New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and so begins the planning for a New Year’s Eve party. It is the perfect opportunity to get together a group of your foodie friends for some eating, drinking and fun. New Year’s Eve is known for all things appetizer when it comes to food. Little bits of food that can be consumed while chatting. There are all kinds of options to make and truly, there is no better opportunity to showcase some of the daring things you have done over the year. Look back over some of the challenges we’ve had and I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s lots of opportunity there!! Here is a list of some things that can help make your New Year’s Eve Party fantastic.
- Homemade puff pastry. Take the recipe we made and fill it with all sorts of different things. What about a mushroom filling, or maybe salmon with cream cheese. Or an assortment of cheeses. Or maybe you can make something sweet inside to use as your sweet nibbles, like cherry or honey with cinnamon. Let your imagination run wild and create your very own assortment of puff pastry appetizers. You can use the pastry in all sorts of shapes.
- How about a mashed potato tasting. Make 4 to 6 different varieties of mashed potatoes and have your guests pick a favorite. Try something traditional like a stuffed potato filling, with bits of bacon, cheddar, chives and sour cream. Or do potatoes from around the world focusing on a different ethnicity and the flavors that match different cultures. Potatoes with curry powder (and if you are feeling adventurous, make your own curry mix of spices), potatoes with wasabi and crab meat, potatoes with proscuito and parmesan cheese, or whatever other flavors catch your fancy.
- Fondue. There are so many different types, from oil to cheese to chocolate. The possibilities are endless. If you are feeling budget restraints, why not have a fondue potluck and assign each guest to bring a different item that will be cooked up.
- Make your own pizza. Make the pizza dough ahead of time and have it divided and ready to go in small balls to be rolled out. Have a spicy and traditional pizza sauce. And offer various toppings including pineapples, mushrooms, peppers, olives, pepperoni, salami, ham, etc. And don’t forget about the cheeses, offer mozza and parmesan, and maybe a sharp cheddar or swiss or feta or even a blue cheese to shake things up a bit.
- Have a dipping party. Provide a bunch of different dips and chips or crackers to go with them. These are easy to prepare ahead of time and perfect for the host or hostess who is strapped for time. Buy a few bags of chips or crackers, put them in bowls, and then get the dips ready. Salsa and cream cheese makes an elegant and super tasty dip that is ready as fast as you can whip them together. Make a warm dip with artichoke and cheese. There is also spinach dip which you could serve warm or cold depending on your preference. Homemade onion dip with caramelized onions and pepper is another one. There are tons of possibilities out there. Beyond chips and crackers, you can offer carrots, celery, broccoli and other veggies to dip as well.
- Turn one of your food offerings into a game. This can work especially well with a soup where there are a bunch of different ingredients. One example would be a tortilla soup. Lots of different flavors are inside the soup and the guest who guesses the most correct ingredients wins a prize.
- If your party starts after dinner, then do something fun like a homemade sundae party. Make a chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and butterscotch sauce from scratch. Serve up various fruit toppings including berries, cherries, pineapples etc. Offer coconut, pecans, candies and other treats. And if you are feeling especially daring, make your own ice cream, gelato or sorbet base to offer your guests.
- Stumped about what to serve to drink? Serve sangria or pick one or two drinks and focus on them. Rather than offering a full service bar, choose a special drink that you can go all out with and wow your friends. Buy those silly little drink umbrellas or add a cinnamon stick or something festive to make the drinks special. And don’t forget to offer your guests an alternative way of getting home if they choose to indulge in a large number of alcoholic concoctions.
- Play a game with your guests. Let everyone form teams of two and have gets whip cream by hand or whip egg whites until they are stiff. It’s a great ice breaker and a fun way to have everyone interacting while sharing their love of food.
- Have fun. At the end of the day, and well, year, it’s important to live life to the fullest and enjoy. Plan your party and have things ready to go so that when guests arrive, you get a chance to mingle and have fun as well. It’s your party, you might as well enjoy it.
Please check out our previous Holiday Articles where you’ll find great gift giving ideas (ideas for next year! hee!) excellent recipes, and wonderful stories about Christmas in Italy, Germany and a tourist’s view of Christmas in Berlin, Prague and Vienna (with bonus Glühwein recipe!) ENJOY!