Happy New Year from Snowy Temecula!

Hope everyone is having a nice beginning to 2015. We rang in the new year with some tidbits and watched Ryan Seacrest. I always watch a little When Harry Met Sally. That's a tradition. Speaking of tradition... this was the best year ever for the annual New Year raisin toss. 11 out of 12 and technically the missed one made mouth contact, bounced off my front tooth and onto the floor but contact that has got to be worth something.

For those of you that don't know what the heck I'm talking about... every year it's my New Year's Eve tradition to toss 12 raisins. You toss the raisins one at a time at the stroke of midnight toward your wide open mouth. For every raisin that you get in your mouth that will be one month of good luck in the coming year. I've been doing this now for a few years. The first year raisin #1 SCORE right in the mouth, the second raisin BAM right in the eye. That was an interesting year. Last year I got in 8 out of 12. I blame those misses on unusually large and misshapen raisins, a lack of quality control in the raisin factory. This year, I went with Sun Maid California raisins, no skimping on quality and it worked out. So I'm calling it 11.25 out of 12. According to the raisin oracle it will be a great year!

The food: I made savory mini ricotta pancakes and topped them with smoked salmon (lox) and a dollop of dill Greek yogurt. Delicious and packed with protein. They were sort of like those fancy pants passed hors d'oeuvre blinis. Not a smoked salmon fan? You could top them with my bruschetta topping, chicken salad, tuna salad, guacamole, cheese, cold cuts.

Potato Pancake with No Potato Low Carb Appetizer Party Foods Recipes

Shelly's Savory Onion Mini Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
1 Green Onion, diced fine
1 Tablespoon Chives
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Mix pancake ingredients together. Spray a non-stick pan with Pam. Spoon dollops of batter about 50 cent piece size for hors d'oeuvres. Makes about 14. You can of course make them larger but I like them about 2 bite size. Cook on low till bubbles appear, flip. Cook till done. I let them cool slightly. They firm up a bit. I topped them with smoked salmon (Lox) and a dollop of dill Greek yogurt sauce and a sprig of fresh dill.

Cook's Note: I used whole milk ricotta if you use part skim. Drain through a sieve lined with a coffee filter or cheese cloth for several hours or overnight in the fridge.

Shelly's Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon Dried Dill
a squeeze of Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
a few twists of Black Pepper to taste

Mix together. Leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two.

More weight loss surgery friendly party foods on my Party Food Pinterest Page

I don't drink much. I will do champagne toasts but I forgot to get it and since I have a couple of sips and the rest goes flat and in the trash, it didn't seem worth it to make a special trip out for it. My New Year's toast was made with a cup of hot Spiced Chai Fit Frappe topped with no sugar added, homemade whipped cream perfect cold weather drink.

Oh get this... it was so cold on December 31st that it snowed! Super rare. I was jazzed. Huge fluffy gorgeous snowflakes falling from the sky. I went outside. I caught them on my tongue. I snapped a zillion blurry pictures, I made a snowman. I know, I know as an ex-NYer I shouldn't be impressed but it was very cool, a fun surprise.

Southern California Freak Weather

Southern California Old Town Weather

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone good health, lots of laughter, and fun surprises in 2015. May this be our best year ever.

P.S. If you haven't thrown your name in the hat for the 25,000 Facebook Fan-tastic Giveaway be sure to do that, it ends Sunday.