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Dec 29, 2011 11:31 AM

Need help with NYE appetizers

I'm hosting a very small group of people (maybe 5-7) at my house to ring in the New Year. We are beginning late (around 10pm) and everyone will have eaten dinner prior. It's mostly just snacks to nibble on while drinking champagne/cocktails, etc as we ring in the new year together.

I ALWAYS overdo it when it comes to food at social gatherings. I spend way too much time making too many things and end up working way too hard and having too much food.

How many appetizers do you think I should make? Does 3-4 sound about right? Also, any ideas for any favorites? I love to try new recipes and don't really have any current 'go to' selections that are a must.

Ideally, these would be made ahead and then either pop them in the oven and serve or prepare and serve cold. I'll have most of the day to prep.


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  1. I'm tackling the same issue right now. I like to go with classics on NYE: thinking shrimp cocktail, cheese & crackers, olives, something veggie, etc. I think 3-4 apps sounds good.

    Since it's after dinner and with cocktails, I'd go for at least one sweet item and make the rest things that are good for soaking up the booze.

    1. I agree with classics and think that 3-4 sounds fine. Maybe one could be a bowl of spiced nuts (like Union Square Cafe ones) and the others would be more substantial. I plan on making a smoked salmon mousse (smoked salmon mixed with goat cheese). And maybe some gougeres. I like something elegant for NYE.

      1. Assorted dips and crudites are always popular. Fruit is always good, too...especially if you have a chocolate fountain or fondue set where people can dip in chocolate.
        I always make way more, too...but think of it this's more stuff for you to snack on the morning and day after :)
        How about a crostini bar? Crostini can be prepped ahead of time, and you can lay out a spread of toppings (i.e. meats, cheeses, spreads, roasted/cooked veg, etc.) for people to make their own.
        Meatballs in some sort of sauce (marinara or sweet and sour) are always a nice touch.
        Gazpacho is nice and refreshing, but only if you can get really great can make shooters out of them.
        One of our favorites is a mini cheeseburger in puff pastry. Par-cook small (slider size or smaller) patties of protein, allow them to cool slightly, wrap in a sqaure of puff pastry with cheese if your choice with a little mustard, and bake until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with additional mustard, ketchup, and BBQ sauce on the side.
        I've been on a banana pudding kick, so you could make a banana pudding as a sweet treat.
        Sounds like a great party...enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: attran99

          I'm lovin the crostini bar and mini cheeseburgers ideas!

          1. re: attran99

            i was going to suggest fruit as well. as i suggested in another thread, perhaps some grilled/broiled fruit slices (plums, peaches, whatever's good near you) topped with a little amaretto ricotta whip.
            or melon wrapped in prosciutto.

            having had dinner already, and being late, people will be with drink in hand, and likely not as interested in food, but my thoughts...

            stuffed endive leaves

            toasted ravioli or tortellini

            frozen grapes

            chocolate dipped section - chocolate dipped espresso beans, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate dipped pretzels and/or potato chips, etc.

            brownie bites
            cheesecake truffles

            happy NY!

          2. I keep mentioning these, but everyone loves them and they're ridiculously simple. On salt & pepper kettle chips, put smoked salmon and a bit of lemon zest creme fraiche. I usually add some chopped chives. The flavors and crunch are very nice....especially with champagne. And, as I said, just so simple. But friends now ask for them.....