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Countdown to 2009

When you're out buying bubbly for tonight's countdown, don't scrimp. Usually I'm afraid of buying too much Champagne.  Once it's popped, it's open and there's no going back.  But this year, I'm actually hoping for a little leftover bubbly so I can try a few of the dishes in our gallery 7 Ways With ChampagneRisotto with Champagne and Radicchio?  Yes please.  Mimosa Granita?  I'll have a double.  Scallops in Champagne Sauce?  Sign me up.

Though Champagne rarely makes it onto the dinner table unless it's in hard-to-wash stemware, it's a delicious ingredient that adds a distinct flavor, a fun fizz, and a refined element to any dish. Plus, you're cooking with Champagne!  How cool are you?

Tonight, as you're toasting, keep an eye on those half-empty bottles and, if your 2009 self is feeling particularly generous, invite the gang over for a Champagne-infused dinner or dessert that you can all enjoy.