Here’s to 2013!

California, Domestic

I love New Years Eve! We never really do anything epic, but it’s the traditions that make it epic for us. As a kid and teenager, I always spent it with my parents, my sister and my grandparents. My granny would make her tuna, salmon, egg and sometimes chicken bouchees. My mother always made a bunt cake and stuck a coin in it. Then she’d cut pieces and name them for people in a very specific order, whoever gets the coin is supposed to have great luck that year! Instead of a bunt cake, the traditional Greek New Year’s cake to slip a coin into is called the Vasiliopita. Interesting that the tradition itself comes from the name day (Greeks celebrate name days almost as seriously as we celebrate birthdays) that lands on Jan 1 (Saint Vasili the Great). This saint would distribute cakes with coins hidden inside them to the poor people in his parish. Ha! Snuck in a random history lesson! We always cut a piece for all the poor people in the world, and this year that’s who got the coin!

Here’s the recipe I used this year! Wee One #2 helped, it was pretty simple and despite having six eggs in it, we tried it and it was really good!!

vasilopita - green new years eve cake
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
6 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup white sugar

I had a three year old ‘helper’ making this with me and it still came together quickly!

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10″ cake pan. Cream the butter and the sugar, then stir in the flour until the mixture looks like almond meal. Add the eggs. One. At. A. Time. Mix the baking powder and milk and then add that to the egg mixture. Now mix the lemon juice and baking soda and add that to the mixture as well. Pour into your cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the (half baked) cake with the chopped almonds and sugar and bake for another 45 minutes. Mine baked up so tall and grand the almond and sugar on top looked so pretty!

vasilopita - green new years eve cake
vasilopita - green new years eve cake
vasilopita - green new years eve cake

Anyhoo, the first couple of years after my husband and I got together we celebrated just as I had done as a kid, with my folks and after the little ones started coming, we started rotating where we’d spend Christmas and New Years. It was either laid back with my folks or his. There was one year when a few of my girlfriends came over and we knitted through the countdown. Since then I try to do that where ever I happen to be celebrating. This year we are thankful to be able to say we have made a lot of great friends here already, but when it comes to New Years they are generally divided into two groups. Those with kids that celebrate with family, and those without kids that celebrate with shots.

Both are equally fun, but we have decided to start a new tradition – settling in with fun treats for the littles, and savory treats for us. A kid’s countdown at 9pm PST was perfect because that’s midnight in Ontario, and gave me time to get the littles to bed before the actual countdown at midnight!

happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013

*I think the teeny nerds-encrusted martini glasses with dark chocolate almond milk helped make this NYE a little different, and special, for the little ones.

We had a lovely New Years Eve and plan to spend our entire New Years Day playing board games and watching Dinosaur Train. I love me some resolutions and I’ve been getting better at sticking to them so here’s my official list for 2013.

1) read 52 books

2) sew a dress for myself

3) send everyone a card for their birthday

4) make candles

5) hand write and mail (at least) 52 letters

6) knit this quilt (202/400 puffs)

7) knit 12 pairs of socks

8 ) bake one new cookie recipe every week – and blog about it

9) make a small quilt

10) start a ‘What I did today’ daily journal project (I really like the index card one)

11) participate in Craftster’s Monthly Challenge

12) go on at least one epic road trip and as many smaller ones as possible

Let’s recap how I did with my to-do of 2012, shaaaall we?
1) read 52 books (24/52) – So I fell 28 books shy of my goal. Instead of lowering it, I’m going to aim for 52 again in 2013.

2) sew a dress for myself – No excuse. I even bought a new sewing machine after leaving mine in Canada! Back on the list for 2013.

3) send everyone a card for their birthday – I came reeeeally close but I can’t cross it off because I did overlook a few and some were crazy late. Hoping to manage it in 2013 better!

4) learn to play chess – I’m not exactly losing hope on this one, but I would really rather knit than learn chess. Not adding it to the 2013 list, but if it comes up, I’m all over it.

5) make candles – This will totally happen in 2013

6) hand write & mail letters (76/52)I nailed this one! Plan to do it again in 2013

7) learn some fashion historyI did hours of online research, poured over old Vogues from the library and read The Beautiful Fall on the recommendation of my girl Mutant Supermodel. So good!

8) watch these movies (14/100) – I totally abandoned this list in April when we moved down to LA, I have watched at least 50+ movies this year but not from that list! In 2013 I will just keep a list of what I have watched!

9) make (& use) a worm bin – We moved from our house before the ground thawed and into a garden apartment so no worm bin this year! I also don’t know if I care enough about it for it to make the 2013 list haha.

10) make soapI did this with my friend Vanessa, her boyfriend Steve and my husband. It’s like magic! So fun too!!

11) knit this quitI got halfway there!! It’s defo going on the 2013 list.
puff count = 202/400

12) knit 12 pairs of socks (14/12) – I rocked this challenge too! Doing it again in 2013!



  1. Natalie  •  Jan 1, 2013 @9:55 pm

    great looking cake!

    Thanks! Happy New Year!

  2. Mutant Supermodel  •  Jan 7, 2013 @12:48 pm

    Oh my gosh the girls’ martini glasses are priceless. Happy New Year love! I’m so glad I got to help you with one of your to-do’s last year!

    You totally did, how cool is that?! I learned so much from that book!

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