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THE ONE NIGHT I WAS COOL

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for my business, so when clients ask what to do for their New Year's Eve parties, I almost always recommend pajamas, champagne and episodes of The Honeymooners. 

To me, there is nothing better than dancing to that ball drop in your pj's with someone you love. The below story may explain why.

Wishing you and yours all things delicious in 2017!!

Love,

Mary

from The Cocktail Party; Eat, Drink, Play, Recover

My sister Nanette was (is) HOT! In my head, when I look back at our childhood and recall time spent with my sister, she always appears to be moving in slow motion, with a wind machine blowing her hair back, smoke rolling in from the sides of camera from, caressing her every movement.

She had every conceivably perfect 80s fashion accessory firmly in place, from her aerobicized Jane Fonda butt encased in a metallic lavender thong leotard down to her EG-brand leg warmers!

She had shiny black hair that fell perfectly to her Size Zero waist and was as tan as the “Girl from Ipanema,” 365 days a year. She drove a chic European convertible, had lots of friends and wore head-

to-toe white leather when she was dancing to Chaka Khan.

Suffice to say, she rarely spoke to me

Why!? Well, if my sister resembled the actress Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I resembled well, what would be the female equivalent of Booger in “Revenge of the Nerds"?

We had no similar interests, particularly when it came to food. She liked vanilla. I like chocolate. She survived on fat-free bran muffins and I ate pizza and calzones (often at the same time). After school on Fridays, she could be hanging out at the oh-so-cool frozen yogurt shop, when I could be found with my friend Kappy at Bennigan's for our standing pig-out, where we doubled-down on potato skins and mozzarella sticks. While she spent the summer working at a hot 80's summer day camp, getting water splashed on her on purpose by even-hoter lifeguards, I spent an entire summer in my bedroom, trying to "Save the Princess" in Super Mario Brothers on my Nintendo.

So, what does any of this “Stroll Down Sisterly Lane” talk have to do with New Year'S Eve?

The night i was cool

Well, one year when I was feeling particularly "uncool and realized that I would be spending yet another New Years at home with my parents and their friends singing doo-wop in our basement. Nanette, of course had amazing New Year’s Eve plans that involved a trip into Manhattan to the opening of what was sounding like a sizzling new nightclub. On her way out, she and her gorgeous boyfriend stopped by

my room. I remember her white leather headband held her perfectly primped Paul Mitchell hair in place, and she asked what I was doing that night. Sort of rare, becuase remember, she didn't really tak to me. I told her that I was thinking of watching a double feature of Hard Days Night and Help. Very uncool.

At 11:45, just as the smell of my sisters boyfriend’s Drakkar Noir cologne had dissipated from my bedroom, the unthinkable happened.

My beautiful perfect super cool 80’s sister walked into my room (precisely at Norwegian Wood part). I was truly startled by her VERY early return home from NYC, so much so that I was convinced there clearly had been a tragic accident, culminating in the double deaths of both Boy George and Simon Le Bon.

She sat down next to me, tugged off her leather and said, “I can’t let my little sister spend New Years with the Beatles alone in her bedroom.” Halfway through to the city, I guess she felt a small pang in her heart for her younger sister and turned around and headed home, bailing on her friends.

And if the shock of her return didn’t kill me, what happened next almost did.

She asked ME what I wanted to do with the rest of OUR night!

Without skipping a beat, we headed toward the kitchen (the happiest room in my house) and got to work. We looked through the cabinets and after a bit of deliberation and some negotiations, ended up on one dish we both liked: chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs with bacon. And there we were, frying and laughing with Dick Clark on the tube and Doo Wop playing in the basement. It was one of the best nights I can remember and guess what!?

Just shortly after midnight, she even let me dance a little Chaka Khan with her in the living room! And on that night......I was cool.

Mini Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Pancakes

Makes 24 bite size pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup melted butter

2 ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips

Candied bacon, finely chopped

Vegetable oil

For the Candied Bacon:

3 slices thick cut bacon

1 tablespoon brown sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on top and coat it with nonstick spray.
  2. Lay the bacon on the rack and sprinkle generously with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bacon is crisp and caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop into fine pieces.
  3. Turn off the oven and allow it to cool to no more than 200°F.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder , and soda.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and milk, egg yolks, and melted butter. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and candied bacon.
  6. Beat egg whites in another bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites at a time into the batter until well incorporated.
  7. Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Ladle the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the hot griddle and cook until small bubbles appear on the top. Flip and cook until other side is golden brown. Continue with remaining batter and keep finished pancakes warm in the oven.
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