! It doesn't get better than that!
It was a beautiful sunny and chilly day in Charlotte so we broke out our new fire pit (and fire pit fishing poles) and roasted some s'mores. 
Our menu for New Year's Day consisted of the traditional southern meal designed to bring a year of good health, good luck, good fortune and love. For as long as I can remember my mom has cooked up this tasty meal and this year we decided to carry on the tradition. After all, we're pretty dang excited to start a fresh new year! Here are the five foods that made up our tasty New Years day meal:
1. PORK. I slow cooked a pork shoulder for lunch but you can also use ham, tenderloin, etc. The tradition of eating pork on New Year's Day is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. This moving forward is seen as a symbol of moving forward in the New Year. 

Carolina Style Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

4-6 lb pork shoulder
2 white onions, diced
2 cups of apple cider vinegar
2 cups of apple juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1.5 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoon brown sugar
BBQ sauce {optional}

Place onions in the bottom of crock pot. Blend together salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder and sugar; Rub over roast and place in crock pot. In a small bowl combine apple cider, apple juice and liquid smoke. Pour half of the mixture over the roast. Set the timer to cook on low for approximately 8-10 hours. The roast should be ready to fall apart when you stick a fork in it. Remove meat and onions. Discard onions and shred the pork. Pour remaining juice mixture over meat before serving. Serve alone or on a bun.
2. COOKED GREENS. Cooked greens such as cabbage, collards, kale, turnips, etc. symbolize wealth, prosperity and good fortune because their green leaves look like folded money. It's widely believed that the more greens you eat, the more prosperous you will become during the year ahead. Laura brought over the tastiest turnips for our meal. I'd never had turnips before but they were delicious!

3. BLACK EYE PEAS. Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of good luck. Their small, seedlike appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. After the Civil War, hungry Union soldiers ate up Southern crops, but they left behind black-eyed peas, which they considered livestock feed; the Southerners fortunately discovered the black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky. Today, some southerners believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year.

Southern Style Black Eyed Peas with Bacon

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and sorted
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
Additional cooked and crumbled bacon, optional

1. Place peas and bacon in a large Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; let soak, covered, for 1 hour. Do not drain.
2. In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in thyme and salt.
3. Add to pea mixture; return to the heat. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. If desired, top with additional crumbled bacon.

4. CORN BREAD. Corn bread, which symbolizes gold, completes the traditional Southern meal. Also, baking your corn bread in a round skillet is believed to bring a continuous circle of prosperity. I kept this part simple and baked up lots of mini muffins using a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix.

5. TOMATOES. I recently read A Healthy Slice of Life's post {here} on how she incorporates tomatoes as part of her New Year's Day meal as a symbol of love! I thought this was such an awesome addition that I decided to incorporate her tradition in our home too! I roasted ours in olive oil and lots of garlic.

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

2 (10 oz) containers cherry tomatoes, halved
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.
And that's how we spent our first day of the new year! 



  1. I a so trying all of those recipes! Thanks lady!

  2. Sounds like you guys had a great New Year! Our NYE was quiet too, and was just what we needed:) And we had some traditional Southern New Years food yesterday too. A family tradition!:) Cheers to a very happy 2015!

  3. All of your recipes look fabulous, but especially the beans. I'll definitely be pinning this for future reference! Thanks for hosting! -Jess, /

    P.S. We are starting a new link up this year, and we would like to invite you to it! It'll be every Tuesday at 8am EST starting on January 6th (with a few giveaways for the first one!). It can be any post at all - just another place to build community and connect. We'd love it if you'd join us!

  4. YAY! Loved spending the day with y'all! xoxoxo

  5. We had the traditional foods too - the best!!! Happy 2015!!

  6. Happy 2015! We have always gone out for NYE, but this year opted for an early dinner with my sister, her husband and new baby and then home for smores in our own backyard - just the two of us. It was perfection!

  7. So. I've only had smores once in my life... but I constantly think about how amazing they would be... and you just brought back that urge. YUM. (I was asleep before midnight on NYE too... with no baby as an excuse.)

  8. What a fun meal! I love the tradition behind the New Year's day meal. I've never liked black eyed peas but this recipe looks really good.

  9. Oh my goodness where did you find those fire pit fishing poles? My dad would love those!

  10. i was in bed by 1030! #partyanimal ;) those bbq + smores look soooo good! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  11. We were in bed by 10:00 too. New Years is low key when you've got littles!

  12. I'm an early to bed on NYE too. I had no idea about the pork on New Year's Day, we have an enchilada feed New Year's Day and I'm so glad now that I choose to make pork enchiladas this year. Unfortunately we didn't have any greens (unless you count guacamole) or cornbread (But corn in our salsa). I'll keep that in mind for next year!!

  13. In by bed by 10 sounds like our night!! It was great, though, because we got to get up early and relax the day away! I miss the south and the New Years Day traditional meal...when I moved back home, everyone thought I was crazy! :) I may have to bring it back into our yearly traditions! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  14. Those "fishing poles" are absolutely amazing!! I have never seen anything like that before!

  15. This is such a cute post! I love the details and story behind each food! And the recipes! YUM! :) Happy New Year sweet girl! :) Carolina is such a cutie in her little lamb outfit!

  16. I read your blog all of the time although I am much older than you are and a grandmother. I've never commented before but wanted you to know that I think you have the most glorious, happy smile. It makes me smile every time I see it!

  17. Love your explanation of all the traditional New Years foods! I eat many of these as well, but didn't now the story behind them all! Also, can't wait to try that barbecue recipe--Carolina style is my favorite!


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