Happy 2010!!! I honestly cannot believe it’s the start of a new month, year and DECADE. In the last ten years I:

1. Graduated from college (go Panthers!)

2. Lived in Japan for a summer

3. Got my first “real job”

4. Quit first “real job” three months after I started (still traumatized from the experience) and moved to Minneapolis

5. Realized my love for cooking

6. Moved back home to Iowa

7. Got married

8. Bought a house

9. Started a blog!

Hmmm…that’s only 9 things. I feel like there should be another one to represent 10 years…ah yes,

10. Ran a half marathon! (NEVER in my wildest dreams thought that would ever happen!)

I can’t believe in another 10 years I’ll be just a few short years away from 40. CRAZY!

At any rate, New Years Eve was so much fun! As I mentioned, Ben and I planned a low key evening with some friends. We had dinner reservations at 7:30, so we went over to our friends’ house around 6 for cocktails.

Of course, every good cocktail hour needs snacks! We had Chex Mix, Peanut M&Ms and Puff Popcorn. Salty puff popcorn with peanut M&Ms is the best combo you’ll ever have. This same friend also makes a snack of puff popcorn drizzled with white chocolate and mixed with peanut M&Ms. TDF!!


The boys sipped on some 1554,


While the ladies stuck to Pomegranate Martinis. :)


We took the requisite photos…


Love Bare Minerals, but it makes you SHINE LIKE A HEADLIGHT! Any tips, Bare Minerals users?


And we were off to the Flying Mango! Ben and I had never been and we were so.excited.!! We love all types of cuisine, but Caribbean + BBQ hold a special place in our hearts. Love those flavors!


The New Year’s eve menu was long and delicious. Every dish sounded so good that my friend and I split two, so we could taste as much as possible!


The decor inside the restaurants was super quaint. Small, intimate tables, warm colors and dim lights all set the mood.



The place has a very New Orleans type feel – very cool. :)



I paired what was to be a very spicy entree, with a cold and refreshing Shiner Bock beer. It’s dark, but tastes light. Love it!


Ahh – the GRUB! I ordered the Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna over Zucchini Noodles tossed with Creole Puree and Corn Bread.


omg. Spicy, fresh tuna steaks seared and served over spiralized zucchini that had been tossed in a savory Creole sauce. Unbelievable! And don’t even get me started on that corn bread. Best I’ve ever had – and topped with cinnamon honey butter…I want it again. Now!


My friend got the Lime & Garlic Shrimp over Black Pepper Fettuccine with Fresh Mango Salsa and Corn Bread. Seriously – no words. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the tropical mango was incredible with the hint of spice in the pasta!


Ben, fulfilling his man duties, got a Slab of Memphis-Style Loin Back Ribs with Red Beans & Rice, Fresh Vegetable Sauté and Garlic Bread. Again…absolutely incredible!! Vegetables cooked to snappy perfection, best garlic bread and ribs I’ve ever had and those red beans and rice just knocked it out of the park!!


Obviously, Ben did not eat an entire rack of ribs, so he took half the slab home, doused in the Flying Mango’s house BBQ sauce. Amazing.


If you are local – you MUST, must, must get to Flying Mango! The owner also walks around giving back rubs. I didn’t hate that! ;)


After dinner, we headed to a local bar to wait for the countdown with some drinks.


Then we all turned into pumpkins at 12:15 and headed home. We had a blast and a meal to remember for a long time. What a way to kick off 2010!


Ben and I hung out at my parent’s house on Friday to watch bowl games and eat our traditional New Year’s day meal – Pork and Sauerkraut. Yep, in the German heritage, pigs are a symbol of good luck and cabbage leaves are symbolic of money. Therefore – a New Year’s day meal of pork and sauerkraut is supposed to bring a year of good luck and fortune. :) Here’s hoping! :)