Traditional recipes

New Year's Eve Party Food

New Year's Eve Party Food

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

You don't need to party like it's 1999 to really have an excellent Near Year's Eve party. These party food ideas feature cocktails, finger foods, hand-held favorites, and a few desserts to help you plan a menu everyone will enjoy as the clock counts down to midnight. Prep these foods in advance so you can set out your food in stages. This will help guests mix and mingle, and keep everyone excited for the next round of nibbles.

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Elegant and rich, this supermoist pillow of chocolate cake gets its color and texture from the vibrant-red, naturally sweet beet. There’s nothing artificial about this dramatically hued holiday treat coated in a dense cloud of creamy white frosting. We purée the tender beet root with buttermilk and vanilla to create a luscious cream that not only adds a light, velvety texture to the cupcake but also allows us to use less sugar, oil, and butter in the batter, saving fat and hundreds of calories. You simply can’t “beet” it.

Port of Call Punch

The muddling technique draws complex flavors from the lemon, making the beverage floral, bracing, and irresistible. A sprinkling of grated nutmeg on top adds a warm, soothing, fragrant layer to the punch, which is remarkably complex-flavored despite having only 6 ingredients. Ruby port has spent less time cask-aging than tawny port, and so is a little sweeter and fruitier, perfect in this recipe. This drink has a lower alcohol content than standard cocktails, a great quality in a punch that's meant to refresh as much as relax.

Glazed Cocktail Meatballs

These mini meatballs are perfect for holiday parties and tailgating. We made them healthier by forgoing sodium-heavy ingredients like the usual ketchup and chili sauce and including whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs. You can also serve a larger portion of these meatballs for weeknight dinner. To up the kid-friendly factor, omit the ground red pepper in the glaze and serve with mashed potatoes (à la Swedish meatballs). For a tangier glaze, substitute cranberry sauce for the grape jelly.

Foolproof Cheese Fondue

Fondue is forever tied to the kitschy themed parties of the 1960s and 70s, but the dish is worth reviving: It's a casual, fun way to entertain. Nutritionally, fondue is a great way to stretch the calorie and saturated fat content of rich cheeses over several servings without losing any melty goodness. We add evaporated milk to make the base even creamier with fewer calories and less saturated fat. Guests will keep coming back for more. Any Gruyère works wonderfully here, but the aged kind has a bigger, nuttier flavor. While a double boiler is used in many recipes, you'll need a heavy saucepan and direct heat here to activate the cornstarch and thicken the fondue. Serve with tart, crisp apples and crusty whole-grain bread.

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

We had the greatest success using a pan with 2 1/2-ounce cups, such as Chicago Metallic's 12-Well Mini Cheesecake Pan ($25). This pan has removable bottoms (similar to a tart pan) so that you simply push each cheesecake up to remove it. You can also bake them in a standard muffin tin; line it with foil liners for easier removal.

Grilled Chicken Skewers With Wasabi Mayo

A kicking dipping sauce adds amped up fun and flavor. Serve with Orzo with Snap Peas, Cilantro, and Peanuts for a complete meal with 46g of protein. If you use wood skewers on the outdoor grill, be sure to soak them in water before grilling to avoid burning. Make a few extra skewers to add chicken to lunches and salads the next day. The wasabi mayo adds bold flavor to simply seasoned grilled chicken and pairs well with the sweetness of honey and tang of rice vinegar. The mayo can be saved and served alongside roasted vegetables, skirt steak, or fresh grilled fish.

Lemon-Gin Sparkling Cocktails

Loosely based on the French 75, a classic cocktail of gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar, this welcoming beverage uses lemonade concentrate as a shortcut. Be sure to allow the concentrate to thaw ahead of time. You'll use almost a whole bottle of Champagne; the rest goes into the dessert. If time allows, you can use a quick simple syrup with lemon juice: Combine 3 tablespoons each of sugar, lemon juice, and water; microwave for 1 minute, and cool.

Tricolored Beet Tart

Start your holiday meal with a simple yet gorgeous beet tart, topped off with tangy goat cheese, crunchy hazelnuts, and flaky sea salt. Par-bake the crust to get a lovely raised edge (what forms the shell of your tart) and ensure that the bottom will be cooked through. If you or your guests are not beet fans, substitute sweet potatoes: Wrap 4 (4-ounce) sweet potatoes in parchment paper, and microwave at HIGH 3 minutes. Then cool, peel, and slice. You can also sub feta for goat cheese and pecans or walnuts for hazelnuts.

Bourbon-Pecan Tassies

Think of these tasty little tassies as your own personal pecan pie. They're both salty and sweet, with a hit of oaky bourbon. Whole-grain rye flour adds the perfect touch of sour to the shortbread-like crust, while toasted pecans do double duty in the crust and in the maple-splashed filling. As if that weren't enough to jingle your bell, we drizzle warm bittersweet chocolate over each bite to ensure maximum satisfaction.

Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Pink grapefruit, a popular winter fruit, stars in this pretty beverage. Look for canned lychee fruit, which has a delicately sweet flavor, in the ethnic food aisle at the supermarket or at Asian groceries. Use the leftover lychees in a fruit salad.

Caramelized Leek and Spinach Dip

Beautifully caramelized leeks and onions cannot be rushed; resist the urge to crank up the heat. Leeks become especially silky and sweet when left to cook awhile. If they start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water, and stir (the liquid will evaporate during cooking). Instead of bread or crackers, serve the dip with an array of vegetables, such as baby carrots, endive leaves, radishes, diagonally sliced cucumber, and mini sweet bell peppers for a bit of freshness, color, and crunch. You'll also save calories and room for the rest of the meal.

• • Gluten-Free Tip: Many dairy products are gluten free, but some contain additives with gluten. Read the labels carefully. When in doubt, seek out products that are specifically labeled gluten free.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

These moist bars feature the seasonal pairing of peppermint and chocolate. They're sure to be a hit with everyone—children included—at your holiday party.

Kale, Mushroom, and Bacon Pita Pizzas

Individual Kale, Mushroom, and Bacon Pita Pizzas couldn’t be easier or more delicious, especially with a creamy rosemary-garlic white bean spread as the base. If you think pitas are destined only for topping or dipping, think again: once toasted and blended, they add depth to the classic Spanish red pepper sauce in Kale and Mushroom Quinoa with Romesco.

The New Essentials:

Whole-Wheat Pitas - Not just for stuffing, pitas are an instant pizza base and your all-purpose bread for breadcrumbs.

Sliced Cremini Mushrooms - Meaty, no-prep mushrooms add richness and earthiness to gravies, sautés, and stir-fries.

Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler

The festive combo of cinnamon, vanilla, and figs make a tasty way to welcome the New Year, but this fantastic flavor trio will also keep you celebrating all fall and winter. Cheers!

Mini Cheese Balls

Save 108 calories, 7g sat fat, and 69mg sodium per serving over a traditional cheese ball. Almond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.

Sesame-Soy Nut and Pretzel Mix

If any one dish is devoured quickly and constantly (usually by the fistful) throughout the holiday, it’s snack mix. Consisting of salty nuts, pretzels, and cereal doused with a Worcestershire and butter, this innocent munchie racks up sodium and calories quickly. Our healthier version gives you all the salt, crunch, and bold spices of the original with the addition of whole-grain popcorn, toasty whole-wheat cereal, and spicy wasabi peas. The peas inspired an Asian track with toasty sesame oil and reduced-sodium soy sauce, cashews, and pungent ground ginger.

Winter Sangria

Sweet clementines shine during cold winter months. Make the most of them in this festive, spiced sangria. Opt for a fruit-forward, higher acidity variety of red wine, such as grenache or tempranillo.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bites

Photo: Allison Miksch; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Who says goat cheese is only for savory food. Creamy and luscious, goat cheese makes for the perfect ingredient in a thick, decadent cheesecake dessert. Mixed with Greek yogurt and a touch of powdered sugar, this adorable cheesecake bites are the perfect solution for using up leftover goat cheese. Topped with fruit preserves and served in pre-made mini-phyllo shells, this cute, crowd-pleasing dessert is ready in minutes.

Avocado Chicken Salad

Fresh, tasty, and delicious is how this 5-star Avocado Chicken Salad is commonly described. Mrs. Hartzell raves, “So delicious and easy! I could seriously eat this every day!” You’re not alone. We could, too. This particular recipe uses vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise but doesn’t lose its creamy texture, thanks to avocado. Salsa and fresh cilantro give this chicken salad its south-of-the-border flavors. So, instead of layering over a bed of greens, serve with tortilla chips for scooping and an added crunch.

Hasseltots with Crème Fraîche and Caviar

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

This two-bite, no-fork-required appetizer is perfect for parties where guests will be juggling drinks and nibbles. Choose a sustainable, budget-friendly roe. Depending on what kind you choose, it can be affordable or break the bank. Make note of the origin to be sure you aren't buying caviar or roe from endangered fishing areas or species. We suggest Classic American White Sturgeon Caviar ($85/oz.), Paddlefish Caviar ($44/oz.), Salmon Roe ($8/oz.), and Masago ($5/oz.). Store opened caviar on ice, and use within one to two days. In a pinch, sour cream can stand in for the crème fraîche.

Mini Vegan Gingerbread Cakes

Gingerbread is the ultimate holiday treat. Sweetness and spice combine for a flavorful dessert that makes the whole house smell like Christmas. These mini bundt cakes are perfect for guests, with everyone getting their own individual treat. For extra hosting flair, wait to dust them with powdered sugar until they're presented on the dining table. The best part? Each of these totally vegan cakes comes in just under 200 calories.

Almond Butter Chocolate Truffles

Store-bought chocolates fall short compared to these homemade peanut butter and chocolate truffles. Made with almond butter and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, you can add any toppings you like, such as coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, or dried fruit. For only 6 grams of sugar per serving, the options are plentiful.

Pear and Pomegranate Bellini

Raise your glass to good friends and family while knocking back this fruity holiday cocktail. Cheers!

Tangy Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Classic lemon squares can contain up to 36 grams of sugar per piece. By putting a tangy cheesecake spin on ours, we’ve cut the sugar down to only 6 grams per pop. Your sweet tooth will agree that these bars are good enough to enjoy year-round.

Mac and Cheese Bites

Feed a hungry crowd these all-star, feel-good favorites at your next party. Nothing is as comforting as melty, creamy, cheesy, comforting macaroni and cheese. Be still our hearts.

Chocolate-Chestnut Cream Bites

Allow yourself to be seduced by the nutty-sweet aroma of freshly roasted chestnuts, a true seasonal treasure. The flavor is rich and faintly sweet, with hints of caramel. Try our picture-perfect phyllo dough poppers. For an elegant presentation, spoon the filling into a piping bag, and then fill the shells.

Cider Sangria

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

White wine may eventually lose its flavor after uncorking, but why waste it? Here, we perk up leftover wine with sparkling apple-cranberry cider and add fresh apples, pears, and grapes for an autumn-themed spin on the popular drink.


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11 Best Fusion Food Recipes for Your New Year's Eve Party | Fusion Food Recipes

Highlights

Fusion Food Recipes- New Year is right around the corner and if you're planning to bring in 2019 with an intimate gathering of your friends and family, you're at the right place. We've put together a fantastic list of some interesting snacks, mains and desserts that you can easy prepare at home and serve your guests to keep them entertained. The catch here is that these are not your usual treats but each one of them overs a combination of desi and International flavours. These fusion recipes are perfect to impress your friends and family and make your New Year Party a total hit.

1. Cheese and Jalapeno Stuffed Kachoris

A cheesy take on your favourite street kachoris. Crisp homemade kachoris are stuffed with paneer, Cheddar cheese and spicy jalapenos. Your guests won't be able to stop at one, so make sure your fry loads of them. The best part is that these can even be baked or fried in the air fryer for all those who are calorie conscious.

A cheesy take on your favourite street kachoris.

2. Kasundi Sea Bass with Strawberry Chutney

Juicy fillets of fish coated with pungent Kasundi mustard. You can serve this dish with a freshly made strawberry chutney - a great way to use up the sweet seasonal produce. The sweet and tangy flavours of strawberries balance out the pungent kick of mustard really well.

Juicy fillets of fish coated with pungent Kasundi mustard.

3. Avocado Chicken Kebab with Pineapple Chutney

Chicken kebabs are the perfect starters for your dinner party. But this time around, infuse them with some creamy avocados and serve with a sweet and tangy pineapple chutney. Shallow fry the tikkis in some olive oil they give them a healthy and wholesome kick so that none of your guests will complain!

Chicken kebabs are the perfect starters for your dinner party.

4. Golgappa Shots

Another stunner of a recipe. You know no one can street crisp gol gappas filled with the zesty paani. Give this favourite street food a twist and offer you guests some gol gappa shots for your New Year party. A mix of fruit juices and fresh fruits stuffed in gol gappas - serve these to start your party. Plums, mangoes and watermelon come together, stuffed inside crispy golgappas.

5. Wild Berries and Lavender Kheer

Here's a delicious way to use up all the winter berries and give your New Year dessert a floral touch. Floral seems to be one of the biggest trends today and this recipe is a great way to make the most of fit. A refreshing and creamy blend of berries, rice, milk and lavender flower essence.

6. Idli Burger

Take your culinary skills a notch by creating this South Indian and American fusion. Two classics from two countries - idlis and burgers - come together to make a fusion dish like no other. Try this and you might be the first one to start a trend.

7. Coffee Marinated Mutton Chops

Coffee and mutton? Yes, please! You may have never tried this fusion before but it's time to do so now. Marinate mutton chops with a shot of espresso, some fresh herbs, honey and balsamic vinegar to add a deep and rich flavour to your meat. This brilliant recipe has been shared by Chef Ritu Dalmia, so you definitely can't go wrong!(Also read: A Fully Planned Christmas Menu)

Coffee and mutton? Yes, please!

8. Paneer Lasagna With Kadahi Sabzi

For all the vegetarians out there, this wholesome lasagna stuffed with soft cottage cheese and a mix of char-grilled veggies is an absolute treat. This one dish wonder is perfect to feed a crowd at your New Year Party.

9. Apple Jalebi with Gulab Ice Cream

Here's another pick for dessert - hot apple jalebis served with gulab ice cream. This is perfect winter treat and a delicious pick for your New Year Party menu. Sweet slices of apples are coated with a thin batter, fried crisp and golden and finally dipped in sugar syrup.

Here's another pick for dessert - hot apple jalebis served with gulab ice cream.

10. Tandoori Chicken Bruschetta

The name says it all. A classic Italian starter combined with our very own tandoori chicken chunks. This is a great example of an East Meets West snack. Top toasted bread with a masaledar mix of tandoori chicken chunks preferably grilled over charcoal to add the quintessential smoky flavour.

A classic Italian starter combined with our very own tandoori chicken chunks.

New Year's Eve Recipes

New Year's Eve recipes for entertaining, whether you're planning an intimate dinner party or a drinks party for a crowd.

Keep it simple this year with easy but impressive recipes that you can make ahead, so you won't have to think about the food or drinks once your guests arrive.

Go for easy party food that you can throw together in advance, like rosemary bar nuts, cheese-stuffed dates and a savoury cheesecake that makes an excellent alternative to a cheeseboard, which guests can help themselves to.

For drinks, pick some easy all-in-one jug cocktails that make a change from fizz and ask guests to bring a bottle from the ingredients list so that you can keep those cocktails flowing all night.

Prefer to have a more intimate gathering? Make an extra special New Year's Eve dinner party menu with an impressive centrepiece. Make a beef Wellington to show you've really made the effort, or go for a roast side of salmon, which is a simple way to feed a crowd without compromising on the main event.

Whatever approach you choose, these easy recipes will help make it a New Year's Eve to remember.

Make a gorgeous tear and share bread like this easy focaccia with sweet red onions and figs.

See the focaccia with red onions and figs recipe.

Scroll through to see more New Year's Eve recipe ideas.


Nothing wrong with adding a little red meat to your appetizer table with these steak crostini.


45 Best New Year's Eve Appetizers to End the Year on a Delicious Note

There's one reason that your New Year's Eve menu should be filled with mouthwatering delights&mdashit's the last thing you're going to eat in 2020! Why not go out with a bang? These best New Year's Eve appetizers are just what you need to create an indulgent spread of your favorite bites before the year draws to a close. Who wouldn't want a mouthful of homemade pizza rolls when the Times Square ball drops? Yeah, thought so.

Once you've figured out which cocktail recipes the evening calls for, it's time to plan out an array of tasty bites. Will you go for a platter of creative finger foods, including Ree Drummond's fig and blue cheese bruschetta? Or will you take the comfort food route with traditional options like Swedish meatballs and pigs in a blanket? One thing is certain: You can't make a bad choice here. Eating a feast of apps may just become one of your new favorite New Year's traditions&mdashespecially if you enjoy them while watching a New Year's movie! You can even make sure your appetizers complement your New Year's dinner menu too.

Even though your New Year's Eve party plans might be altered this year, you can still make it a night to remember. These easy New Year's Eve appetizers will prove that good food is truly all you need!


15 New Year’s Eve Party Food Ideas

I have a few tips to get you started to save you some time for your party. Check out these ideas, and you will be all ready to get busy in the kitchen! Whenever possible make-ahead the dishes to save you time.

  • Do any chopping for dips and appetizers a day or two ahead and refrigerate.
  • Cheese balls can and should be made a day or two ahead as this gives great texture and richer tastes.
  • Most desserts and treats can be prepared a day or two ahead as well, and this can take a lot of the party planning stress out of the mix.
  • Shop the sales for things like crackers and nacho chips, and remember when you’re serving meats to keep them warmed to the right temperatures before serving.
  • Stock your food serving area with lots of serving utensils and napkins.

1. Hot Crab Dip

Dips, especially unique ones, are always good party fare, and this Hot Crab Dip by Six Sisters’ Stuff will be a big hit at the party!

2. Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Appetizers

These Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Sausage Appetizers by the Country Chic Cottage are going to be the one that guests will want the recipe for. And how could you blame them?

3. Blackberry Brie Bites

These Blackberry Brie Bites by Inside Bru Crew Life are ideal for serving skewers, and let’s face it it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with brie.

4. Parmesan Artichoke Cheesecake

I sure hope somebody I know makes this Parmesan Artichoke Cheesecake by Hungry Happenings! It’s too cute, AND there’s also a tutorial for some festive Times’ Square Cheese Balls!

5. Oreo Cookie Balls

These Oreo Cookie Balls from Kennary are a festive sweet treat to add to your dessert table on New Year’s Eve!

6. Greek 7-Layer Dip

Again with the dip – this 7 Layer Greek Dip by Our Best Bites is packed full of great (and inexpensive) things and would work with pita crackers, regular crackers, even nachos!

7. Mini Cheeseball Bites

Every party needs a cheese ball – and these Mini Cheese Ball Bites from Five Heart Home are just perfect for the occasion!

8. Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

It doesn’t get any easier than Crockpot BBQ Meatballs by I Heart Naptime. Make this your contribution to the party and let them cook themselves.

9. Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Your guests will love you forever when you make this Loaded Baked Potato Dip by Brown Eyed Baker. It’s so easy (and cheap!) to prepare, and so so good!

10. New Year’s Marshmallow Clocks

These New Year’s Eve Marshmallow Clocks by Nifty Mom is just too cute! Perfect for the kids and the adults! Also, you could make some for every hour and use them as countdown treats!

11. Black Bean Chipotle Dip

Another fabulous dip is this Easy Black Bean Chipotle Dip by Home Cooking Memories. It’s all about the easy and the frugal, and I think this would actually go quite well with a loaf of pumpernickel.

12. Oreo Ball Drop Pops

Another treat for the sweets table is these Oreo Ball Drop Pops by the Crafting Chicks. Very fun and festive! You can get a nice bulk order of cake pop sticks on Amazon.

13. Candied Whiskey Bacon Grilled Cheese Dippers

These Candied Whiskey Bacon Grilled Cheese Dippers Eve’s Wine 101 are going to be perfect for later in the evening – when you need that extra fuel to make it all the way to midnight.

14. Easy Ranch Cheeseball

This Ranch Cheeseball by It’s Always Autumn is easy, like really easy, and will go great with your favorite crackers. Also, the leftovers (if you have any!) are going to be amazing for breakfast.

15. White Pizza Dip

And one last killer dip for the list is this White Pizza Dip by How Sweet Eats. This one packs a big wow factor, so be sure to keep the napkins handy!

Written by ACN Team Member Evelyne N. : Evelyne is the fearless, axe wielding, quirky, hardworking, and incredibly funny creative genius behind Nemcsok Farms and Knits’ End. Who also has a weird fascination with soil and wreaths.

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9 Keto Protein Bars You Can Make For A Guilt-Free Dessert

Keto protein bars seem like a daunting task because of the ingredient restrictions. But with the keto recipes being on the rise, it becomes extremely easy to find the right keto protein bars for you! We’ve listed down the best-tasting and easiest keto protein bars we’ve scoured from the internet. Pick a favorite and enjoy…Continue Reading


What you'll need:

  • Store-bought angel food cake
  • Whipped cream (heavy cream, confectioner's sugar, vanilla)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Fake candy Christmas trees
  • Sparklers

Here's how: Cover cake in whipped cream (fill in center of cake with whipped cream). Sprinkle coconut all over top of cake and gently press coconut onto the sides of the cake with the palm of your hand. Top with fake candy Christmas trees and/or sparklers.


New Years Eve Party at Home

You can make your "stay-at-home" New Years Eve party a memorable evening with these New Year’s Eve recipes, serving suggestions and ideas.

For those of you who have read other pages on the website, you know I absolutely love to have family and friends over for food, beverages and socializing. I guess that is how I "accidently" started a restaurant.

But the difference between being a restaurant owner and being myself at home is that for home celebrations I really don't invite hundreds of guests. At home, I invite family members and friends, usually a more controllable situation than having a party at the restaurant.

There are literally hundreds of ideas for what to do for a party on New Year's -other than "eat, drink and be merry."

You could have a "themed party," based on a particular culture or a particular time period (I love doing the 50's or 60's or 70's), or do "movie stars" or other celebrities. Once a theme is selected, the goal is to match the music, attire, decorations and food with those years.

On the other hand, no theme for the party can be just as much fun. The real fun comes from the company, the food and beverage, and the graciousness of the host/ess. That's you!

You can also simplify the foods available by specifying "appetizers only" or even "desserts only" if your guests are having dinner prior to coming to your party. Or, combine these two foods.

The other thing to do when having a crowd over is serve everything buffet-style. This makes the party much more fun for the host/ess.

After you greet your guests at the door as they arrive, point them toward the beverage table (a self-service "bar") and let them walk past your wonderfully decorated food table.

If your guests are bringing beverages and / or some of the food, take their offerings and place them on the appropriate table.

How about you "assign" a friend to help with your New Years Eve Party?

As a start, and a finish, to a New Year’s Eve celebration at home, offer good quality champagne (and sparkling cider for non-drinkers). Have champagne glasses (usually flutes - although for a family affair they can be - and probably should be - plastic) half full on the beverage table for your guests to pick up while waiting for the other guests to arrive.

Visit a local party store and buy the plastic glassware (plain or fancy).

You might also mention that during the evening they should be prepared to make a toast to one of the other guests. This is really great fun . so long as everyone understands the rules. Serious toasts must of course be loving and kind. Humorous toasts must not invade any sensitivities.

Besides a small glass of good champagne, the standard liquors should be available (scotch, bourbon, vodka, gin, rum) and some white and red wine, cold beer and some non-alcoholic beverage choices.

Make certain you have ice, some mixers like club soda, tonic water and dry vermouth with some lemons, limes, and olives at the beverage area, as well. You should also have a couple "varieties" of soft drinks on hand and for mixers.

Of course, you'll need plenty of plastic glasses, wine glasses, and martini glasses. And be sure to have lots of napkins at the "bar" and strategically located throughout the dining room, living room and kitchen.

Important Note: Make sure all your guests have safe transportation home. My friends and family members are all picked up by designated (non-drinking) drivers and are driven home by this same person. (I only have one guest room).

Do I always provide all the beverages? No, crazy as I may be . I'm not totally "gone."  When I invite guests, everyone always asks what they can bring - so I tell them. Bring your favorite beverage with the mixer you need.

I sometimes "warn" my guests that at some time during the evening we may play a board game (Trivial Pursuit is one of my personal favorites). We choose teams by "lot" and this game propels us toward the next year.

Playing a board games with your friends and relatives is usually more fun than simply waiting for "the ball" to drop on TV.

"What about food?" "What can I bring?" the invited guests may ask.

Sometimes, depending on my own situation, I will ask them to bring something (their 'specialty').

First, if your guests are bringing food items, "fill in the gaps." Are they bring appetizers? What kind? Are they bringing a crock pot item? A dessert?

The suggested food ideas listed on this page are for a "non-themed" New Years Eve Party. I also am suggesting you "stagger" the food offerings throughout the party.

For a New Years Eve Party at my house, I often have trays for several different kinds of olives,ਃ-5 cheeses - hard and soft, some artisan crackers and thin-sliced baguettes in a basket with butter and special mustard nearby, a tray of ham and salami, some wild salmon and some almonds or walnuts.

If you're "brave" - even popcorn is okay.

About half way through the New Years Eve Party (or as the food table starts looking well-used) I add a salad of romaine, red onion, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and thin-sliced yellow and red pepper.

I also bring out some skewered Steak Strips with a small dish of horseradish sauce.

And I usually present some prawns with਌ocktail sauce on another platter or a Shrimp-Avocado Tray.

A small platter of vegetables with a delicious Dill Dip is also set on the food table. Garlic bread or store (bakery) bought petite rolls is also made available.

Again, later in the evening, say around 9:00-10:00 PM (after watching the crystal apple drop down the pole at Times Square on TV - 5 minutes), the food table is rebuilt with petite Almond Chicken Salad Sandwiches, a fruit platter (or a combination fruit and cheese tray, some chocolate strawberries to have with another small glass of champagne.

About the time I sense people getting tired or getting ready to depart from the New Years Eve Party (or about an hour before I'm getting ready to have them depart) I bring out a tray of Chocolate Browniesਊnd the coffee pot. This is an easy way to signal the closing of the party.

When the guests have departed for home and the house is pretty much cleaned up, my husband and I sit together, holding hands and toast each other with one last glass of champagne and, as we always do, exchange letters of love and appreciation.

This is a wonderful way to close the New Years Eve Party and the year and open a new one.

I always sleep well after a New Years Eve Party. (As for my husband, he also sleeps well, but my guess is because he is looking forward to an entire day of football - with yet another New Years Day get-together ahead since the restaurant is fully staffed. And that - is another story.)

Enjoy your New Years Eve Party and the company of those you share it with!

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”


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