Simple Party Foods and Bar Supplies for New Year’s Eve! Sass Ashe Gives Easy Suggestions!
When it comes to hosting a New Year’s Eve party you want to make sure you have time to not only get ready for the party but also enjoy the party. This means that spending days in the kitchen working on party food is not the way to prepare! By choosing simple and easy holiday treats you can make sure that your guests have plenty to munch on without spending hours mixing and baking or slaving over a hot stove! You may even have time to treat yourself to a relaxing bath before you begin dressing and getting made up for the event! I am known for my “set it and forget it” style of doing most anything, and cooking for a party falls right into that. So, here are some of my favorite quick and easy party food recipes and strategies!
Slow Cookers for Hot Foods
Beg, borrow or steal slow cookers from family and friends. You’ll need at least 2 but depending on the size of the party maybe more! Once you have your cookers ready all you have to do is set them on low the morning of the party and add the ingredients.
BBQ Meatballs/ Little Smokies: Add one bag of frozen meatballs or little smokies; 12 oz. of bottled barbecue sauce; 1/2 cup grape jelly and two teaspoons of mustard. Allow to cook on low all day and stir before serving. You could make both– after all you’re just gonna toss it all in and let it soak up flavor all day long.
Head to your local grocery store and pick up a nice deli tray or two (or three)! Veggie trays; crackers & dip; cold cuts and crackers; fruit and cheese trays all make for great nibbling material. You’ll have something to please everyone and all it takes it a trip to the store. I’m all about convenience and anything that’s ready to serve, looks festive and has a variety of foods is a must have! Do make sure that you have a fair amount of snacks & munchies for the non-meat eating crowd — read as vegetarian. Not only is it polite to them, it’s also healthier for you!
I was shocked to learn that one of my favorite types of candy is actually a very simple recipe and only has 3 ingredients! I make these year round and they freeze well too so if there is an event coming up I can pull one out and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight then serve!
Potato Candy Pinwheels
Peel and boil one medium potato until it is very soft. Remove the potato from the water and place it in a mixing bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to smash the potato until it is very smooth, almost liquid. Mix in confectioner’s sugar until the mixture is thick and pliable. Spread the potato sugar mix on parchment paper and roll until it is about 11 x 13 and about 1/4 inch thick. If its sticky or hard to work with simply add more confectioner’s sugar. Spread peanut butter evenly over the whole thing and then roll it longways until you have a log. Wrap the log in parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. Just before the party pull it out and slice it and you’ll have delicious finger food that tastes like you spent hours on it!
Another easy dessert involves using (gasp!) store-bought cookies: Vanilla Wafers, Oreos, chocolate chip etc. What makes them ideal for a party is how they are decorated! I like to heat dark Bakers Chocolate with a dab of sweet butter and a dash of sugar in a double boiler then use tongs to dunk the cookies in halfway. You can then dip the melted chocolate coated cookies into sprinkles, coconut shavings, etc. Allow them to cool and then arrange them on a platter for the party!
(Stevie note: Other options for the mix-ins on the Baker’s Chocolate: a good reposado tequila, rum or bourbon. Try Jack From Brooklyn’s Sorel for a taste blast that’s sure to get your attention. Also add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, even pepper or ground chiles (taste test these last two first) for added layers of flavor.
Tasty Hors d’oeuvres
If you are doing little smokies in the slow cooker you may want to have an extra package on hand to make these smoky sweet treats. They take a little more effort but it’s worth it! Wrap each little smokie in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place these on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes and if you can manage to keep your hands off of them your party guests will love them. (Better make a few extra, you won’t be able to resist!) Leave the toothpicks in as handles so fingers don’t get coated in greasy sugary goodness!
Centerpieces or Buffet Table Decor
While these are edible… I don’t consider them part of the party food– but more like a neat take-home item for party guests. They are called Candy Sleighs and while I haven’t tried them yet, they will be featured at one of my holiday parties this year. Click the link for pics and instructions. They are adorable and unique!
Now it’s time to consider just what you want to serve from the bar for New Year’s Eve! A well stocked bar is important when entertaining a group of people because everyone has different tastes. However you don’t want to blow your party budget so simply select a few different types of cocktails and beverages for your guests this New Year’s.
I’m a bourbon girl at heart but when the holiday season rolls around I tend to enjoy a few other goodies. I’ve stumbled across some wonderful cocktail recipes, beers and wines over the years. The following items are must haves for a well stocked New Year’s Eve party bar.
Because my idea of a fine wine is Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill I had to ask a wine-drinking friend which wines I should have on hand for the holidays. I was given a list–along with what goes well with each type. I picked up most of them but it seems the overall favorite when I entertain near the holidays is a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Make sure to have a wine selection for your NYE party.
When you want to create beautiful cocktails with a kick there are several items you will want to have on hand. Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps is at the top of my NYE must have list. The clear schnapps with 24 karat gold flakes mixes with lots of great ingredients to make beautiful festive drinks.
Hot Buttered Rum, Irish Coffee and Candy Cane Cocktails are always popular at the holidays so Rum (Bacardi or Cruzan), Bailey’s Irish Cream, Peppermint Liqueur and eggnog (try the bottled stuff. It totally rocks!) need to be on hand!
No New Year’s celebration is complete without a bit of the bubbly. Now, as a starving writer I’m not able to dispense Cristal but there are several affordable champagnes that are perfect for the holidays. One of my favorites is Moet and Chandon.
Don’t forget the basics: bourbon, tequila, vodka and triple sec and you’ll be set for a rocking NYE party!
For your guests who don’t imbibe, try to have some basic mixes for “mock-tails”, as well as festive coffees, cocoas and teas– all will be welcome!
Sass Ashe has been a contributing to blogs and websites for several years. When she gets to take a break from working and parenting her teenage son she enjoys watching WWE and having a few drinks of quality bourbon.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Sass-Ashe
Thanks to Sass Ashe for suggesting some tasty and appetizing nibbles and drinks for New Year’s Eve!
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