Our New Year's Eve and Day were very happily mellow. Neither of us made it to midnight, we didn't even try, we chose instead to crawl into our warm bed and quickly drifted off to sleep. But I'm not one to let a holiday go by unnoticed, so I did cook a pork loin and black eyed peas for supper, for luck.
Growing up we didn't have a special New Years meal so in my search for recipes for black eyed peas (there will be another search next year as well...these were just ok) I found that it was a Greek New Years tradition to cook a cake/bread called Vasilopita with a coin baked inside and the person who finds the coin is supposed to have extra luck in the coming year. Since we honeymooned in Greece this past summer it seemed a fitting desert. I chose to make the cake version (not having the patience that day to be messing around with yeast), and skipped the coin this time around (having irrational fears about my husband being able to tell our kids one day about the New Years that their mom almost choked him to death).
It is sort of a heavy, eggy, bready pound cake with a faint vanilla/orange flavoring and confectioners sugar sprinkled on top. It was very good, though the slice I took could have fed an army and by the end it was a struggle to take just one.more.bite. Overall, though I think my favorite part about the cake was the 2011 on top.
I found lots of recipes online with lots of variations, so I took the parts that seemed to be common throughout and modified a bit to our tastes.
1 c. butter
2 c. white sugar
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. warm milk (around 110 degrees F)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
zest and juice of one orange
Preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour round cake pan. Cream together butter and sugar until fully combined. Add in flour until mixture is mealy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add baking soda and milk to egg mixture, mix well. Then add baking soda, vanilla, and orange zest and juice. Bake for about 40 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with confectioners sugar.