Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Blog Hop


The holidays are full of family traditions. No matter how much we dread this time of year, there’s still the excitement of giving, of spending quality time with loved ones, carrying out those traditions started so long ago, or starting new ones. Traditions in my family are centered around food. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s day have certain dishes that must be prepared or it simply doesn’t feel right. I get a laugh out of people when I tell them our Christmas Eve traditional dinner is tacos. I don’t remember how or when this started, but for years our family has eaten tacos on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is similar to many families with ham or turkey, dressing, candied yams, and all the trimmings.

Dinner on New Year’s Day can’t happen without blackeyed peas and cabbage. Tradition in my family follows superstition on the first day of the New Year with this one. Blackeyed peas are for good luck in the New Year and the cabbage is more money. Does it work? I don’t have a clue. The family still goes through its ups and downs each year and we are far from rich. However, I’ve never chanced starting a New Year without eating a healthy helping of blackeyed peas and cabbage to find out how bad my luck might turn out or how broke I  might be for the next year without them.

Another traditional dish for my family is a vanilla-chocolate pudding pie. My kids go ape crazy over it and insist I make it every year. I’ll share the super simple recipe below.

What family traditions do you have? Comment for a chance to win $5 in StrandBucks for the Siren-BookStrand store and scroll down to find out what other prizes you can win!

Vanilla-chocolate Pudding Pie

Pie Crust
Prepare Keebler Graham Cracker pie crust according to directions on box

In a medium mixing bowl combine:
8 oz pack of cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ cup thawed coolwhip
Stir really smooth and pour over pie crust

In a medium mixing bowl combine:
1 family size box of chocolate pudding
2 ½ cups of milk
Mix smooth and pour over crust next

In a medium mixing bowl combine:
1 family size box of vanilla pudding
2 ½ cups of milk
Mix smooth and pour over crust next

Top with a layer of coolwhip
*Lite coolwhip, fat free cream cheese, and sugarfree puddings can be substituted to lower the calorie content without changing the flavor. I do it all the time and the kids never know the difference. :)

For another New Year's treat, check out A Silver Springs New Year's Eve. The first ever FREE read from the characters of The Heroes of Silver Springs, a best-selling series available at Siren-BookStrand.

Now what are those other prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!


  1. Happy New Year!!


  2. We mostly make a special dinner and cakes-we're not much for baking so few times a year is enough.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year! I am bringing in the New Year with lots of new books to read!

  4. Thank you so much for the chance!


  5. Happy New Year!


  6. Thanks so much for a great beginning to a New Year. And for the great recipe


  7. Lazy hedonism, good food, good wine and naps

    cristinegasser (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your heart and your soul with us through your books for another year!

  9. Thank you for being part of the hop and Happy New Year

  10. We relax together on the first day of the year with hot chocolate and marshmallow
    thanks for the hop and happy new year
    movie1997 @ live . it

  11. We eat Pork and Sauerkraut for good luck and fortune. Happy New Year!

    Dawna N.


  12. super kewl giveaway, thanks for participating!
    jennirv4967 at gmail dot com

  13. Happy New Year,thanks for the giveaway.


  14. Thanks for the recipe! It sounds really good. We also eat Black Eyed Pea's On New Year.

  15. Thank you for the free book! I LOVE this series!
    Thanks also for the recipe.
    Thank you for the hop!
    I have collected your books from the beginning of Silver Springs; love them; as well as your other Rock Hard, Three Hearts. You are a wonderful author!
    Thank youfor the hop!
    Happy 2013!
    Deethomas291 at gmail dot com

  16. Wow! Thanks, Dee. There will be more Heroes of Silver Springs to come. I promise :)

  17. We really don't have any lol
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  18. Happy New Year - Here's to a better year this year and for everyone being successful in all their goals

  19. Happy new Year!!

  20. Thank you very much for the great giveaway and fun blog hop!
    I wish you a very Happy New Year!
    Latisha D

  21. Thanks for the great recipe!
    Thanks for the chance to win and Happy New Year!

  22. We usually have a nice dinner at home.
    Happy New Year!
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  23. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE! It is a quiet evening reading till the wee hours. I'm going to lose 25 # and read 52 + books this year.


  24. We don't have any traditions for New Years, we change things up every year.
    Thank you for participating in the New Year Blog Hop!
    Best Wishes in 2013
    uilani25 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  25. Happy New Year!!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  26. My goal for 2013 is to be more active. I didn't follow through on my 2012's.

    Jennifer Rote
    wildnmild4u at yahoo dot com

  27. The only tradition we have is eating cabbage on new years day.
    Happy New Year
    Missie Jones
    missie25524 (at) netzero (dot) com

  28. What a great recipe! I think my kids would love it. Thanks for sharing.
    We start with waffles for breakfast, play games, eat more food, and watch football. Just an all around lazabout day.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  29. We are Irish so we do the traditional corned beef and cabbage for the new year.

    I am super excited about the Silver Springs New Year's Eve!! Love that series!!

    Thanks for doing the hop!!


  30. we dont have any at our house but i have heard you are suposed to eat seafood on new years eve i dont know why
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  31. Hi! Happy New Years! Hmm. I dont really make new year resolutions. I kinda just take it one day at a time and go from there. Thanks for the awesome hop and all the giveaways! This is so fun! I love these hops! I always meet new authors, reconnect with old ones and my TBR list grows by leaps and bounds! Thank you!! Have a great day! Best wishes and many blessings to you!

  32. Entering for Grand Prizes.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

  33. My mom and I traditionally have our "midnight meal" on New Year's Eve (consisting of appetizers, shrimp cocktail, and snack foods) while we wait for the ball to drop. (We used to watch the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy, but since we cut cable in 2012, we didn't this year.) We sip on sparkling pear juice instead of wine.
    tp DOT quixotic AT gmail DOT com

  34. Happy New Year to you!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  35. Entering only for the grand prizes!


  36. Happy New Year

  37. thanks for the hop

  38. We don't really have family traditions for New Years.

  39. OMG! Our New Years Day food HAS to be Black eyed peas, and cabbage too! We also have to have some type of pork. The black eyed peas are for good luck all year, the cabbage is for money, and the pork is for good health. My grandmother had a tradition that the VERY FIRST PERSON TO ENTER HER HOUSE ON NEW YEARS DAY HAD TO BE MALE TO PROMOTE LOVE & HARMONY ALL YEAR. She said she got that from her mother. Well my husband and I would go to her house on our way home from any party we attended so he could be the 1st to enter. If we didn't go to a party, we would go to her house and ring in the new year with her. Then my husband would go outside and ring the door bell so he could be the 1st to enter. She loved it. To this day, my husband has to be the 1st to enter our home on New Year's Day. We've been married for 22 years and have had love and harmony so I guess it works. :)
    Wishing good things and much success for you in 2013. Happy New Year and thanks for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  40. Back in the day we would have the extended-length-many-coursed Christmas dinners but we haven't been able to do so in the past several years but my brothers who are still in the are do come over on Christmas Eve.

    My son was born on New Year's Eve morning in 1983 so we have more to celebrate, which is always cool!

    Happy and Healthy 2013 to all!



    Happy New Year from ! I hope you have a great one. Thanks for taking part in the hop.

    I don't really have a New Year tradition. I like to do something different each year. Go with the flow and see where the tide takes me kind of attitude.

  42. Thanks for the giveaway! No real tradition for me, either.