Gib and I have technically spent the last 72 hours planning our New Years vacation and so far the only place on our list is Charleston, mostly because there’s a killer pulled pork bbq pit in Hemingway. But because it’s ridiculous to drive 3.5 hours to eat at a restaurant, we’re instead going to pretend it’s a pitstop on our way to Charleston but really we just don’t mess around when it comes to bbq.
We love going away on New Years because you get to experience the best of a city – you get to see it at its sleepiest with everyone either gone for the holiday or snuggly and tucked indoors, and when it comes alive on New Years Eve.
Last year we went to Asheville and it was cold AF but seriously dreamy, especially this hot chocolate lounge and the clouds that surround you when you drive up the mountain. The year before that we were in Chapel Hill. And the year before that we went to the beach – I like to call it Myrtle but Gib’s not amused at all. “Danna will you call it Myrtle Beach please.” (It was in Myrtle where I found out I was allergic to shrimp. Or I guess more appropriately it was where I could no longer ignore the fact that I was allergic to shrimp.)
The thing is, I’ve always really wanted to host my own New Years Eve party. I’d make sparkly gold cocktails and the best kinds of finger food (like these Sweet Chicken Sausage, Mint and Onion Puffs) and I’d decorate with a bunch of DIY inspired tutorials and there would be a polaroid camera and I’d have a bunch of blankets and pillows and we’d all have a grown up slumber party and then, most importantly, I’d make the best family style brunch the next day because there’s seriously no better way to start a new year than surrounded by family, friends and a big skillet of shakshuka.
SWEET SAUSAGE, MINT AND ONION PUFFS
5 sweet sausages of your choice*
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon dried/dehydrated red onion
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 teaspoon malden or sea salt
for the sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
1 tablespoon diced fresh (or dried) red onion
Preheat the oven to 400°. Brown your sausages on all sides in a skillet set over medium heat (about 6 minutes). Remove and let cool slightly. Cut into 4 equal pieces each.
Unwrap the sheet of puff pastry. Place the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment paper or lightly floured surface. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut your sheet of puff pastry into 10 equal strips, then cut those in half to create 20 4-5 inch pieces of pastry. Roll one piece of puff pastry dough around 1 piece of cut sausage. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat until all are wrapped and on the sheet, 1-2 inches apart.
Beat the egg yolk and water together. In a separate bowl, combine the dried red onion, mint and salt. Brush the tops of each sausage roll with the egg wash and sprinkle with the onion and mint mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mint and onion. Serve the puffs warm out of the oven. Enjoy!