December 28, 2011

New Year’s Eve Party Food Ideas

Want to throw a fun New Year’s party with great food? Sometimes it’s hard to come up with the right menu – foods that are familiar but not boring, or new and interesting (but likable), are best. Here are some tips on how you can combine new with old to create a unique New Year’s party menu.

* Fondue – Fondue is one of those party foods that never seems to go out of style. You can use a crockpot if you don’t have a classic fondue pot. You can serve cheese fondue with toast squares and fruit, or chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and cheese.

* Vegetarian meatballs – There are so many great recipes out there for vegetarian meatballs, many of which contain flavorful chopped nuts. These tangy “meat” balls can be served as hors d’oeuvres or with rice as a stand-alone dish.

* Roast – A prime rib roast is a fairly extravagant but traditional New Year’s Eve main course. If you’re serving it buffet-style, you can have it carved thinly and served with baguette slices and condiments. That will also help the meat go further.

* Ham – Less expensive
but just as appropriate as roast, a ham is a festive and traditional food to serve on New Year’s. Like the roast beef, you can set it up so guests can assemble sandwiches. Honey-mustard glazed hams are popular. You can also serve it studded with cloves, pineapple slices, and maraschino cherries.

* Shrimp – From shrimp cocktail to coconut-coated to kabobs, shrimp lends itself very well to a party menu. You can also make shrimp dip with tiny canned shrimp, cream cheese, minced onion, and lemon juice (best served with potato chips or crackers).

* Fruit kabobs – Brightly colored and easy to eat, fruit kabobs make great New Year’s party food. Assemble them ahead of time with various combinations, and let guests dip them in chocolate fondue or eat as-is.

* Layered salad – Layered salad is a wonderful party food, whether you make and serve it as the host/hostess or take it to a party. Serve it in a clear glass bowl so everyone can see the festive effect of the colorful layers.

* Drinks – Champagne is traditional, but you may not want your guests drinking champagne from start to finish. Consider a sparkly champagne punch that combines the bubbly with fruit juice and club soda.

* Dessert – Don’t forget dessert! Finger foods might include mini cream puffs, ├ęclairs, petit fours, or fudge. For a sit-down dinner, a layer cake can make a striking and yummy finish.

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Alexis Rodrigo