A Toast To The New Year

A Toast To You My Friend

Whether you are going out with top hat and cane,                                                                                                  Or staying home with a glass of Champagne,

Here is a toast to all the memories my friend,                                                                                                            As we give a fond farewell to this year’s end.

May the New Year be all the best it can be,                                                                                          I hope you will spend some good times with me.

I want to take this time to thank all of my readers who have shared my blog with me. You have been with me as my husband and I have explored the back roads of Maine and  New Hampshire. You have followed us through France, Italy, Austria and Germany.

You have been as interested in the antique boats and cars we have seen as you have with our garden fresh tomatoes.

There has been lots of good food, either from the restaurants we have visited or from my kitchen.

I have gotten to know so many of you through your wonderful blogs and you have awarded me with three awards. I am excited to say that my blog was named “Best Food Blog of the Year” by Wineguys Radio and TV. They also named my recipe, New Year’s Lobster Pot Pie  “Recipe of the Year.” I was invited to spend a few minutes on the radio with them to talk about the recipe. It was so much fun!

As we end the year, I thought I would share a sweet treat with you.

Sicilian Cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli

You will need fresh, crispy cannoli shells. For the adventuresome, of course you can make your own. For those who don’t have the time or inclination, there are very good ready made shells.

For the cream, you will need a 15 oz. container of whole milk ricotta, 1/4 c. confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. Marsala or Grand Marnier (my favorite), a tsp. or more of grated orange rind, and a pinch of cinnamon. Mix well until combined and smooth. To the cream, you can add chocolate chips or chopped candied citron. Refrigerate for at least two hours before filling the shells. Pipe into the shells and decorate with finely chopped chocolate, chocolate chips or chopped pistachios if you want to be traditional.

Thank you again for your wonderful comments and friendship. May you have the best New Year ever.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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96 Responses to A Toast To The New Year

  1. Happy New Year and cheers to lot of fun adventures in 2012!

  2. Sue says:

    A Very Happy New Year to you , Karen. Looking forward to “travelling” with you some more in the new year.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, Happy New Year. You were one of my most enthusiastic followers during our travels. Hopefully we will take you to some good places in the coming year.

  3. Happy New Year Karen. It’s been fun reading about your adventures. I look forward to 2012

  4. spicegirlfla says:

    I am so thankful for “meeting” you. I’ve enjoyed and learned so much through your travels virually following along with you! I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and look forward to sharing in more of your life via Back Road Journal!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, Thank you for your nice compliment. The feeling is mutual…your recipes have been a real inspiration not only me but to anyone who finds you on my blogroll. Have a Happy New Year.

  5. megtraveling says:

    Hi Karen! I’m so happy to have discovered your blog and I’m looking forward to reading about more of your adventures. Happy New Year!

  6. A_Boleyn says:

    Happy New Year … I’m happy to have been able to share in the experience, at least for the last little while and hopefully for many New Years to come.

    Lovely lovely cannoli.

  7. What a nice post Karen. We’ve enjoyed peeking in your home and kitchen and traveling along with you too. A great recipe too. Happy New Year!

  8. A very happy New Year to you and your family as well, Karen! I have so enjoyed your blog and am looking forward to the next year’s posts. These cannoli look amazing and perfect for a party, I’m glad to hear you can buy ready made!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Smidge, Thank you for your very nice compliment. I have enjoyed getting to know you as well. Yes, I can buy cannoli shells in the fresh bakery section of my markets. If you don’t see them, ask someone that works at the bakery counter and they will sell you a box of shells. Have a Happy New Year.

  9. spree says:

    These look/sound lovely and like a serious temptation! Twist my arm (please) and have a Happy New Year!

  10. Happy New Year to you Karen. Love the toast, I’ve not heard that before. And those canoli’s????? Good grief they look wonderful. I’ve never eaten one, let alone try to make them. My only canoli experience has been savory. Beautiful photos. I look forward to even more of your wonderful posts in 2012.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lea Ann, Thank you for the nice compliment. The reason you haven’t heard the toast before is because it is mine. I haven’t written a poem in years…I’m glad that you liked it. Have a Happy New Year.

  11. I’ve been enjoying your adventures and look forward to many more in 2012! Cannoli’s and champagne is a delicious way to ring in the year. I love cannoli’s!
    Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you for the nice compliment. I’m happy that you have enjoyed following along on my adventures. Yes… a crisp, sweet cannoli and lots of bubbly Champagne seem like a nice way to ring in the new year. Have a wonderful New Year.

  12. This is such a wonderful post. And that Sicilian cannoli.. wow. Yes, that definitely looks decadent and wonderful for any day of the week. I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year

  13. I only wanted to say, “Happy New Year,” and tell you how wonderful your first photo is, and then you drop a CANNOLI recipe into my lap… :D
    Oh. My.
    Thanks for a fun year, Karen. Looking forward to the next!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much for your nice compliments over the last six months. I thought a little sweet cannoli would be a nice way to end the year. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  14. Lisa says:

    What a lovely post, so much wonderful sentimen, and those cannoli’s look spectacular! I’m also in lust with your New Years lobster pie below! Bookmarked! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  15. ceciliag says:

    Oh those look too good to be true.. and I can make those can’t I!? Oh wow. Happy New Year to you also Karen.. You are such a delightful clever person and I am still in love with your kitchen!! Take good care have fun and see you in ’12.. celi

  16. What lovely words and kind wishes and totally reciprocated! Looking forward to sharing next year´s adventures, recipes and travels with you. Now I´m off to eat some cannoli before everyone else snaffles them as I adore them ;)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tanya, Thank you so much for your lovely compliments and following along with my adventures. I have learned a lot of cooking techniques from your blog and look forward to your new year as well. Happy New Year to the both of you.

  17. Cheers! Blessings to you in the New Year, Karen!

  18. Happy New Year to you! I would love to ring in the New Year with those cannoli and I’m loving the recommendation of Grand Marnier.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sylvie, Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog and your nice comment. I love Grand Marnier and think it adds a lovely flavor to the cannoli. I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

  19. musingmar says:

    Happy New Year to you Karen! I’ve been so enjoying following your beautiful blog, and very much appreciate the thoughtful comments you have left on mine. Cheers, Mar

  20. Monique says:

    Bonne Année! You had a GREAT yr..I wish u a repeat!

    • Karen says:

      Merci Beaucoup, Monique. I do hope that the new year will be as good as last year for so many reasons. Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful New Year.

  21. Mary says:

    Happy New Year Karen! My dilemma now is… do I make the cannoli or the lobster pot pie first? Both recipes sound amazing and I can’t wait to try them.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, Thank you so much for your nice comment. I would say to make the lobster pot pie. Buy cannoli shells and make the cream. If you are not too full after dinner, just pipe the shells and enjoy dessert. The cream will keep…if you are too full, have the cannoli the next day. The secret is to stuff the shells right before serving so that the shells stay extra crispy.

  22. Beautiful cannoli! Definitely a fine New Year’s treat. Not that I wouldn’t happily eat a couple of those at *any* time. :)

    May you have a truly wonderful and grand celebration of the big change-over and a perfectly spectacular 2012 to follow it!

    Cheers!
    Kathryn

  23. lulu says:

    Karen, you are killing me, first with lobster pot pie and now with cannoli which just happens to be one of my five most favorite desserts. Whenever we go to Primo, that is my dessert of choice. Do enjoy welcoming the New Year with your wonderful goodies.

  24. k.m. says:

    Beautiful! I’ve never tried making cannoli before, but I do know of a great place to buy the shells. Guess it’s time to try. To new things and new tastes, and a happy new year :)

  25. cabinet stew says:

    great blog. great cannoli. Really great poem!
    I have really enjoyed traveling, eating and gardening with you…
    See you next year! (that joke just never gets old :-))

  26. ChgoJohn says:

    I have to agree with our Rhode Island Friend. I was cruising through what I thought was a really nice post, remembering our European vacation, our walks through your home, and then you sprang a couple cannoli on me. How am I expected to concentrate with that image now in my head? Well, the fog has apparently lifted, for a spell, so let me wish you and yours a very happy new year. It’s been a pleasure becoming acquainted with you, Karen, and I look forward to sharing the blogosphere with you in 2012. (Now, where can I get a cannoli at 8:38 PM?)

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I’m happy that you have enjoyed my posts. It has been a pleasure having you as a loyal reader, my friend. I have cannoli cream in the fridge…wish you were around the corner. Have a Happy New Year.

  27. Kristy says:

    It has been a pleasure following along with your adventures Karen! I’m happy to have “met” you. Have a wonderful New Year’s! I’m looking forward to many more of your wonderful stories, insights and recipes in 2012! :)

  28. karen brown says:

    Dear Karen, Happy New Year to you. As a fledgling blog writer, it’s a real joy when someone likes your writing as it has led me to your blog, which is an absolute delight. Your recipes are the kind of food that I am drawn to, but I also enjoy the pictures of your lovely home. Cheers from Wellington, New Zealand.

  29. Wishing you a very happy new year Karen. And what a way to go / start with your delicious looking recipe. Here’s to a happy new blogging year :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claire, Thank you for your nice compliment and wishes for the new year. I want to thank you again for the award you presented to me. Have a wonderful New Year and enjoy the snow.

  30. Corina says:

    I love cannoli from my local Italian deli. I’m now feeling quite inspired to make my own one day – even if it is just the filling. I got a piping bag for Christmas so I’m looking for any ideas that involve using it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Corina, Thank you for stopping by my blog for a visit. I’m happy to have given you a recipe so that you will be able to use your new present. Have a Happy New Year.

  31. Joanne says:

    Cannolis are one of my favorites! Those look great.

    Happy new year!

  32. Karen, I look forward to following you in the coming year…your food, travels and thoughts. Filled Cannoli shells look divine. Happy New Year to you my blogger friend.

  33. Happy New Year, Karen! A toast to you and all good things in 2012!

  34. Cannolis are on of my wife’s favorite treats and she was very excited when I showed her your pics.

    Have a very Happy New Year!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jed, I’m happy that I could provide you with an easy recipe for cannoli. I especially like the flavor when you use Grand Marnier in the cream. Happy New Year!

  35. Looking forward to many more blogging adventures with you in 2012! Happy new year! The cannoli looks great!

  36. Simply Life says:

    Great dessert for the end of the year! Happy 2012!

  37. What a lovely treat for tonight! Happy New Year to you too.

  38. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    I’ve never tried these and they look pretty easy. Pretty too. I might try them out! :)

  39. Love the cannoli recipe! Cannolis are so yummy!

    Happy New Year!

  40. Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing your dishes, your home and your travels. Can’t wait to see where 2012 takes you.

  41. Colleen says:

    Happy new year! And by the way… I just started craving a cannoli!

  42. Happy New Year and Congratulations on your awards:)

  43. Whoa, congrats on the awards! Well-deserved! Look forward to reading more from you – Happy New Year!

  44. karencooking says:

    Such beautiful photos! And the cannoli look perfect. Happy New Year!

  45. Happy New Year! I hope you continue to blog for many more. I’m so glad I found your blog in 2011 and have enjoyed your adventures.

  46. congratulations for the award, or “grattis”, as they say here in Sweden. And of course Happy New Year to you. I have cannoli forms but I still haven’t found the inspiration to use them…

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, Barbara. The “grattis” were a great surprise. Not many people have the cannoli forms…that is why I suggested that they purchase the shells and just prepare the cream. Have a great New Year.

  47. Debra Kolkka says:

    Yum! I want one now.

  48. Larry says:

    Karen – thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. We were up in your area in May (http://bigdudesramblings.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-england-day-1.html) and crossed Long Lake a few times. It looks like we do share some common interest, including a love of your area, so I’ll enjoy reading about your travels, cooking, etc.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. It is a small world…not many people outside of New England would know where Long Lake is. Since we share so much in common, it will be fun visiting each other’s blog.

  49. Megan Neal says:

    That’s incredible news! Congratulations! I’m definitely going to try the cannoli recipe! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Megan, Thank you for your lovely compliment and wishes. I was so excited that my blog was name “Best Food Blog of the Year”, and the Lobster Pie named “Best Recipe of the Year”. I know you will enjoy the cannoli recipe…its so easy and delicious.

  50. niasunset says:

    WOW! They are so beautiful… Thank you, Happy New year to you too. With my love, nia

  51. What an honour and richly deserved award and being asked to chat on the radio – awesome stuff! Albeit that I have only been following your blog for a short time, I am looking forward to tagging a long for the next year Karen – I often think of your magnificent kitchen!
    Happy New Year – have a wonderful love and laughter filled year. :-) Mandy xo

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliment and nice wishes. It was fun being on the radio and they really surprised me with the awards. I look forward to sharing experiences with you on your blog as well.

  52. Congratulations Karen. That’s fabulous news and well deserved I might add. Beautiful photos. Happy new year to you and your family. Thank you for your friendship and support. May the new year bring you good health and much happiness.
    Sam

  53. Happy New Year Karen! Congrats on the awards! Well deserved!
    The cannoli look so so good!

  54. Susan says:

    Happy New Year, Karen! Your cannoli look wonderful!

  55. Christina says:

    Happy New Year to you!! I can’t think of a better dessert to ring in the year with! The cannoli looks incredible! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christina, Thank you for your nice compliment on the cannoli. There is nothing better than a light, creamy filling inside a cripy pastry shell to have for dessert.

  56. Ahh cannoli, can there ever be too much? Love them!
    Happy New Year Karen.

  57. Sissi says:

    Happy New Year, Karen! Congratulations! It’s such a pity I wasn’t able to listen to your radio interview! You have totally merited it and you merit much much more awards!
    I have never had cannoli, but they look so rich and guiltily-luscious… I will try to remember them after a slight rest from the holidays indulgences. (Next year I will also choose lobster instead of foie gras I usually have; it would be wiser and kinder to my waist ;-) ).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment. You will really enjoy a cannoli and believe it or not, they are not that rich. It is made from ricotta and just a little powder sugar. I find it to be a light dessert.

  58. Happy New Year, Karen! I love that you put Grand Marnier in these Cannoli’s. Congrats on your award – the Lobster Pot Pie sounds scrumptious, too!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Becki, for your nice compliment. I think the Grand Marnier adds a lovely flavor to the Cannoli cream. You are right about the Lobster Pot Pie…it is scrumptious.

  59. Happy New Year. I have never had cannoli: they look divine.

  60. Pingback: Best Of The Year 2011 | Back Road Journal

  61. Happy New Year, Karen! This is a beautiful blog! Your pictures are gorgeous – I could lift a piece of that cannoli from the plate and eat it now!

  62. Ruth says:

    Congratulations, Karen! It must have been quite the experience :-) Here’s to a happy 2012!

  63. Ann says:

    Happy New Year, Karen! It has been a delightful, delicious year here on Back Road Journal – your travels, pictures and food have been nothing short of spectacular! I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

  64. canalcook says:

    A belated happy new year! those Cannolli look amazing, they are my favourites, I used to eat them every day in Rome

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