It’s almost New Year’s Eve, maybe you are invited to a party, hosting a party, having folks stop by, Open House or just enjoying the Eve.
I have some great ideas for what you can serve or bring to someone’s home or just for yourselves, but please enjoy New Year’s Eve!!
Starting with the obvious, Champagne in beautiful slim champagne glasses. You know your own budget or favorite, so this choice is up to you.
Some tips from cheese expert Laura Werlin will help you create a great cheese plate for your guests. Most people adore cheese.
Things to consider when creating a cheese plate:
- How many people to serve?
- Any cheese that you especially need or a cheese you want to avoid
- Your budget
- If you are serving this for a party, you should plan on 1- 1 ½ ounces per person.
The next thing you need to consider is how many different kinds of cheese you feel you need to buy.
Most of the time 3 different types of cheese are a good amount, so as not to overwhelm people with too many choices.
You could go with one rich and creamy cheese, such as a triple cream cheese called St. Andre, or full flavored cheeses such as Manchego or a wonderful Cheddar, aged gouda and/or Blue Cheese.
Have a different small knife for each cheese. (This is to keep the cheese taste consistent with its own flavor.)
Serve with an assortment of crackers or slices of baguettes in a separate basket. Neutral flavored crackers will keep the cheese from absorbing other herbs and flavorings.
Cheese plates can be served at room temperature, lightly covered with plastic wrap for a couple of hours without harm to the cheese unless your kitchen is overly warm. In that case, refrigerate until an hour before serving.
OTHER FINGER FOODS
Of course, small dippable-sized vegetables neatly placed on a platter with a choice of maybe two-three dips of your choice. I’m sure we all have our favorites. Mine is salmon dip. I live in the Northwest so it is a natural choice.
Some of the things I would suggest for finger foods could be a selection of different olives from the olive bar in your deli-grocery, salami slices, probably a couple of Italian salami would be super.
Other finger foods could include spanakopita, (filo dough stuffed and baked with spinach mixture, pine nuts and baked.) These are always a great hit. I used to cook for a family that insisted I always make spanakopita. Perhaps you could do jalapeno pops. There are always those people who love the spicy peppers. Chicken chunks on small
Chicken chunks on small skewers marinated with soy and peanut butter and baked in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes, turning them over after 5 minutes and brushing the kabobs with the soy & peanut butter mixture, cooking another five minutes, repeat brushing both sides. I also like to hard boil eggs and peel and cut in half and put a salmon mixture for my version of deviled eggs.
I also like to hard boil eggs and peel and cut in half and put a salmon mixture for my version of deviled eggs. How about some spiced walnuts or chili -lime Pecans…
2 TBL. lime juice 1 tsp. chili powder
1 TBL olive oil ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika 3 Cups of pecan halves
1 TBL. sea salt
In a bowl, stir together all ingredients except the pecans. Add pecans and toss to coat well. Spread pecans in an aluminum foil-lined, slightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until pecans are toasted and dry, stir occasionally. Cool completely. This mixture will make 3 cups.
Sweets to bring out last may include rum balls (where you don’t have to do any baking), Brownies or a simple chocolate cake with confetti sprinkles would also look and taste great.
You can also serve Cider with spices, Hot Chocolate (perhaps spiked) and coffee with Irish Whisky.
These are ingredients for a party that will not involve too much of your time so that you can enjoy yourself as well.