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Dec 29, 2010 07:06 PM

Help with last minute New Years Party

So just today we decided to have over a couple people for NYE. Now I can't decide on a menu...

Details: 4 people (possibly 6). Very casual, but I still want it to be special. I have most of Thursday and Friday to shop and cook, but I also need to prepare the homestead.

My ideas so far:

Braised short ribs, the broccoli Cheeto thing from Saveur (I know other guests will think it's fun), polenta or mashed potato.


Variety of whatever tapas type things seem fun.


Homemade pizza and cesar


a fondue type thing.

I just can't decide on anything... I'll do spiced nuts and olives/cheese board for apps, popcorn for late night snacks and I'm thinking an almond cherry cake for dessert.

What sounds most festive to you (or please suggest something else!)

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  1. Tapas sounds fun instead of a main dish. Or the Homemade pizza with proscuitto, fig jam and arugula would be different.

    You can do a choc fondue for dessert to keep it all finger like foods

    Sangria and Bubbly to drink!

    1. Nice ideas on the chow pages; like "killer apps" and virgin cocktails.

      1. While I'm really down for the braised short ribs and the broccoli-cheetos thing, which would be great for New Year's Day dinner, I think NYE screams tapas for variety and the basic fun factor. Nuts, olives and cheeses would make a good and ample starter. Cava, Sangria or Sherry would be nice drink offerings, beyond champagne. Spicy popcorn for after midnight!

        Happy New Year to you, all the best and enjoy!

        1. I like the homemade pizza idea. Tapas are great, but they will probably keep you in the kitchen more than you want. The pizza involves your guests more and would be fun in a small group.

          1. Sounds like tapas are the winner. How does this sound:

            Little lemony meatballs (crockpot)
            Chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce
            Tuna confit on endive w/ pear (or mini-sandwiches)
            Roasted veg platter with a couple dips (one creamy one vinegary)
            marinated mushrooms
            cheese plate

            That shouldn't take too long, and I can do all of it pre-guest.

            Thanks for the advice and Happy New Years!

            5 Replies
            1. re: corneygirl

              What kind of cocktail sauce for the shrimp?

              I think you need to add something porky, like a good cured sliced sausage or excellent quality cured ham, unless you or your guests don't eat pork, and call it a party. You have two fish, dairy, two veg, one meat, add another meat for balance. Any bread stuffs for cheese?

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                Good call, I can add a salami or other cured piggy. I plan on picking up a crusty sourdough or something plus I made raisin pecan earlier this week which I'll make into crostini. I'm thinking the traditional horseradish-ketchup stuff, but I think I might do a curry-yogurt for the veg that could be cross purpose.

                1. re: corneygirl

                  Mm, love that raisin pecan crostini idea. Nice for meats, cheese, whatever. I was thinking a yogurt based and a garliky bagna cauda type dip for the veg, doesn't have to be hot.

                  There was a shrimp cocktail sauce thread recently with some interesting alternative ideas, can't remember what though. Maybe do a search if you're interested.

                  Sounds like a great time. No party for me this year, too broke, but I will be having some bourbon and nog with mrbushy and the cats (they don't drink, more for me.) We'll watch the ball drop, and that's good enough for me.

                  Have a memorable party!

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    Thanks for the help! It's the second year that neither of us have to work (ex-servers, bartenders). Last year it didn't even occur to either of us to make any plans! I'll check out the shrimp cocktail thread.

                    Cheers! (raising aspirational bourbon glass)