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What cheesy, out-dated, non-Chowish appetizer will you be disappointed if you don't eat on New Year's?

Between New Year's Eve parties and other holiday gatherings both at the office and in private homes the variety and complexity of appetizers seems to grow and grow as people become more sophisticated, have more access to innovative recipes via the Internet, and perhaps more daring. My friends have told me about their new chicken liver pates, artisan dips, tea-smoked quail eggs, etc., that they are making. I admit I can be found gazing raptly at my "Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook" and a catering book and seeing all the variety and clever serving ideas for appetizers and trying to find something interesting and new with the "wow" factor to impress my friends.

However, then I think of some of the cheesy old standards that if I see them on the party buffet I'm always drawn to, and always seem to go first. The ones that even if I'm ridiculed by my seriously foodie friends, I'll still drag out for a party. These are the three that I'm still drawn to much to the dismay of my foodie friends: (however they always are snarfed... I have no idea who is eating them :)

1) the frozen meatballs or cocktail weinies in the crockpot with the sweet and sour sauce made with grape jelly and ketchup.

2) Tiny little pigs in blankets, usually with cocktail weinies and Pillsbury crescent roll refrigerated dough.

3) A Velveeta based dip, with with spicy sausage or Rotel (or both).

Do you have a "cheesy" go-to holiday appetizer that you still bring out and set next to your filet mignon bites wrapped in puff pastry and caviar?

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  1. bacon wrapped water chestnuts with (or without!) pineapple
    a kick ass cheese ball
    nuts and bolts from my Grandmother Jessie's recipe (aka Chex Party Mix)
    Hickory Farms Summer Sausage and some cheddar cheese

    1 Reply
    1. re: SweetPhyl

      You beat me to it - bacon wrapped water chestnuts, mine without pineapple. I haven't had them in ages and suddenly, I'm CRAVING them. So even though it's just me and my partner, I'm making them. She turned her nose up at them and said it sounded "weird". So sad for her, more for me!

    2. Deviled eggs.
      Shrimp with cocktail sauce.
      Good cheese and crackers.

      All of the above will be part of our (catered) NYE party.

      2 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        cheese balls? deviled eggs? Shrimp cocktail? Cheese? Yum

        1. These went first at my party -Little smokies in grape jelly and chile sauce and rotel/velveeta with bacon and onions and dill dip in rye bread. For New Years, they are clamoring for party pizzas.

          1. This recipe is oh-so-70s, but also ridiculously delicious. It's basically a cheese ball in pate form, with mango chutney and green onions on top.

            Chutney Cheese Pate

            8oz soft cream cheese
            6oz (2 cups) shredded sharp natural cheddar cheese
            2 tbsp. dry sherry
            1 tsp. curry powder
            1/4 tsp. salt
            dash of Tabasco
            1/2 cup finely chopped mango chutney (or Narsai's nectarine chutney)
            3 to 4 green onions, w/part of green tops, minced.

            sesame wafers or wheat crackers

            beat together creem cheese, cheddar cheese, sherry, curry powder, salt, and tabasco until almost smooth. spread on a serving platter, shaping a layer about 1/2" thick; leave room around the edge for crackers. chill until firm.

            at serving time, spread chutney over top of mixture and sprinkle with onion. surround with crackers, and provide a knife for spreading.

            source: narsai's restaurant, kensington, ca

            1 Reply
            1. re: operagirl

              I still make that yummy pate at least once a year. The funny thing is, it's so far from trendy that it now looks new and refreshing. People still ask for the recipe.

            2. Why are your FRIENDS ridiculing you?

              Keep your things you love and ditch the creepy people.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                I MUST have sour cream onion dip and Ruffles. And 7-up with grenadine :)

                1. re: Miri1

                  Wouldn't be my choice, but I would not ridicule my friend if she offered it up. OK I might choose the Ruffles.

                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                  I want to ask what that is.... oh heck. What is that?

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    It's better with a red cabbage and more variety of items. Cheese, smoked oysters, sausages, meatballs.

                    A pic -

                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      Is it just a flame, or is there something in the cabbage?

                      1. re: paprkutr

                        The cabbage is hollowed out and a can of sterno is placed in the middle. Then you take all kinds of items, cheese, sausage, meatballs, oysters, clams and whatever else you can think of are placed on toothpicks and the toothpicks are poked into the cabbage. You pull out an item and toast it over the sterno.

                        It's totally cheesy and wonderful.


                          1. re: Firegoat

                            I too have not seen it
                            though indeed I had heard of it.
                            All this time I thought it meant thunderballs
                            shot from the Gods' asses.

                            Now that I know
                            it's a more manageable Sterno,
                            I'll just maybe give it a try.

                            (Struggling here, with visions mischievous,
                            of cabbages shot
                            from a constipated Prometheus.
                            ... "Let there be Fire!")

                2. franks n blankets
                  mini Chinese egg rolls
                  mini stuffed cabbage
                  swedish meatballs
                  caviar on toast points
                  chopped liver on Tam Tams
                  apricot glazed corned beef on mini rye bread rounds
                  pastrami wraps

                  living in a time warp

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Caviar is outdated?????? Not at my house :)

                    1. re: c oliver

                      only on toast points, now caviar always seems do be served on crackers

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        I did a toast point equivalent :) I sliced some bread very thin and toasted on the panini grill. Also had crackers. I've found some, can't remember the name, that I describe as large communion wafers. Perhaps 1.5-2" in diameter and thin as, well, a communion wafer. They are truly just a "carrier"for whatever goes on top.

                  2. Pigs in a blanket never go out of style. Seriously, they are always the first thing to go at any party!

                    1. Spinach artichoke dip.
                      7 layer "mexican" dip
                      and the ever popular guac

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: coney with everything

                        ah yes, I forgot the 7 layer dip. I remember when it first started showing up at office parties and was a BIG thing. Something I used to see a lot, but now not so much were those Bisquik Sausage/cheese balls.

                      2. I was able to indulge
                        in my annual fantasy
                        of WonderBread rolled down
                        to a thin dense consistency

                        Then spread with either tuna
                        or good pimento cheese
                        then rolled up and sliced
                        and skewered with toothpicks
                        with tips of colored cellophane frillies.

                        1. I have to chip in another vote for pigs in a blanket; ridiculously cheesy, but as someone noted, always the first to go.

                          Also, a good sharp cheddar with crackers (and maybe a touch of mustard?)

                          1. It is not cheesy, nor non-Chowish (or maybe it is - I could be wrong), but I was very sad to not find smoked salmon on black bread served at the New Year's Eve party I attended. There was plenty of other excellent food, but I was missing the salmon. Damned recession.

                            1. Can I put in a word for Sausage Cheese Balls? I love 'em but only make them for pot luck Christmas parties.

                              1. Theres this dip that you make in a crockpot very similar to the one that is made with velveta that if its around, I can not stop eating it.

                                Its cream cheese, chili con carne (theres meat just no beans) and jalapenos and a jar of salsa. I think that's it, I have the recipe but I've only made a few times. Serve it with tortilla chips. omg. Put it all in the crock pot, and let it go.Couldn't be easier or more fattening!

                                1. Literally cheesy -- a baked brie! with some peach jam, toasted almonds and dried cherries thrown on top of the cheese before wrapping it in the puff pastry. My kids love it too.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                    i doubt that qualifies as a 'non-chowish' appetizer. sounds pretty fancy to me.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      It's actually very easy -- takes just a minute to put together and throw into the oven. I suppose I added it to this list because it feels old fashioned to me, plus it doesn't feel like New Year's Eve without it.

                                      1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                        It sounds great! Can't really ever go wrong with baked cheese.

                                    2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                      My wife made and served it using apricot jam and almonds, no cherries. 1/2 got eaten and half is in the freezer for next weekend

                                    3. Crab rangoon doused liberally with duck sauce.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                        We stay home on New Year's Eve and have a night of hors d'oeuvres and champagne while watching reruns of The Twillight Zone. What was the big hit this year? Frozen burgers from White Castle! And after a night of lobster, lamb chops, and sushi, my husband said, "you forgot the pigs in the blanket!"

                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                          Oh, boy -- I had those frozen White Castle hamburgers in a hotel room with only a microwave to cook with, and was very sorry that there were only six teeny burgers for the two of us! They were delicious.

                                      2. Harry Langs - cocktail rye bread with a piece of american cheese and a slice of pepperoni, baked till it melts

                                        Cream cheese with hot jezebel sauce

                                        mini "krab-quiche" made from pilsbury crescent dough, with a filling of "krab" and grated swiss

                                        1 Reply