Can’t deal with New Year’s Eve? Try lunch.

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I once asked a dear friend of mine, a man with at least several points more of IQ than a low-grade fever claims in mercury and a penchant for securing invitations from the hipster set, why he refuses to go out on new years' eve, and he told me, in no uncertain terms, "it's the ultimate rookie night". And he's right, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and celebrate, and why I'm taking my wife to lunch instead of dinner. What, really, is more luxuriant, more celebratory, than ordering a cocktail or a glass of bubbly at lunchtime, or walking out of a nice restaurant, arm in arm and a little warm and tipsy, in broad daylight? It's very nearly downright naughty, and who's not a fan of that?

Cold Food for Hot Mamas

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As most any mom will tell you, there is a world of difference between "cooking for moms" and "cooking for moms": The noun implies more of her time spent over a cooktop, while the verb at least suggests the possibility that she might end up on the receiving end of the culinary goodie bag for a change. To wit: My wife recently put in a special request for the Moms' Night Out she was hosting for a small cadre of mamacitas sans kids and husbands, a professional dance instructor, and a trunk full of pink bubbly...

Cooking for Date Night, Naughty ‘n Nice

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Whipped cream for dinner, because Saturday night, with any luck at all, means date night. Date night - at least around our house - is at least as likely to mean a raid on the wine cellar and a bag of tricks from the farmer's market as a babysitter and a night out on the town, because we live in a sleepy wine country town where most of the bars shutter their doors around the same time my kids shut their eyes...