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New Year’s Eve Party Ideas
Ring in the New Year! Throw the ultimate black tie bash or an intimate dinner party with friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Mix up delicious champagne cocktails, hand out chic personalized party favors, and quiz your guests on trivia from the past year. Discover the perfect theme idea for your event and a scrumptious New Year’s Day brunch menu.
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New Year’s Eve Menu
Put together a menu for New Year’s Eve filled with delicious dishes that will satisfy your guests’ hunger as you count down until midnight. From traditional New Year’s Eve food to modern favorites, there is something for everybody! Here are some New Year’s Eve menu ideas to try at your celebration.
New Year’s Eve menus can vary depending on your family’s traditions and recipes that may have been passed down through the generations. Add your own personal twist on these classic building blocks for a no-fuss New Year party menu. Crowd-pleasing and delicious, each dish can become a signature go-to for you in the future.
Traditional New Year’s Menu
• Start with a first course that will stimulate appetites without over-stuffing before the main event. Set out bowls of nuts and a platter of fresh cut veggies serves with a light dip such as red pepper hummus or a creamy dressing.
• For your dinner course, try herb-roasted Cornish game hens prepared in the oven with garlic-rosemary mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus on the side. Your meal will be hearty, well-balanced, and full of great flavors.
• Don’t forget dessert! Chocolate is a universal favorite and you can easily prepare a single-layer cake and dust it with powdered sugar to skip the messy frosting process. Serve with coffee ice cream for a unique pairing.
New Year’s is a wonderful time to celebrate tried and true traditions, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf and be adventurous with your New Year’s Eve food. Give classic party food a makeover with original recipes that will surprise your guests.
Contemporary New Year’s Menu
• For a simple appetizer that you can prepare in many ways, go with crostini. Toast slices of baguette and add your preference of toppings. You can put together a Mediterranean version with chickpea spread, EVOO, and green olives, or channel Italian cuisine by using pesto sauce and halved cherry tomatoes.
• Prepare a festive main course starring blackened ahi tuna with mango salsa. Orzo with roasted shrimp makes a great complement and you can also offer a refreshing winter salad of arugula, fennel, and oranges.
• Finish off your meal with a dessert buffet of miniature fruit tarts, lemon bars, and sweet bread pudding!
When picking out your food for New Year’s Eve, always take into account the dietary restrictions of others. It’s a great idea to ask your guests whether there are any allergies or vegetarian/vegan practices that you should be aware of before you start your grocery shopping and cooking. You can also encourage others to help out with the feast by bringing their own favorite dish or contributing a personal recipe. Enjoy your holiday meal together and make sure to prepare the bubbly for a midnight toast!
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New Year's Champagne Cocktail Recipes
It is tradition to toast the New Year with a glass of champagne. No ball drop is complete without it! If you want a sweet twist on this old classic for this year's New Year’s festivities, try one of these delicious champagne cocktail recipes.
Here are seven heavenly champagne cocktail recipes to tickle your fancy:
A bellini is a nice alternative to your New Year’s bubbly, and makes a perfect drink for a New Year’s Day brunch. This classic mix of champagne and peach nectar is enjoying a revival among cocktail enthusiasts. Use the champagne cocktail recipe below to create your own delightful version of the bellini:
• 2 oz peach juice or peach puree
• 4 oz champagne or prosecco
Pour peach puree into a champagne glass and add champagne. You can also create a “Baby Bellini,” which is a non-alcoholic version of the drink. Simply substitute sparking cider for prosecco to make this yummy mock-tail.
Enjoy this unexpected take on New Year’s cocktails with champagne. Garnish with a slice of kiwi to give guests a hint of what’s inside.
• 3 oz champagne
• ½ oz kiwi liqueur
• 1 oz kiwi juice
Pour all ingredients into a champagne flute and serve.
Serve this twist on traditional Irish stout to your beer-drinking guests. This is great if you're having a casual party but still want to toast with champagne cocktails when the ball drops.
• 1 part stout beer
• 4 parts champagne
Fill your glass with your favorite stout beer and then float your champagne on top of the stout by holding a spoon turned upside down over the drink and pouring slowly over it. This will allow the liquid to run gently down the sides of the glass and the differing densities of the champagne and beer will cause them to remain largely in separate layers.
Sugar and lemon give this fizzy drink a lemon-drop flavor. A good combination of sweet and sour, this champagne cocktail will be sure to please your guests.
• 3 oz. chilled champagne
• 1 ½ oz. gin
• 1 oz. lemon juice
• 1 tsp. sugar.
Pour the gin, lemon juice, and sugar into a cocktail shaker that is half filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a champagne flute and add champagne. Serve chilled.
Try this bubbly adaptation on traditional sangria.
• ½ cup of orange juice
• 1 cup strawberries, blended
• Chopped fruit (apple, mango, orange, lime)
• 1 bottle of champagne
Prepare a large bowl or pitcher. Add in the orange juice, strawberries, and fruit. Mix together well. Allow to sit for at least a few hours (and preferably overnight), so the liquids absorb the flavors of the fruit. Add in the champagne just before serving, so that it doesn't go flat.
Perfect for holidays, these ruby red champagne drinks will punch up your party.
• ½ oz Cointreau or triple sec
• 3 oz cranberry juice
Pour the Cointreau and cranberry juice into champagne flutes. Top off with champagne.
Named after WWI French artillery guns, this drink packs as much power as its name implies.
• ½ oz lemon juice
• 1 oz gin
• ½ oz Cointreau
Pour the lemon juice, gin, and Cointreau into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake well. Strain into a champagne flute and add champagne.
Champagne & Strawberries
When in doubt, keep it simple and give guests the option to have their champagne as is or garnished with strawberries for a hint of flavor.
Need an occasion to try these fabulous champagne drink ideas? Host a New Year's party and start planning your menu around these beautiful and tasty drinks!
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New Year's Eve Cocktail Recipe
As you count down to midnight this December 31st, spice up your party with delicious New Year’s cocktails. Everyone is sure to enjoy the unique New Year’s Eve drinks served at your party. Here are a few alcoholic and non-alcoholic New Year’s drink recipes that are simple to put together and will delight all of your guests.
Mix up one of this delicious beverages for New Year’s:
•Berry Little Cocktail: This New Year’s cocktail combines fruity flavors for a refreshing beverage. To make, mix together 1 ounce chilled ruby red grapefruit vodka, 2 ounces chilled champagne, 1 ounce chilled cranberry juice, and 1 ounce chilled black currant juice or blackberry puree in a glass. Garnish with a skewer of garnished cranberries.
•Cognac Sparklers: These sophisticated New Year’s Eve cocktails find the perfect flavor balance between the sweet apple cider and the strong Cognac. To make two drinks, pour 1 tablespoon Cognac into each of two champagne flutes. Top each with ½ cup chilled sparkling apple cider (hard or soft) and finish off with a few dashes of bitters.
•Lemon Drop Champagne Punch: Whip up some celebratory punch with this fun recipe. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from 3 lemons in a long, continuous spiral. Juice your lemons, strain the pulp, and set aside. You should have around ¾ cup of juice. A helpful cook’s tip: lemons are easier to peel and juice when they are at room temperature rather than chilled. Next, heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has all dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the zest. Your syrup will now need to cool completely, which will take approximately 2 hours. Finally, in your favorite punch bowl pour 1 bottle of chilled champagne, ¾ cup chilled vodka, your lemon juice, and syrup, and stir to combine. Serves 6-8.
•Cranberry Sparkler: For all of your designated drivers or younger guests, this New Year’s Eve cocktail is non-alcoholic, but still festive. In a champagne flute, pour 1 ½ ounces blackberry puree and 2 ounces white cranberry juice. Fill to top with sparkling water and garnish with a mint leaf.
Open up the bar and make it a night to remember with your New Year cocktails. These tasty beverages will be the perfect complement to the celebration and good company shared that night.
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New Year's Eve Finger Foods
Whether you're having a big New Year's Eve party or just hanging out with one or two people, it's always a good idea to have an assortment of New Year's Eve finger foods and a New Year's snack or two for guests to nibble on. Build a New Year's snacks menu around a particular theme, or just pick a few favorites. Try some of these classic finger foods for New Year's that will be popular with all your guests!
Here are some New Year's recipes for you to try at your festivities:
• 2 dozen fresh mushrooms, no stems
• 1 cup chopped spinach, frozen
• 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 package cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup Parmesan, grated
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Clean mushrooms and dry.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except mushrooms and Parmesan.
3. Fill each mushroom with mixture and bake at 350 degrees on a large cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
4. Sprinkle each mushroom with Parmesan and bake again for 5 additional minutes.
Shrimp and Cheese Crostini
• 8 ounces herbed cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp. garlic paste
• 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
• 2 tbsp. melted butter
• 2 dozen fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 2 dozen crostinis
• fresh parsley
1. Combine all ingredients except butter, shrimp, and crostinis in a bowl.
2. Saute shrimp and a dash of garlic paste in butter over medium heat until pink.
3. Top each crostini with a dollop of cream cheese and a shrimp. Garnish with parsley.
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups white flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
1.Combine cheeses and butter in a mixing bowl.
2.Gradually add in flour and salt.
3.Form the mixture into 7 balls of dough. Roll the balls into long strings and cut into 4 straws each.
4.Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until browned on top.
5.Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Spicy Jalapeno Poppers
• 10 long green jalapenos, cut in half and de-seeded
• 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
• 4 spicy pork sausages
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs mixed with Mexican seasoning
1.Lay each pepper on a baking sheet and fill with cheese.
2.Cut sausages into tiny pieces and fry over medium heat for 10 minutes.
3.Scoop several pieces of sausage into each pepper.
4.Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
• 1 1/2 cups cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and oregano
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1. Combine cream cheese and herbs, and spread in the bottom of a glass bowl.
2. Sprinkle the other cheeses over the top and then spread marinara sauce over the entire dish.
3. Microwave for 4 minutes, until bubbling.
4. Serve with French bread, slices of pepperoni, or other cured meats and olives.
Serve these New Year's Eve appetizer ideas at your party along with an assortment of cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and leftover holiday cookies. New Year's finger food will give guests something to fill their bellies as they load up on wine and spirits and prepare for the coming year with friends and family. Bon appetit!
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Desserts for New Year’s Eve
Create the perfect end to a celebratory evening with desserts for New Year’s Eve. Make spectacular New Year’s desserts that look good and taste great! Create your list of desserts based on the preferences of your guests. Be sure to check for food allergies!
Try these fantastic New Year’s Eve dessert ideas:
White Chocolate Brownie Bars
Serve this decadent treat on a dessert plate in bite-sized pieces with red raspberry drizzle. Garnish with a mint leaf.
•3 bars white chocolate
•1/4 cup butter, softened
•1/2 cup sugar
•1/8 tsp. salt
•1 tsp. vanilla
•1 1/2 cup flour
•1/4 tsp. baking powder
1. Melt butter and 1 1/2 bar of chocolate over low heat. Stir until creamy.
2. Combine sugar, salt and eggs in a bowl and beat for 4 minutes.
3. Add butter/chocolate mixture and extracts.
4. Combine flour and baking powder and gradually add to other mixture.
5. Add pieces of other candy bar and stir.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cheesecake Countdown Cake
Bake your favorite cheesecake and decorate with the numbers one through twelve written on top. Your cake will resemble a clock approaching midnight!
• 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 4 large eggs
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until creamy.
2. Beat in butter, eggs, vanilla and pour into premade crust in a springform pan.
3. Place in large roasting dish and fill with water, halfway up springform pan.
4. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350 degrees.
5. Place cheesecake (in pan) in refridgerator and chill overnight.
Strawberry Champagne Cake
Make a New Year’s cake with classic flavors for a delicious dessert. Try this fantastic recipe, below.
• 2 white cake mixes
• Red food coloring
• 16 ounces of vanilla frosting
• Fresh strawberries
1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Gather two 8x1½ inch round cake pans, and grease and flour them.
2. Follow the instructions for the cake mix according to package directions, but use champagne instead of water. Mix well.
3. Spread batter into the greased, floured pans.
4. Bake the cakes for 35 minutes (or as instructed), and then let them cool completely.
5. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the vanilla frosting to create a light pink color. Put one cake, bottom side up, on a plate. Spread a quarter of pink frosting on top. Place the second cake on top, top side up. Use the remainder of the pink frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
6. Use the strawberries to make a decorative circle around the top rim of the cake, and complete the New Year dessert.
Chocolate Truffle Balls
For a hassle-free dessert idea, purchase an assortment of decadent truffles from your local chocolate shop. Place the chocolate truffle balls in a martini glass with speckles of colored sugar around the rim. The bite-size morsels will be perfect for a whimsical toast to the New Year!
Enjoy these creative and yummy New Year’s Eve desserts and don’t be afraid to try out some creative and scrumptious New Year’s dessert recipes. Impress your guests with your New Year desserts and make their mouths water!
New Years Cake Pops Recipe
Cake pops for New Year's are all the rage, so make these festive snowman, reindeer and winter cake pops for your New Year's celebration! Delicious and super-festive, this cake pops recipe - with an array of decorating variations - is simple enough for even the most inexperienced baker. Set them out for a party, wrap each individually in cellophane as gifts, or enjoy them yourself! Any way you do it, they're a special dessert that's perfect for this time of year. The best part about a cake pop recipe is that you can be as creative as you wish. Try substituting a different, favorite type of cake for the pop or decorate for a particular theme or special occassion. Try these New Year's cake pops recipes and blow the socks off all your friends and family once the yummy New Year's cake pop tray is passed around!
Recipe for cake pops that look like snowman:
• 1 box of vanilla cake mix (or another favorite flavor)
• 1 can of vanilla frosting
• White candy melts (found at most craft stores)
• Wax paper
• Lollipop sticks
• Piece of styrofoam
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New Year's Day Brunch
Feeling the pressure to make big plans for New Year’s Eve? It’s okay to stay in and do something low-key like dinner and a movie, or watching the countdown on TV. Save your energy for a New Year’s Day brunch on January 1st! Turn a day of football and parades into a fun-filled New Year’s brunch with family and friends. This is a great time to get together for some good conversation with great company. Check out these fabulous New Year’s brunch ideas!
Send out invitations to your guests to let them know about the festivities. Create your event on Punchbowl to access a wonderful selection of free New Year’s invitation designs. Since many people will likely stay up until midnight the day before, they may want to get a little extra sleep in that morning. Your New Year’s day party will be the perfect way to kick off the year with a delicious meal and fun gathering. Cook up some of these delicious New Year’s dishes:
Brunch Buffet: One option for a New Year’s Day menu is to serve a traditional brunch with bagels, omelets, hash browns, bacon or sausage, and fresh fruit. Try this decadent recipe for mushroom omelets, which serves six!
Mushroom Omelet Recipe
• 1 ½ pounds mushrooms (a flavorful variety are Champignons de Paris)
• 3 tbsp salted butter
• 12 eggs
• 2 tbsp crème fraiche
• chives, finely chopped
• ½ tbsp crushed white peppercorns
Slice the mushrooms into large pieces. Cook in 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat to soften. Combine all the eggs and beat at least 10 minutes until thickened. Stir in the crème fraiche, chives, salt, and crushed peppercorns. Melt the other tablespoon of butter in a fresh pan over low heat. Add the egg mixture and cook 2 minutes. When the edges begin to look done, but the omelet is still soft in the middle, add the sliced mushrooms. Continue to heat until the eggs are cooked through.
Sweet Treats: Whip up fresh pancakes or waffles with everyone’s favorite toppings or show off your baking skills with hot out-of-the-oven muffins and scones. Donuts with powdered sugar are a sweet treat that also represent good luck since their round shape symbolizes “coming full circle.” Here is a fabulous basic scone recipe that makes a great foundation for any add-ins you’d like to try.
Traditional Tea Scone Recipe
• 2 cups flour
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup margarine, chilled
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup of add-ins
• Fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, or chopped strawberries)
• Chunks of white chocolate
• Small pieces of toffee
• Dark chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients, then use a pastry cutter to cut in the margarine until you have a crumbly mixture. Mix the rest of the ingredients in another bowl and then combine with the dry ingredients. Mix lightly, and pour in any add-ins. Use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 425F, until the tops just begin to turn golden.
Delicious Drinks: Vanilla hot chocolate and cafe au lait can be the perfect antidote for a chilly morning. Don’t forget to top off your New Year’s Day brunch menu with some yummy cocktails made with extra bottles of champagne saved from the night before. Mimosas or Bloody Marys are classic brunch drinks everyone will love.
• 1 bottle of champagne, chilled
• 1 carton of orange juice
Fill half a champagne glass with champagne, and top it off with the orange juice. Squeeze your own fresh OJ for some added flair. You can also add a splash of Grand Marnier, or decorate the glass with a slice of fruit.
Inaugurate this fresh beginning with a special New Year’s Day meal and let your festive celebration shared with families and friends be a sign of all the happiness to come in the year ahead.
Directions for baking:
1. Bake the cake as directed on the box in a 13 x 9 inch pan
2. When the cake has completely cooled, break it apart into small pieces in a large bowl.
3. Mix the cake with frosting. Combine thoroughly.
4. Make quarter-size balls out of the mixture and place on wax paper on top of a cookie sheet.
5. Follow the directions for melting the chocolate from the package.
6. Dip each lollipop stick in melted candy coating and insert into each cake ball.
7. Place in freezer to firm (about 15 minutes).
8. Carefully insert each cake ball into the melted candy and rotate to cover completely, and tap gently to release extra chocolate.
9. Place stick first in styrofoam to dry.
• White candy melts
• Black confetti sprinkles
• Orange sunflower seeds
• Black edible ink pen
• Regular and miniature Oreos
Directions for decorating:
1. Separate all the oreos and take out the creme center.
2. Melt more candy melts and attach three mini Oreos to a large Oreo and set aside. These will be the snowman hats.
3. Attach a sunflower seed and two sprinkles to the cake pops for the face.
4. Attach the hat to the top of the pop with melted candy.
5. Draw a mouth on the face with the pen.
6. Place in the styrofoam block to dry.
Recipe for cake pops that look like reindeer:
Directions for baking:
• 1 box of chocolate cake mix
• 1 can of chocolate frosting
• Brown candy melts (found at most craft stores)
• Wax paper
• Lollipop sticks
• Piece of styrofoam
Bake and coat according to directions listed above.
• Brown candy melts
• Brown M&M's
• Bag of waffle pretzels
• Black edible ink pen
• White candy confetti dots
Directions for decorating:
1. Break waffle pretzels in half and put aside.
2. Melt more candy melts and attach a brown M&M to the center of each cake pop with a dab of melted candy.
3. Attach two white candy confetti pieces for eyes, and draw a black center for the pupil.
4. Puncture two small holes on top of each cake pop, drip a bit of melted candy and place pretzel waffle pieces inside for antlers.
5. Draw a mouth on the face with the pen.
6. Place in the styrofoam block to dry.
Recipe for festive winter cake pops:
Directions for baking:
• 1 box of vanilla cake mix
• 1 can of vanilla frosting
• Red candy melts (found at most craft stores)
• Wax paper
• Peppermint candy sticks
• Piece of styrofoam
• Crumbled peppermint sticks
• Red edible sprinkles
• Mini red cupcake cups
Directions for baking and decorating:
1. Bake and coat according to directions listed above, except use candy sticks instead of lollipop sticks.
2. Before the candy melt covering dries, roll each cake pop in crumbled peppermint sticks and sprinkles.
3. Place each cake pop upside down in a mini cupcake cup and display on a tray.
If you think you don't know how to make cake pops, think again! Surprise everyone, including yourself, with these adorable snowmen, reindeer and winter cake pops and enjoy eating them on New Year's as much as you did making them.
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Cocktail Party Food
New Year's Eve
Need some new and unique cocktail party food recipes for your next soirée? Serving delicious dishes is the perfect way to tantalize your guests’ eyes and stomachs, regardless of the theme. Pick recipes that are easy to prepare in advance so you can focus on creating elegant presentations on the day of the party. Another tip for creating a successful party menu is to make all of the dishes bite sized so your guests can easily eat them while mingling and standing. Here are five fabulous recipes to include on your cocktail party menu:
Easy Shrimp Cocktail
• 24 jumbo or 1 lb. of uncooked frozen or fresh shrimp
• 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. chili powder
• 1 tsp. granulated garlic
• 1 lemon
• Store-bought cocktail sauce
• Horseradish (optional)
If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before preparing and then rinse them under cool water. If you are using fresh, just rinse them under cool water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the seasonings and then add shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until pink. Drain the shrimp but DO NOT RINSE. Let the shrimp cool to room temperature before refrigerating. For the cocktail sauce, if you want an extra kick add a tablespoon of horseradish and mix. A serving suggestion is to place the shrimp on a platter with a martini glass in the center filled with the cocktail sauce for dipping.
Homemade Hummus Dip
• 1 can garbanzo beans
• 2-3 tbsp. tahini (sesame paste)
• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• Water as needed
• Pita bread or store bought pita chips
In a food processor, puree all of your ingredients except the water. Slowly incorporate the water, as needed, until the hummus reaches a desired creamy thick consistency. Pour in a serving dish. Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and serve with toasted pita bread or store bought pita chips.
Bacon Wrapped Scallops
• 1 lb. sea scallops
• 1 lb. sliced bacon
• Lemon pepper seasoning
• Salt to taste
• 1/4 cup butter
Rinse and pat the scallops dry and remove the mussel. Wrap each scallop with a piece of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Season each side with the lemon pepper seasoning and salt. Cook on a medium to medium-high heat grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and serve.
Gourmet Beef Sliders
• 3 medium onions
• 1 cup olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
• 2 pounds ground beef (10% fat or 20% fat)
• 1/2 t. salt
• Freshly ground pepper
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• ¼ fresh tarragon, minced
• Olive Oil
• Small slider buns
Combine the ground beef, pepper, salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and dried onion flakes in a bowl. Make mini beef patties with your hands, about the size of a palm. Cook the patties on a grill pan or grill at medium to medium-high heat for 8 minutes (4 minutes each side) or until cooked to your desired temperature. Remove patties and set aside for assembly later.
Preheat a medium sized sauté pan to medium-high heat. Chop each onion. Coat pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and add onions. Cook the onions until tender.
Spice up the mayonnaise by adding the fresh tarragon and a tablespoon of fresh pepper, and mix. Spoon your tarragon mayonnaise on each bun, then top with a beef patty and caramelized onions. To keep the mini burgers together use toothpicks and serve.
Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes:
• 1 package yellow cake mix
• 2 tbsp. cocoa
• 5 large eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 bottles red food coloring
• Store-bought cream cheese frosting
Mix the cake mix, cocoa, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and red food coloring in a large mixing bowl. Spoon the batter into paper lined mini cupcake trays. Spoon about 2/3 full to make them all bake evenly. Bake according to the box cake directions. Let the cupcakes cool for about 15 minutes before frosting. To make them look elegant, pipe the frosting using a plastic storage bag with the corner cut off. Top the cupcakes with red sugar or sprinkles for an additional topping.
Don't forget to find new and interesting ways to display your delicious creations! Small, individual portions are always a good idea.
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DIY New Year’s Hats
Prepare to celebrate the upcoming year in style with DIY New Year’s hats. Create a whole ensemble and coordinate your New Year’s Eve hat with your clothing. Plan the Happy New Year hats around the clothes, or the clothes around the hat!
Here are a few ideas for fun, do-it-yourself New Year’s hats:
•Classy: Make your own New Year’s Eve hat with a touch of class. Use a simple hat such as a top hat in the color black. Brush glue onto the hat, sprinkle it with black glitter and cover the entire hat in sparkles. Purchase thick white satin ribbon and glue it to both the top rim and bottom rim of the hat. Keep the decorative lines clean, and don’t go overboard. Remember, sometimes less is more!
•Fun: Gather the kids together to make hats for New Year’s Eve crafts. Show the kids examples of pre-made hats, but encourage them to use their own creative ideas. Supply the kids with hats and fun decorations. Give the option of top hats or cone hats. Provide glue, feathers, gems, sequins, puffy paint, and stickers. Let the kids go wild! Print out “Happy New Year” text on a piece of card stock paper small enough to fit on the front of the hat. Cut out the text with jagged edges, and offer the kids the option to glue it to the fronts of their hats.
•Tiara: Satisfy a diva’s desire with New Year’s tiaras. Purchase plain New Year’s tiaras from your local party store and add girly decorations such as pink feathers and stick-on diamonds for extra sparkle.
•Traditional: Stick with traditional New Year’s party hats to ring in the New Year. Decorate a black, white, or colored New Year’s Eve top hat with a simple, “Happy New Year,” written on the front. Write out the text first with permanent marker and then write over it with sparkly puffy paint for one option. For another idea, print out “Happy New Year” on card stock. Run a piece of ribbon from one side of the card stock, around the back of the hat, and attach it to the other side of the card stock. Add silver fringe to the bottom of the hat for extra décor.
Throw a New Year’s party and encourage guests to either decorate New Year’s Eve hats at the party or bring decorated hats made at home. Have a contest and award prizes for the best classy, fun, and traditional New Year hats.
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New Year's Theme Party Ideas
If you want to have a party this December 31st, consider having a New Year’s theme party with friends and family. There are so many fun and unique New Year’s party themes that you can use to make any party, big or small, a great time.
To get you started with your planning, here are some New Year’s theme party ideas:
•Game Night: This is a great example of how to adapt New Year’s Eve party themes to fit your get together. Keep things casual by inviting guests to come dressed in comfy clothes and to bring their favorite board games. Depending on how many people attend, you can divide up the party and set up teams for games such as Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit. Other games like Apples to Apples work for groups of any size. If you want to throw a formal event, however, take your game night theme up a notch with a fancy casino party. Ask guests to dress up a bit and play poker, blackjack, or other card games.
•Movie Night: If you need options for New Year’s theme parties for both kids and adults, this is a wonderful choice. Depending on how much space you have, you can set up one marathon of movies for the adults and another for the kids. Make sure to have lots of pillows, blankets, and movie snacks like popcorn or candy on hand for the viewing. If you’re kicking off the party early, get a movie and its sequel or even a trilogy to last you until midnight. Switch to live TV just in time to see the ball drop!
•Glow In The Dark Party: Buy black lights from your local party supplies store and set them up around the house. You will also want to purchase glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces, or even eyeglasses to hand out to guests. As you decorate, consider using fiber optic lights to add a bit of color to your party. Did you know that tonic water also glows under black lights? Try making ice cubes or jello molds with tonic water for a glowing food and drink display. The electrifying mood created by the black light effect is perfect for a party on a night filled with anticipation.
•Karaoke Night: Let your inner Madonna shine through! Rent a karaoke machine for the night of the party and find familiar and favorite tunes to play. You can let guests know ahead of time that there will be singing (so they can practice!) and even encourage them to dress up as their favorite performer. A fun touch is to give out awards to your guests brave enough to stand up and belt it out. Make your awards funny and creative such as “Best Dance Moves” or “Most Likely to Be Discovered.”
•Indulgence Party: Celebrate one last hurrah! Create “vice stations” at your party with all of the indulgences most people plan on giving up for their New Year’s Resolution. For example, have a decadent dessert buffet with everyone’s favorite treats or set up a video-gaming lounge for those who want to try to unplug more in the upcoming year. Enjoy these guilty pleasures together before agreeing to stick to your resolutions together!
The countdown until midnight will pass in a flash at your New Year’s Eve theme party. You may be having so much fun that you won’t want to the night to end! Remember, you can incorporate your New Year’s Eve Party theme into all aspects of your party, from the online invitations to the decorations to the favors.
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New Year’s Eve Favors
When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll want to be able to celebrate with festive New Year’s Eve party favors that capture the spirit and pizazz of the evening. Don’t worry about breaking the bank over the expenses either. New Year’s favors can be simple and inexpensive, but still add a big bang to your occasion. Plus, if you’re ever going to try your hand at making party favors New Year’s is the perfect time!
Check out these fabulous New Year party favor ideas:
•Goody Bags: Some of the best New Year’s Eve favors are ones that will help your guests celebrate. Encourage a big ruckus when the ball drops by providing everyone with their own personal noisemaker and stash of confetti. Fill a small, clear cellophane bag three-quarters of the way full with confetti. Fold the top of the bag over the stem of a noisemaker and seal with a bright sticker.
•Party Hats: Extend the celebration to your outfits with these New Year’s favors. Make your party hats as silly or sophisticated as you’d like. You’ll need construction paper, glue, ribbon, and a pair of scissors. For each hat, trace the outline of a 10-inch plate onto your paper and cut out the circles. Overlap the shapes over one another about one-third the diameter and glue together so that they create the point of a cone at one end. Curl ribbons for a tassel and affix to the top. You can also use ribbon to make sturdy chin ties so that your party hats will stay in place until the fun is over.
•Friend Confetti: Your guests will go dotty when they see their own smiling faces decorating these New Year party favors. Print out digital photos of family and friends onto matte photo paper and then use ½-inch to 1-inch circle punches to cut out faces. Add some circles of brightly colored paper and vellum as well and package in envelopes for each of your guests. Hand out your favors at midnight for a celebratory toss of confetti as the new year arrives.
•Good-Luck Gifts: New Year’s party favors take on a sweet and serendipitous note with these lucky charms. Did you know that in Italy lentils are thought to bring prosperity because they resemble little coins? Down in the South they also believe that eating black beans shows humility and thus brings good fortune. For your guests, package dried black-eyed peas or lentils in a jar with some savory dried herbs such as bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Attach a gift card with a favorite recipe and handwritten cooking instructions.
Inaugurate the New Year in style with these fun and easy party favor ideas. They will add that special little boost to the holiday and ensure that everyone enjoys a new beginning with high spirits and good company.
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How to Plan a New Year's Trivia Party
A great idea for your New Year’s celebration this year is to host a trivia party. Trivia parties make a fabulous New Year party theme because they invite everybody to test their knowledge of the past year’s events and enjoy a little friendly competition.
Here are a few fabulous New Year trivia party ideas for you to try:
• To prep for your party and ensure that everybody will get involved, set up New Year’s Eve trivia questions that fall into several different categories such as news, sports, entertainment, politics, “personal” or guest-related, and a general grab bag. You can create a Jeopardy-style clue board or simply write your New Year trivia questions on index cards.
• Split your party guests into teams of four or five and give each an answer sheet. In the first round, ask one question from each category and give the teams a few minutes to deliberate between questions. Then have teams bring the game host their answers and tally up how many correct answers each has, giving a score update to your guests.
• Round two of your New Year’s trivia game should have questions from the same categories that are slightly more challenging to answer. It’s time to really get those minds working! Continue to keep score and increase the difficulty of your questions for as many rounds as you’d like.
• Finish off your trivia party games with a final lightning or bonus round. This is the time to really kick things up a notch and make it anybody’s game. Pull from your bank of little-known details about party guests and have teams try and match the fact to the person. Mix up the style of answering questions as well by having some clues that need to be drawn or acted out for other teammates to guess. At the end of the game, determine the final scores and award the winning team a prize! Have smaller favors for everyone else. After all it’s just for fun!
Your trivia party ideas are sure to be a hit with all of your guests. Play after dinner or serve small finger foods so you can snack as you battle your brains for the ultimate title of New Year’s Eve trivia champion!
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New Year’s Decoration Ideas
To celebrate a new beginning, get inspired by these New Year’s decoration ideas that are sure to capture the joy of the holiday. Festive New Year’s Eve decorations can set the right atmosphere as you pop a bottle of champagne, make a toast, and count down to midnight. Everyone will be in good spirits and in good company at a celebration crafted with the following New Year’s decorating ideas.
Here are four fabulous ideas for New Year’s decorations:
•Shimmering Streamers: Instead of tossing leftover scraps of holiday wrap, recycle them into glamorous New Year’s party decorations. Cut metallic or pretty patterned paper into graduated circles ranging from 2 to 6 inches in diameter, and arrange them by size with the largest at the top and smallest at the bottom. To begin assembling your chains, you’ll need to punch two holes on either side of each circle, except for the smallest one which only needs one hole punched. Connect the links using ribbon or jump rings, and attach a longer string to the top so you can hang your streamers. As they descend from above, they will look just like the ball dropping in Times Square!
•Bubble Wrap Runner: Save all of your packaging supplies and turn them into a fun and colorful floor runner for your home. Color the flat side of a strip of bubble wrap with permanent marker and securely tape the runner along a walkway. At midnight, you will have an appropriately loud way to celebrate the New Year!
•Party Banner: For this project you will need colored construction paper, markers, glue, scissors, and string. First, pick a message that you want to display. This can be as simple as “Happy New Year,” or “Cheers,” or simply the date of the new year you will be ushering in at midnight. Cut your paper into triangles and write one letter or character onto each. For a whimsical touch, alternate the color of your paper as you go. Affix these flags to your string by folding the top of the triangles over and gluing the flap down to the back of the banner.
•Floral Pom-Poms: These floating decorations for New Year’s will impart a cheerful radiance during your party. Start by stacking eight sheets of tissue paper and making 1 ½ inch accordion folds along the length. Using either floral wire or a twist tie, slip it over the center of your folded tissue and secure. Next, trim the ends of the tissue into either a rounded or pointed shape. To reveal the final product, carefully separate the layers by pulling them away from the center one at a time and attach a ribbon or monofilament to the center so you can hang your decorations. Voila! You now have a beautiful way to add charm to your party. Create a few poms-poms that match the color scheme of your event.
Pick a theme for your New Year’s decorations that will set the tone for the whole night. White and silver balloons can add instant drama to a room while brightly colored lights create a cool vibe. No matter where you find your inspiration, your decorations can help you create a wonderful celebration and ring in the New Year in style.
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New Year's Slumber Party Ideas for Kids
Ring in the New Year and make it an extra special event for tweens with a New Year’s party for kids. Plan New Year’s activities for kids that include age appropriate details. Plan the guest list, the menu and activities.
Celebrate in style with these New Year’s ideas for kids, and create a cheerful and wonderful experience:
• Make a guest list for the New Year’s Eve party for kids but keep the number of attendees to a minimum, even with a large space. Invite between 10-15 children, maximum. Avoid overwhelming the kids and throwing a party that becomes out of control and a mess to clean up.
• Provide a “kid friendly” dinner during the kids New Year’s Eve party, such as pizza and salad. Popular pizza toppings include plain cheese and pepperoni. Offer salad dressings such as Italian and Ranch.
• Offer snacks throughout the evening such as carrots with ranch dip, pretzels, tortilla chips, and M&Ms in a bowl for a special treat. Bake cookies as a fun activity or have everyone decorate their own New Year's cupcake to eat at midnight!
• Arrange the kids New Year’s party sleepover so the kids can stay up late to watch the ball drop in their pajamas.
• Plan a “dance party” using your kids’ favorite CDs and fun lighting. Buy glow necklaces and glow sticks for a festive atmosphere.
• Purchase hats and tiaras, and provide glitter glue, feathers, and faux gemstones so kids can decorate them for an activity. Plan the activity for early in the evening to allow the hats and tiaras to dry by midnight.
• Purchase noisemakers and kazoos for a noisy midnight celebration!
• Have mini bagels, cream cheese, eggs, and orange juice ready for some hungry kids on New Year’s morning.
Measure the success level of the New Year’s for kids by the smiles on their faces. End the party knowing your hard work and effort was appreciated, and the party was a hit!
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New Year’s Eve for Families
Ring in the New Year with your closest loved ones and plan a New Year’s Eve for families. Take everyone’s likes and dislikes into consideration and also plan age appropriate activities. Consider ideas such as a party at home, a party at a venue, going out to dinner and a fireworks show, enjoying a town event, or venturing to a vacation destination.
Take advantage of these fabulous New Year’s Eve ideas for families:
•Party at Home: Enjoy New Year’s Eve from the comfort of your own home. Invite your loved ones over to help celebrate with a family New Year’s Eve party. Decorate the house with Happy New Year signs and banners, and put confetti on the dining room table. Order Chinese food or Italian takeout from a local restaurant and eat it on Happy New Year plates. After dinner, prepare a special New Year arts and crafts project for the kids such as decorating New Year’s hats. Keep the adults busy by scratching scratch tickets. Take up the remaining time before midnight with a family movie or watch a New Year’s celebration on TV. Pass out noisemakers before the ball drops and ring in the New Year.
•Venue: Throw a family New Year’s Eve party at a local restaurant or venue. Hire a professional lighting crew, a local DJ or band, photographer, decorator, and party planner to help prepare for the event. Set up tables for the adults and separate tables for the kids. Have the photographer reserve a small section of the room for picture taking. Encourage the adults and kids to pose with a New Year’s Eve theme set-up, and have the photographer snap family photos. Have the DJ or band announce a special countdown for midnight and have the party planner arrange for balloons and confetti to fall from the ceiling. At the end of the evening, pass out favors such as cellophane bags filled with candy.
•Out to Dinner: Take the family out for a special New Year’s dinner at a local restaurant. Make reservations in advance to avoid New Year’s crowds. Check for fireworks displays near your city or town, and plan your dinner reservation around the fireworks show. To prepare for the show, bring chairs or a blanket and warm clothing for chilly weather. Make it an extra special evening and hire a car service or local limo company to drive your group to the family New Year’s Eve events.
•Town Event: Check with your town or a nearby city to ask about events planned for New Year’s Eve. Ask for specific details about the events to ensure they are family friendly. Depending on the climate of your hometown, enjoy ice sculptures, ice skating, and maybe even a live performance. Buy tickets in advance, if possible, to reserve a spot. Invite other friends and families to attend as well.
•Trip: Plan a family trip to visit out-of-town friends, family, or a get-a-way destination. Consider ideas such as a tropical island, a theme park for the kids, or a cruise. Pack New Year’s props such as noisemakers in your bag to enjoy the celebration away from home.
Plan New Year’s Eve family events based on your particular family situation. Mix some of these ideas together. Pull one idea, such as throwing a party at a venue, and then hire a bus to bring all of the guests to see a fireworks show. The possibilities are endless!
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Send free New Year’s ecards to family and friends in order to:
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• Provide updated pictures of the kids to relatives.
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• Share information about family hobbies.
• Stay in touch with distant out-of-state relatives.
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Personalize the happy New Year ecards to fit your personality and the personality of the recipient. Select free New Year ecards with beautiful designs and add your own personalized message for a perfect New Year’s wish.