I can't even begin to tell you how much I like that quote because it perfectly sums up the way I feel about the New Year and its many resolutions.
Promises I long ago resolved not to make.
Instead, I choose to look back over the year now past with a sense of pride and happiness over accomplishments both big and small.
Feats of valour like caring about my job and the people who touch my life, being there to listen when friends or family need support, smiling and waving when someone gives me the right of way, or remembering to look people in the eye when I say "Good morning."
In a world of should haves, could haves, and I am not enoughs, we tend to take for granted these little kindnesses, instead equating our worth by things that are far less real.
And then we make resolutions.
To lose weight, make more money, or whatever else we think we need to be doing that year.
But here's the thing - and I believe it with every fibre of my being - the one and only resolution human beings need to make is to learn how to believe in themselves, to love themselves, and to accept who they are.
When you know your own truth and walk in it, your path not only becomes easier, the light you carry provides opportunity for others - and when you impact the lives of others in positive ways, in my eyes, at least, you are a true success.
In the spirit of that, I wanted to celebrate this New Year's Eve in a way that would express quiet gratitude for all the good things in my life and felt compelled to throw a romantic New Year's eve dinner to acknowledge a life and a year well lived by my husband and myself.
The idea was to create .a "moveable feast" that would carry on throughout the evening to end in a midnight supper by the fire.
To start, I decided on an old time classic as our cocktail for the evening: The Cosmopolitan
This simple and refreshing cocktail is as tasty as it is festive and will be sure to bring a warm glow to the evening's celebrations.
Add an ounce and half of Absolut Citron vodka, 3/4 of an ounce fresh lime juice, 3/4 of an ounce Triple Sec and a healthy splash or two of cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker.
Add lots of ice, and shake.
One or two of these, and Rudolph's not the only one who's going to have his glow on tonight!
But a spectacular libation deserves great food and what could be better than crispy, savoury, finger foods as the first course?
Tempura Prawns with Dipping Sauce
And Bacon Wrapped Scallops
I didn't make a lot of everything, just enough so that we could enjoy a few bites with our drinks before moving on to the other courses.
For my husband and I, fresh seafood is always on the menu New Year's eve and this year was no different.
In keeping with my moveable feast theme, I set up an old fashioned crab boil in the kitchen featuring Alaskan King crab legs with luscious garlic butter.
Then I popped open a bottle of champagne.
When eating fresh crab or lobster there is nothing quite so delicious as crisp cool bubbly.
Prepare the crab legs by filling a large pot with water and sea salt and bring to a boil.
Add the crab legs and boil 7-10 minutes.
Serve with plenty of hot garlic butter for dipping!
Normally I would serve crusty french bread with this, but because tonight's dinner was in courses I didn't want to fill up too much.
Having a little bit of everything over a prolonged period of time is a really wonderful way to enjoy a festive occasion.
The only way for an evening like this to be a success is have a willing partner with a sense of fun.
Luckily, I have one.
And he didn't mind one bit when I set a table by the fire for the next part of our evening: a romantic dinner for two by the fire - another holiday tradition in our house.
As is listening to the music of our youth like AC/DC, The Smiths, and ZZ Top. As an aside, we had Back in Black on during the crab boil and butter may or may not have been splattered during Hells Bells.
But after much laughter, vicarious butter splattering, and nostalgia from the 80's, it was time to get going on the main course: Giada's Linguini with Shrimp and Lemon Oil.
This recipe is a no fail - always so good!
I have spent many a new year's eve in a state of forced gaiety - trying to turn the evening into something it could probably never be and have learned over the years that the best of times always happen when you least expect them.
With that in mind, I have to say, this new year came as a surprise.
I knew the dinner would be good and the atmosphere appealing, but what I didn't anticipate was that something "more" would creep into my dinner party and infuse it with a special kind of magic.
And that's the blog!
Happy New Year and the best of 2011 to all!
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.