New Year’s Traditions

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When I was a child my friend Paige Calhoun and I would make cocktail hot dogs in Pillsbury crescent rolls and mini sandwiches with food colored cream cheese to celebrate the New Year while listening to WDRC in Hartford, Ct.

Recently, Paige shared that she keeps that tradition going with her son and his friends. Simple pre made appetizers are such a nice way to graze.

Other New Year’s traditions are Peking Duck and Dumplings- a precursor to Chinese New Year, pork chops and Sauerkraut for some families of German descent and Pierogies celebrating the Ukraine Christmas mid-January. This year Tina Freeman from Edible Sarasota and her Dad will teach me the family tradition of making these dough gems, filled with potatoes and cheese and yes even sauerkraut for some families.

Of course in the South there are black eyes peas and collard greens. For me though, I am always looking for fresh new ideas.

Try sautéed collard greens just wilted or dandelion greens straight from Worden Farms at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market with crisp pancetta and brown butter Pierogies.

And, just like my Jewish Traditions on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year- we dip apples in honey on New Year’s Day to symbolize a sweet New Year ahead.

  • 1 bunch collard greens- washed and rinsed, patted dry.
  • 1 package Kasia’s pre-made Pierogies (Fresh market)
  • 1 TBSP. clarified butter (ghee)
  • 3 TBSP. crisp chopped pancetta
  • ½ small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and diced.

Heat large pan to medium high add clarified butter and Pierogies.

Lightly brown on both sides and remove from pan. Keep warm in warming drawer or 200 degree oven

Brown pancetta and add onions and butternut squash, sauté until onions and squash are tender

If needed add 1 tsp. oil and add greens. Sauté with salt and pepper until wilted.

Place Piergoies on plate and top with sautéed greens.

Serve warm as a side dish or with thick bone in grilled pork chops.

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at