2010 with the Core: New Years in Arrowhead

Every year after Christmas I am thrilled to already have an answer to the question that inevitably plagues most couples: “What are we doing for New Years?”  Like the last 4 years, Big N and I celebrated New Years eve at our quiet, cozy, and peaceful cabin overlooking serene Lake Arrowhead with our closest friends.  Even when I was in my pseudo-party-girl phase, I always despised the pressure to find a hip place to drink and dance for the countdown, not to mention the perfect outfit, shoes, and accessories to look hot for the occasion.  At the cabin, we rarely put on anything other than sweats and slippers, and we rarely bother to leave except to take a leisurely stroll around the lake or go grocery shopping at the local Stater Bros.  What could be a more relaxing way to spend the final days of the year?

Our friends, affectionately dubbed “the Core,” thankfully don’t mind if I exert my control-freakiness over kitchen detail.  Every year I plan the menu in advance, then create a shopping list so that we can hit the grocery store before the holiday rush.  In recent years I haven’t even bothered to clear the menu with them ahead of time.  They kindly show up, assist with the shopping, eat my food, praise it where appropriate, and then confine me to a chair after each meal while they take care of clean up duty.  For me, this is the epitome of culinary bliss.

The menu this year was simple but hearty: carnitas braised then roasted until crispy, followed by prime rib roast with potato leek gratin and tomatoes provencal for New Years Eve dinner, and finishing with roast turkey with baked sweet potatoes and maple sour cream, homemade dinner rolls, and caramelized brussel sprouts.  I even threw in a roasted tomato bisque with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. 

We ate, drank, and celebrated the new year by dancing to 80’s rock ala Pandora on the deck despite the frostiness of the night, and marveled at how lucky we are to be a part of each others’ lives as our “chosen family.” calistoga-4-of-10


  1. Ah Tam! We are always happy to oblige and send you into culinary bliss. ;o) Good Times. Love ya!

  2. Great friends, tasty food, wine fit for kings and queens and four relaxing days… Always a great way to end the year.

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