I hate New Year’s Eve. It’s always been my least favorite holiday. There’s always so much build up, so many expectations. In the end you simply end up getting drunk with the same people you see every weekend, but the difference is you’ve spent way more money on a cover charge, drinks and a fancy schmancy outfit only to go home disappointed that you had no one to kiss at midnight. Every year I say I am going to stay home and straight chilllll, yet I always get talked into going out. My best New Year’s Eve was spent bartending at Jose’s, followed by unplanned day drinking in sweats on New Year’s Day with my best friend at Jose’s.
Resolutions are another reason I can’t stand this holiday. They’re such a buzz kill! I always write down my resolutions: 2010 Be on time for work; lose weight; eat healthier; flirt more; and be more open minded (re: dating). 2011 Be on time for work; lose 15 lbs; go out on a few dates 2012: Be on time for work; save money; smile more. But when the year draws to a close and I reflect on those resolutions, I feel like such a failure. Every year I think, “This is it. This is my year. This is the year I really get my life together.” But I end up disappointed when certain things in my life didn’t change that year. So this year I decided it’s time to give it up. My 2013 resolution is no more resolutions… and write blog posts on a more regular basis.
But then I got to thinking… and you know what? 2012 kinda was my year. Okay, so maybe I didn’t meet Mr. Right. And my weight is… well, let’s just say it could be better but it could also be worse. And maaaybe I’m still late for work on occasion. But in 2012 I accomplished quite a bit. I got my own, roommate-free apartment, which I love. I got a promotion, complete with my own office, an assistant and an intern. I paid off a few credit cards. I bought a new car. I turned 30 and felt completely at peace with it. And I even went on a few dates. So resolutions aside, I’d say it was a win. I’m still not making any resolutions this year, but am looking forward to what 2013 will bring.
Many of you may not know this, but I come from a Greek family. It’s a Greek tradition to make Vasilopita cake for New Year’s. In this cake is a hidden coin or trinket (in my family we put a quarter), and whoever gets the piece with the coin in it is said to have good luck for the year. My Aunt Joanne always makes this cake. I personally have never made it. But I wanted to share this family tradition with all of you. Maybe it will bring you luck!
VASILOPITA CAKE (or GREEK NEW YEAR’S CAKE)
- 1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 quarter, washed, wrapped in foil
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds (about 2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour 10×4-inch tube pan. Using electric mixer, cream butter with 1 3/4 cups sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, water and vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl. Gradually mix dry ingredients into butter mixture (batter will be very thick). Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites with salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Press coin into cake. Sprinkle with nuts and sesame seeds. Bake until toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Run knife around pan to loosen. Invert onto plate. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.)
Note: I actually wrote this post before New Year’s even happened. But the draft did not save. I was super bummed about it so I procrastinated re-writing it. But I wanted to point out that I actually had a post completed in a timely manner!