I'm just going to say it:  I don't love New Year's Eve.  

I never have.

For me it's more of a time of reflection than of celebration.   I don't usually review what I've accomplished in the last year; rather, I set goals for the new year.   

Tonight, I'm getting together with a few close friends for a casual dinner; in fact, a friend of mine said he will cook since I made Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  I couldn't allow myself to do nothing so I thought I'd make a baked artichoke dip -- basically chopped artichokes with a bunch of fat -- and some homemade crostini.

I love crostini.  They' so much better than any cracker.  I use a ficelle which is a skinny baguette and slice them on an angle which makes the perfect little shovel to scoop up a dip. I just brush them with olive oil, dust them with salt and bake at 375 degrees...

...until they're golden brown.

You got to watch them like a hawk to get them perfect.

These are perfect.

Hot artichoke dip with homemade crostini will be perfect
with a bottle or two of champagne before dinner.

I might even stay in my pajamas.

Whatever you do this evening, I hope you have a safe and happy time.  

And I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!