Monday, January 4, 2021

Snow Decor & New Year's Dinner


Snow Decor & New Year's Dinner

Goodbye 2020...and here's hoping 2021 is a better year for all of us!  Very happy to see the year end.  I was a bit more motivated to put away all the Christmas decorations so the New Year could begin.   I like to decorate in a winter/snow fashion for January - the Snowbuddies pictured above is usually on our Powder Room door, but since we are having no guests who would see it I decided to put it on the door to our patio where I can see it every day.
A simple piece for our coffee table....this was an old brass tray I sprayed with silver hammered spray paint.   The balls were purchased several years ago at K-Mart after Christmas for a bargain price.  I like the blue and silver sparkly balls, and the white balls have a snowflake design on them that I think says "winter"!

I love the way this cozy reading nook turned out...the snowflake pillow was purchased last year at Hobby Lobby after Christmas...the snowman scattered throughout the house I have had for years.   I love rescuing my green plants from the windowsill in the guest room and returning them to their proper place.  
Found this little silver bird at Kohl's a few years ago....I move him around each year.
Dining room table gets the same basic design...and I just love the clean look of the blue and silver after the holidays.  Don't get me wrong...I love decorating for Christmas, but by New Year's Eve I am ready to see it go back into storage!
A few more decorations scattered around the apartment...

Picked the snowman plate up at the Yankee Candle store...and the winter dessert plates at a steal at Hobby Lobby.  So wishing for a time when we can have company and serve some goodies on those cute plates.
Snowman wreath is very old...when we lived in another home several years ago the neighbors would joke that it would always snow when I took down the Christmas wreath and put this snowman on the door.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday celebration.  Do you have any traditions for New Year's Day ?  Living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania it seems everyone here has Pork and Sauerkraut to ensure good luck for the New Year.   When I was a child our entire family came to our home for New Year's dinner and my mom would always make Slovak Halupki...or stuffed cabbage rolls.   She used pork and beef and with cabbage as a substitute for the kraut (thought I think she layered some sauerkraut in the pan, too) it fits the bill for a New Year's Dinner. This dish is pretty easy to make...just takes some time.   I don't have my mom's recipe, so this is taken from several recipes I found online...
Halupki - Cabbage Rolls

1 large head of cabbage
1 lb. of ground beef ( I used very lean beef)
1 lb. of ground pork
1 cup rice...I used brown rice
3 cans of tomato soup
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbls. minced onions

Remove the core from a head of cabbage...
Drop into boiling water and peel off the leaves as they come loose..
Drain the leaves and let them cool ...

The packages of meat I found were more than one pound each, so I took some been and made patties to freeze for burgers...

I put everything in my big mixer...
Added the onion, rice, eggs, one can of the soup, and a squeeze of ketchup...
Cut the large vein out of the end of each piece of cabbage,
Then take a small amount of the meat mixture and place it on the end of the leaf of cabbage.  I apologize...I got so caught up in rolling them I forgot to take a photo of that process.  Place the meat mixture on the bottom end of the leaf, fold in the sides, and roll up...
Then lay the rolls seam side down in a large baking dish ( I used a blue enamel roaster that I got the first year we were it's vintage!) that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray.
Chop up the smaller leaves and remaining cabbage into small pieces...
Place the cabbage pieces on top of the rolls - here is where I remember my mom putting sauerkraut, as well as layering some under the rolls.   I did not do that, but may try it next time.
Pour the remaining two cans of tomato soup over all, pour 2/3 a can of water over all, and drizzle with ketchup.  
Cover tightly with foil - or a lid to a roaster - and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours at 350 degrees until the temp of the rolls is at least 165 degrees.   You can also make these ahead of time and refrigerate until you want to put them in the oven, but then add more oven time.
And then enjoy !  These turned out SO good and reminded us of our childhood.  My mom always served them with mashed potatoes, peas, and applesauce.

While they were cooking I set the table for New Year's Dinner...
And then we sat down to a wonderful dinner.  We like to spoon some of the sauce over the mashed potatoes.   They turned out great...and as with all tomato kind of dishes, the leftovers tasted even better.
This recipe made about 24 rolls....WAY to much for us - we ate 2 .  So...
I placed 4 in freezer safe dishes for a later dinner, and I took a container to our neighbors who are of Eastern European heritage and always give us a ring of their homemade kielbassa...I knew they would enjoy them!
My mom would always make lemon meringue pie for was such a nice treat after all the Christmas cookies.  But, we are trying to eat healthy and if we had an entire pie, we would eat it.  So I made a lemon pudding cheese pie and was able to freeze that so we can enjoy it when we enjoy the leftover halpuki.   Now that I have made these again I think they will be a regular rotation on our menu.  So good !
Once the Christmas decorations were stored away we blessed our home for Epiphany. As a small child I remember the parish priest would come to bless our house for the New Year.  We keep the tradition by saying a prayer, sprinkling the rooms with holy water, and praying that everyone who comes into our home will find it a place of peace, love, and blessing.  Then we take chalk and mark the year, and the initials of the Three Kings ( Casper, Balthazar, and Melchior) over the front door to guard our coming and going.  Another old tradition that we love!
Do you eat any special foods to celebrate the New Year ?   How about your tree and holiday decorations - how long to you keep them out?  Please let me know what you think in the comments below, and thank you for stopping by Our New Vista today!  Wishing you peace, health, and happiness in 2021!!!


  1. I like how pretty your winter decorations look in your home Ann. I would like to make this recipe sometime. I remember my mom would make this for dinner. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

  2. Hi was easy but took some time - but worth it. Happy and especially HEALTHY New Year to you and your family !

  3. Your winter decorations look so beautiful! Have a Healthy & Happy New Year!

  4. Hi, Ann! I love blue and silver in January! I also have a few snowmen that are perched here and there. I usually leave Christmas decorations up until Epiphany, particularly the Nativity scene. This time, the season seemed to pass too quickly for adequate enjoyment of all the decor, so it’s staying up a bit longer. Our traditional New Year’s Day meal would include black-eyed peas and pork, and that’s what we had this year. I love your cabbage rolls and have made some in the past. I send wishes for all good things to come your way!

    1. Hey Nellie - Happy New Year to you, too! As a child we left our decorations up until Epiphany, but our wedding anniversary is January 8th and I like everything away so that day is free from packing up Christmas. Wishing you good luck and good health in the New Year!

  5. Ann, your New Year traditions are simply terrific! My mom always made cabbage with coins for good luck in the new year. Your food sounds like home comfort at its best, and your decorations still cozy and festive (much needed in winter!). I was quick to take down and store my decorations immediately after Christmas, but I did leave my tree up, unadorned, and pillow covers for now. I like winter greens scattered through the condo, and little lights to get me through winter doldrums. I am happy to see the new year begin, although yesterday's events were very distressing for us as a nation. I pray we will not go radically left as a countermeasure, but that we can strike a balance and unite the divisive politics in the coming years. I think social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have really been detrimental on so many levels. Facebook is all I am on besides my blog, but I feel ready to cut the ties on FB. I certainly am praying for a vaccine so life can have some semblance of what we used to know.

    1. Hi Rita - Thanks for the compliment. I love your greens and lights...I often think about leaving the tree and lights, but I like everything put away before our wedding anniversary ( tomorrow ) so that is an occasion in itself. I feel the same way as you do about yesterday....I was in tears. A good friend who is still teaching American History to Middle School students posted " for 22 years I have taught that the hallmark of democracy is the peaceful transition of power, and today my heart is breaking". I fear for the children and the future. I know what you mean about FB...I have had friends "unfriend me" and some people I snooze, but it is a good way to keep up with friends I don't see anymore, grade and high school friends, etc. Our church had a Zoom prayer session at 9 PM last night to pray for our country - I think we need lots of prayers for the coming days. Take care - so glad to have met you and visit your blog!


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