Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Lucky Foods for a Happy New Year and A Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail from Cleo Coyle

Behold the Pomegranate
Champagne Cocktail

Why pomegranate? Because pomegranate is one of the foods believed to bring good luck in the New Year. That's why my recipe for you today is a beautiful Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, along with tips on how to open, de-seed, and enjoy this highly healthy fruit. But first...

Did you know that many cultures believe you can eat your way to a better tomorrow? Here is a fun list of 10 "Lucky Foods" to start 2015 right.

1) Grapes are eaten at midnight in many Spanish-speaking countries, one for each stroke of the clock. Sweet grapes represent good months, sour less fortunate ones. 

2) Lentils are served in Italy because their abundant seeds symbolize wealth, and when cooked they plump with water to represent swelling fortunes.

3) Collards, kale, and other greens are lucky because they resemble paper money. The more you eat, the more prosperous (and healthier) you’ll become.

for my recipe.

4) Pork is eaten in Europe and America because its fat implies richness, but in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and Austria hogs are also a symbol of progress because they never move backward. Cookies, candies, and cakes shaped like pigs are considered lucky too.

5) Long noodles symbolize longevity in many Asian countries, and the longer the noodle the better. It’s customary to eat them on New Year’s Day, and the noodles must never be broken or shortened when cooked.

here for
Lucy Burdette's recipe.

6) Black-eyed peas are served in the American South in a dish called Hoppin' John. There are some who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. 

7) Cornbread is another Southern tradition. It’s color mimics gold, and sometimes coins are cooked into the bread, bringing additional luck to the person who finds it (without chipping a tooth).

8) Fish is a New Year’s dish in Asia, and is served with the head and tail intact to ensure a lucky year from start to finish. Similarly, in Europe and Scandinavia eating herring ensures abundance because their silvery color resembles coins.

9) Cakes, breads, and fruits in the shape of a ring or circle are good luck, and cookies shaped like coins bring prosperity to those who eat them.

10) Pomegranates are good luck because their color mimics the human heart, their medicinal properties (think antioxidants) promote good health, and their many round arils are believed to bring prosperity.

In ancient and present day Greece, 
a pomegranate is hung above the door throughout the holiday season. When the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, that pomegranate is smashed against the door. As it bursts open, the fruit's ruby-red arils are revealed. The more arils, the luckier the New Year will be.

To celebrate this old and rather messy tradition, I have a modern pomegranate cocktail that may or may not be lucky, but it will certainly help you ring in the new year with beautiful color and bubbly good cheer.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo's Pomegranate
Prosecco Cocktail


1 teaspoon pomegranate arils (to ride
   the pretty bubbles)

1 ounce (one part) pomegranate juice
3 ounces (three parts) chilled Prosecco

Directions: Place the pomegranate arils at the bottom of each glass. Add the pomegranate juice, and then the cold, sparkling Prosecco. There are many bottled pomegranate juices available, or you can squeeze your juice fresh. Scroll down for more info on this process...

Virgin variation: For a non-alcoholic option, replace the champagne with sparkling water, sparkling apple cider, or bubbly ginger ale.

For tips on cutting and de-seeding a fresh pomegranate, watch a short video by clicking here.

How to juice - After de-seeding the pomegranate and removing any parts of visible white pith, buzz the seeds in a blender or food processor. This will release the pulp and juice from the arils around the seeds. Now you must strain the liquid well to remove the crunchy hulls. Although it's an extra bit of trouble to obtain fresh juice this way, the taste is outstanding compared to bottled, which is why, for an amazing Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, fresh is best.

May you drink (and eat) 
with joy and have a...

Happy New Year!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
Or learn more here. 

For More Recipe Ideas, visit the special
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen seasonal page
"Recipes for a Happy New Year"

* * * 

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(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

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  1. What a nice cocktail to try and just in time for the New Year. Hope you and Marc have a fabulous 2015. Looking forward to more recipes and great books.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Babs. Marc and I wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and absolutely spectacular New Year.

      ~ Cleo

  2. Looks good. Cheers!

  3. What a beautiful drink Cleo! Thanks for including a link to my lucky peas:), and happy new year to you and Marc! xo

    1. Lucy/Roberta, you are very welcome (how can peas not be lucky?). Marc and I extend our best wishes to you and yours for a great New Year.

      ~ Cleo

  4. The best of new years to all of you sparkling (!) ladies!

    1. Thanks, Libby. Marc and I wish you a cool and bubbly- good New Year, too.

      ~ Cleo.

  5. Happy New Year to you and Marc! I knew about the lentils (which I made last night--soup!) and the herring because we always had that on New Year's Eve. I'll have to try some of the others--could use a little luck in 2015!

    1. We could all use a little luck, Peg. But I have to confess that I leave the "lucky" herring consumption to Marc.

      Happy New Year from both of us,

      ~ Cleo

  6. Oh, thanks a lot, Cleo! One of my superstitious friends already makes us wear red and yellow underwear on New Year's. If she see this list, she'll demand all these goodies for New Year's Day! LOL! Shhh.

    1. Don't worry, Krista, mum's the word. Nobody needs splattered pomegranate seeds all over their nice kitchen door.

      A happy and healthy New Year to you from Marc and I,

      ~ Cleo

  7. There's a whole lot of WOW! in this post, Cleo. Happy New Year and thanks for those lucky tips and the elegant drink.



  8. This is a great posting as always, but the Pomegranate Prosecco just makes my mouth water, and I don't even have one in my fridge tonight either. I saw Bobbie Flay get the seeds out of a pomegranate awhile back and I couldn't believe how long I stained my hands opening them and getting each section out before that time. Amazing how easy it is this way. Thank you both for the wonderful year of keeping my mind busy and making my reading such a pleasure. Wishing you both the best year ever in 2015.
    Cynthia B.