Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Foods for celebrating the New Year


Many of our favorite holiday traditions revolve around food and eating. New Year's is certainly no exception. Some will funk up their homes with the smell of sauerkraut while others get busy baking cornbread all in hopes of having a prosperous New Year. But why do we eat certain foods on New Year's Day and not others? Keep reading to find out!

We eat pork to inspire progress in the coming year. Unlike chickens that scratch backward, pigs root forward with their nose when foraging for food. This movement is supposed to signify progress, moving forward and good luck. While pork is the choice of many, others eat fish on New Year's Day as it symbolizes abundance. 

The people of Spain and Mexico race to eat 12 grapes as quickly as possible at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Why? It is believed that each grape will bring luck for every month of the coming year. While grapes are said to bring luck, pomegranates are believed to bring fertility, life and abundance and oranges (especially when served with honey) are supposed to bring good fortune, wealth and gold. 

Often paired with pork, cabbage is supposed to bring money in the new year and lentils are eaten for good luck. When eaten together, black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread are said to bring pennies, dollars and gold. Rice is believed to bring fertility and wealth to those who eat it and super long noodles are the key to long life. For dessert, it is recommended that round cakes and bundt cakes be eaten to ensure a full circle of life. 

Germans believe in keeping leftovers foods available past midnight to ward off bad luck.

Avoid eating poultry or any other type of fowl on New Year's Day. It is believed that eating birds will allow your good luck to fly away. Also, as previously mentioned, they scratch backward in the dirt when foraging for food which signifies that you are dwelling in the past. Crustaceans, such as lobster, crab and shrimp, should also be avoided because they are sideways moving creatures, not forward progressing ones. Bottom feeding fish should not be eaten as they are scavengers and represent bad luck, struggle and difficulty in making ends meet. 

The Chinese believe the color white symbolizes death, therefor white-colored foods should be avoided on New Year's Day. They also believe that eating short noodles (noodles that are cut or broken) will shorten one's life. 

On a related note, don't gift someone with a knife or pass a knife to someone on New Year's Day. It represents cutting ties with them. 

If you would like to work some of these food traditions into your New Year's celebrations, we recommend the following recipes:

Chunky corn salsa recipe

This super easy, super quick recipe is packed full of flavor and texture. It gets bonus points for its versatility. Out of black beans? Use navy beans. Want a little heat? Chop up a jalapeno. Don't like celery? Leave it out. The possibilities are limitless.



  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-15 ounce can shoe-peg corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine the first six ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour the cooled dressing over top of the veggie mix and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, drain away excess liquid. 

Drunken pork roast with apples and sauerkraut recipe

Pork and sauerkraut are the dinner choice of many on New Year's Day. Both foods are said to help usher in
a year of luck and prosperity. If you're not taking any chances after the insanity of the last two years, this recipe is a delicious take on the traditional roast pork and kraut. 



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-3 pound pork loin roast
  • 1-20 ounce can sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 large Fuji or Gala apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 large onions, peeled and quartered 
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1-12 ounce) can of bottle beer, we prefer Flyer Red from Warped Wing Brewing Company


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. While oven is preheating, heat oil over high heat in a large skillet. Season pork roast with salt and pepper then sear on all sides. Place browned roast in a large baking dish and scatter the sauerkraut evenly around it. Place the apple and onion quarters on top of the sauerkraut around the roast. Sprinkle with brown sugar and top with the beer. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the roast has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and is tender, approximately 3-4 hours. Check the roast after two hours, if any of the dish appears to be drying out, add additional beer, recover and continue cooking. When done, remove from oven and allow the roast to rest for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve. 

Long-life noodles recipe

This recipe makes a great alternative for the traditional pork and sauerkraut many eat for New Year's Day. It contains many of the traditional foods we eat to ring in the coming year, such as pork, cabbage and long noodles. It is said that long noodles represent a long, unbroken life. Be sure that you don't cut or break these noodles as you enjoy them since superstition holds that a cut or broken noodle will shorten your life. 



1 pound Udon noodles

1 ½ tablespoons Chinese rice wine

1 ½ teaspoons hoisin sauce

½ teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut into julienne strips 

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

½ teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

3 cups napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, chopped

1 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 ¼ cups green onion, sliced


Cook the Udon noodles according to the directions on the package, leaving out any salt that may be called for. Once cooked, drain, rinse and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the rice wine, hoison sauce and cornstarch and whisk until combined. Add pork, stir to completely coat, cover and set aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together both soy sauces, oyster sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar then set aside. Over high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok and add cabbage and mushrooms. Stir fry for two minutes then transfer to a bowl. Heat an additional two teaspoons of oil and garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 10-15 seconds. Add pork and fry until cooked through, approximately three minutes. Add to the bowl with the cabbage. Wipe pan clean and pour in remaining oil. Once hot, add noddles and fry for one minute, add green onions and sauce mixture and fry for an additional minute. Add pork and cook until heated through. Serve immediately. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Common ingredient substitutions

Despite your best efforts to have a fully stocked pantry, there will be times when you run out of something in between trips to the grocery store. This handy list will help you find substitutions for many common kitchen ingredients. 

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder=¼ teaspoon baking soda+½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ounce chocolate=3 tablespoons cocoa+1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch=2 tablespoons flour or 2 teaspoons quick cooking tapioca
  • ¾ cup cracker crumbs=1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard=1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 cup self-rising flour=1 cup all purpose flour+½ teaspoon salt+1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs=1 teaspoon dried herbs
  • 1 cup ketchup=1 cup tomato sauce+½ cup sugar+ 2 tablespoons white   vinegar (for use in cooking, not as a condiment)
  • 1 cup buttermilk=1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar+ whole milk to equal one cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using.
  • 1 cup whole milk=½ cup evaporated milk+½ cup water
  • 10 mini marshmallows=1 large marshmallow
  • 1 small fresh onion=1 tablespoon rehydrated dried, minced onion
  • ½ cup brown sugar=2 tablespoons molasses+½ cup white sugar, mix well.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar=1 cup white sugar+1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup tomato juice=½ cup tomato sauce+½ cup water, stir until combined 
  • 1 cup honey=1 ¼ cups sugar+1 cup water, stir until dissolved.

Celebrate every day in January with these delicious food holidays

Most people kick off the new year with resolutions to eat better, lose weight and work out. Here at Devour Dayton, we resolve to celebrate as many of the food holidays as we possibly can in the coming year! We hope you join us on our journey of daily celebrations.


  • Bread Machine Baking Month 
  • National Baking Month
  • National Candy Month 
  • National Citrus Month
  • National Egg Month 
  • National Fat-free Living Month
  • National Hot Tea Month 
  • National Meat Month 
  • National Oatmeal Month `
  • National Prune Breakfast Month
  • National Slow Cooking Month
  • National Soup Month 
  • National Wheat Bread Month 


  • 2nd week National Pizza Week 
  • 4th week National Meat Week
  • 4th week National Irish Coffee Week


January 1

  • National Bloody Mary Day 
  • Apple Gifting Day 
  • National Black-eyed Pea Day
January 2
  • National Cream Puff Day
  • National Buffet Day
January 3
  • National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day 
January 4
  • National Spaghetti Day 
January 5
  • National Whipped Cream Day 
January 6
  • National Bean Day 
  • Epiphany: Make an Epiphany Cake 
  • National Shortbread Day 
January 7
  • National Tempura Day 
January 8
  • National English Toffee Day 
January 9
  • National Apricot Day 
  • National Cassoulet Day 
January 10
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day 
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day 
January 11
  • National Milk Day 
  • National Hot Toddy Day 
January 12
  • National Curried Chicken Day 
  • National Hot Tea Day 
  • National Marzipan Day
  • National Glazed Donut Day
January 13
  • National Peach Melba Day 
  • National Gluten-free Day 
January 14
  • National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day 
January 15
  • National Bagel Day 
  • National Strawberry Ice Cream Day 
  • National Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice Day
January 16
  • International Hot & Spicy Food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day 
  • National Quinoa Day 
January 17
  • National Hot Buttered Rum Day 
January 18
  • National Peking Duck Day 
  • National Gourmet Coffee Day
January 19
  •  National Popcorn Day 
January 20
  • National Buttercrunch Day 
  • National Cheese Lover’s Day 
  • National Granola Bar Day 
  • National Coffee Break Day 
January 21
  • National New England Clam Chowder Day
January 22
  • National Blonde Brownie Day
  • National Southern Food Day
January 23
  • National Pie Day 
  • National Rhubarb Pie Day
January 24
  • National Peanut Butter Day 
  • National Lobster Thermidor Day
January 25
  • National Irish Coffee Day 
  • Burns' Night
January 26
  • National Green Juice Day 
  • National Pistachio Day 
  • National Peanut Brittle Day
  • International Port Wine Day
January 27
  • National Chocolate Cake Day 
January 28
  • National Blueberry Pancake Day
  • National Pork Belly Day
January 29
  • National Corn Chip Day 
January 30
  • National Croissant Day 
January 31
  • National Brandy Alexander Day 
  • National Hot Chocolate Day
  • National Pho Day

Celebrate New Year's Eve with Four Roses Bourbon

Christmas is almost here and New Year's Eve is just around the bend. While champagne is the traditional
drink of choice for ringing in the New Year, a warm alcoholic punch is a welcome alternative.  Four Roses Bourbon has created this amazing recipe that features their Yellow Label Bourbon and the traditional holiday flavors of cranberry, clove and cinnamon.

  • 8 cups apple juice 
  • 3 cups cranberry juice 
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves 
  • 4 cinnamon sticks 
  • 3 cups Four Roses Small Batch
  • Slices of fresh lemon garnished with whole cloves 
Bring juices and spices to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off and add bourbon. Serve warm and garnished with clove lemon slices.

Please don't become another holiday statistic! If you choose to partake in alcoholic beverages this season, please drink responsibly and have either a designated driver or use the services of your local taxi company, Uber or Lyft.

 *Recipe used with permission.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Maria Samuels shares her tips for creating a warm and inviting holiday guest room

Christmas is a mere 5 days away and we are all trying to cram in as many errands and details as we possibly can. If you have holidays guests arriving from near or far, these tips from interior design expert Maria Samuels of InStyle Modern will help you create a cozy guest bedroom to make your company feel welcome and comfortable.

Tips for a Welcoming & Comfortable Guest Bedroom 

  • Framed Photos Place a framed photo of the family/guest staying with you in their room to make them feel right at home. If you do not have any photos of the guests, check out their Facebook page and print a few off. 
  • Room Service Leave a bottle of wine with glasses in the guest room for the first night along with a personalized welcome note. 
  • Personalize It Purchase monogrammed/personalized towels for the bathroom that the guests will be using. This gives the feeling of a spa or resort getaway. Or instead of just leaving out a towel for your guests in the bathroom, fill a basket in the guest room with bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths. Then your guest won’t feel bad for requesting more towels if they need them. Putting a nice fluffy robe in the room is a welcoming addition as well. Most people do not travel with a robe due to the amount of space it takes up in a suitcase, so this will allow them to run to the bathroom during the night covered up. 
  • For the Kids If your guests have kids with them, make sure there are plenty of fun board games on-hand in the guest room. Put together a basket of other items kids love like crayons and color books, card games and DVD’s of kid favorites. 
  • In-Room Holiday Entertainment Place a television with some favorite holiday movies (‘White Christmas’, ‘Home Alone’, ‘It's a Wonderful Life’, etc.) in the guest room. Your visitors will appreciate being able to retreat to their room and pop in a holiday favorite. 
  • Local Goodies & Snacks Fill a basket with snacks and gifts that are local to the area, and place the basket in the guest room with a nice welcoming note. Nothing says welcome like local artisan chocolate. You can also tuck a few snacks in a side table drawer. Small packs of trail mix, granola bars, or even sweets are a nice touch for your guests. Put a bowl of fresh fruit like apples or bananas on the dresser too. If they get the munchies or if they are hungry before bedtime, they will have something they can easily grab without having to ask you or make noise in the kitchen.
  • Assemble a Box of Goodies Keep a small storage container in the guest room filled with travel/sample size items, such as shampoo/conditioner, razors, pain reliever, a shower cap, facial cleanser, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrush, etc. These items can be purchased in the travel section of most big box stores or they might be complementary items you collect from your hotel stays. Your guests will appreciate having the items they may have forgotten at home. 
  • Light the Path Keeping a small nightlight in the guest room on top of the dresser or side table will help the guest feel comfortable. You can plug it in where it is needed most. As you know, getting around in the dark in a different home can be challenging. Your guest may want to have it plugged in the hallway, bathroom, or guest room. 
  • Wake-up Call A nice clock radio/CD player/mp3 or iPod player is also helpful for guest rooms. Your guests won’t have to ask for a wake-up call (especially if it’s earlier than you rise!) and they can put on music to help them fall asleep. Falling asleep in someone else’s home can sometimes be difficult. 
  • Good Night, Sleep Tight Create an environment that promotes a great night's sleep like high-thread-count, 100 percent cotton sheets with thick, soft blankets and fluffy pillows. 
  • Add Some Light Put an adjustable desk lamp or nightstand lamp beside the bed. This will allow your guest to enjoy a good book or catch up on emails without disturbing the rest of the house. 
  • Sleep Appeal Make sure the windows have room darkening blinds or shades in them. Some people like to wake up to sunlight but others prefer to keep a completely darkened room. It also helps create a buffer from street traffic outside.
Maria Samuels is an interior design expert with the popular home furnishing site, your top source for stylish and affordable contemporary furniture that won't break the bank. The line offers all the furniture pieces essential to giving every modern home and office a touch of class and style. Connect with InStyleModern on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Celebrate New Year's Eve with three sparkling cocktails from Monin

New Year's Eve is just around the corner and Monin has three especially delightful champagne cocktail recipes to help ensure your party is as delicious as it is fun!


3 Minute(s) prep time. 4 Minute(s) total.

Yield: 1 Glass



Add Monin Syrups to a chilled champagne flute. Fill with champagne and stir gently. Garnish with fresh strawberry.


3 Minute(s) prep time. 4 Minute(s) total.

Yield: 1 Glass


  • Ice 
  • ½ oz. raspberry flavored vodka 
  • ¾ oz. Monin Cranberry syrup 
  • extra dry champagne 
  • Fresh cranberry or raspberry 


Combine ingredients in a chilled champagne flute and stir. Garnish with fresh berry of choice.


3 Minute(s) prep time. 4 Minute(s) total.

Yield: 1 Glass



Add Monin Syrup and juice to a chilled champagne flute. Fill with champagne and stir gently. Garnish as desired.

Ten tips for better baked goods

There are times when everyone-myself included-needs a little help in the kitchen. These ten tips for better baked goods should help you elevate your breads, cakes, cookies and more to the next level of yumminess.

1. When baking bread, keep a small bowl of water in the oven. It will help keep the crust from getting hard.

2. Cookie dough that needs to be rolled out should be refrigerated for at least an hour before using to lessen sticking. 

3. Pie crust is easier to make when all of the ingredients are cool.

4. Sprinkle baked cakes with powdered sugar before frosting to help the frosting stay in place.

5. To prevent chocolate chips or fruit from sinking in your batters, toss them in flour first.

6. Store yeast in the refrigerator or freezer for best results. 

7. Always scrape your bowls when making batters and doughs. This ensures you aren’t leaving any important ingredients in the bottom of the bowl.

8. For added color and luster, brush the top of bread crusts, scones, rolls and biscuits with cream just before baking. For a little extra dazzle, sprinkle with a little sugar. 

9. No matter how tempting it is, do not open the oven door while baking. It disrupts the temperature and your bake time.

10.  Don’t overfill cake, muffin or bread pans. Pans should be filled no more than 2/3 full or messes can happen.

Common cooking terms every home chef should know

As you read through this blog and our upcoming online magazine, you will most certainly come across cooking terms that you are not familiar with. That's ok, we've broken them down here for you to refer back to as often as needed!

Au Gratin topped with crumbs and/or cheese then browned in an over or under a broiler.

Au Jus served with its own juices.

Baste to moisten food during the cooking process with pan drippings or a special sauce in order to add flavor and prevent the meat from drying out.

Blanch to immerse in rapidly boiling water and allow to cook slightly.

Cream to soften a fat, especially butter, by beating it at room temperature.

Crimp to seal the edges of a two crust pie either by pinching them together at intervals with your fingers or by pressing them together with the tines of a fork.

Crudites as assortment of raw vegetables that is served as an hors d’oeuvre, often with a dip.

Degrease to remove fat from the surface of soups, stews or stocks. Item are usually placed in the refrigerator, allowing the fat to harden for easy removal.

Dredge to coat lightly with flour, cornmeal, etc.

Entrée the main course

Fold to incorporate a delicate substance, such as whipped cream or beaten egg whites, into another substance without releasing the air bubbles.

Glaze To cover with a glossy coating, such as melted jelly for desserts.

Julienne to cut or slice vegetables, fruits or cheeses into match shaped slivers.

Marinate to allow food to rest in a liquid in order to tenderize it and/or add flavor.

Meunière dredged with flour and sautéed in butter.

Parboil to boil until partially cooked; to blanch.

Pare to remove the outermost skin of a fruit or vegetable.

Poach to cook gently in hot liquid kept just below the boiling point.

Purée to mash foods by hand by rubbing through a sieve or food mill or by whirling in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Refresh to run cold water over food that has been parboiled in order to stop the cooking process.

Sauté to cook and/or brown food in a small quantity of hot shortening.

Scald to heat to just below the boiling point.

Sear to cook the surface of quickly with intense heat.

Simmer to cook in liquid just below the boiling point. The surface of the  liquid should be barely moving, broken time to time by slow raising bubbles.

Steep to let food stand in hot liquid in order to extract or to enhance favor.

Toss to combine ingredients with a repeated lifting motion.

Whip to beat rapidly in order to incorporate air and produce expansion in heavy cream or egg whites.

The key ingredients every pantry should have

A well stocked pantry should provide you with everything you need for a good, well rounded meal.  Several, actually. With the right mix of ingredients on hand, you can create a variety of meals for the entire family or for when guests drop by. The following list is considered a well stocked pantry during normal times. Unfortunately we know all too well that these are far from normal times. Stay tuned for a list featuring common ingredient substitutions


  • Baker’s Chocolate
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Bread Crumbs (also known as Panko)
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Crackers (a variety of styles and flavors)
  • Flour
  • Honey
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Mayonnaise
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Oil (Vegetable and Olive)
  • Pancake Mix
  • Peanut Butter
  • Potatoes
  • Shortening
  • Sugar (White, Brown and Powdered)
  • Vinegar (White and Apple Cider)

Packaged and Canned Goods

  • Beans (Both Dried and Canned)
  • Broth (Beef, Chicken and Vegetable)
  • Baking Mixes (Cake, Brownie, Muffin)
  • Canned Tomatoes (Whole and Diced)
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Mushrooms
  • Canned Soups 
  • Canned Tomato Paste and Sauce
  • Canned Meats (Tuna, Chicken)
  • Cereal
  • Dried Fruit
  • Dried Soup Mixes
  • Gelatin (Plain and Flavored)
  • Gravy
  • Salsa
  • Milk (Evaporated and Sweetened Condensed)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Rice 
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Seasonings & Spices

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Black Pepper
  • Bouillon Cubes (Beef, Chicken, Vegetable)
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Mustard
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Yeast


  • Butter
  • Cheese 
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt