Everyone knows in order for a party to be a Party you need to have tasty things for people to nosh on. And, everyone who’s ever hosted a party knows that the temptation to order pizza is high, because sometimes food prep–especially when time during the holidays is at a premium–can be a nightmare.
It doesn’t have to be. I’ve hosted several holiday gatherings and, although I do like to cook, I know anyone can pull off a spread better than pizza and chips and dip. Now if only I could figure out a painless way to deal with all the dishes! (My tiny galley kitchen has no space for a dishwasher. Pity me and my first world problems.)
Here are some ideas to get you started with your menu planning:
- Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates – Cheese and bacon balanced with the sweetness of dates. Looks like about 10-15 minutes of prep and you can do that the day ahead of the party. When your guests arrive, all you need to do is pop these beauties in the oven!
- Zucchini Bruschetta – Low carb and low fat, but high in flavor! This is the perfect appetizer for those starting their “eat healthy” resolution a little early. (Though I think those who haven’t will love this, too!)
- Goat Cheese with Parsley and Lemon – I love cheese. If you make this for your party and I’m invited, keep me away from this thing. I would feel bad if no one else got to enjoy it.
- Cereal Mix with Olive Oil and Parmesan – Four ingredients and 15 minutes is all it takes to create this salty, crunchy alternative to a boring old bag of chips.
- Of course, there is nothing wrong with chips and a cheesy dip. I always see it set up in a slow cooker and it’s always gone by the end of the evening. This version of Chile Con Queso looks like it might be a tasty treat to indulge in before “reformed eating” takes effect on January 1.
- Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites – These little gems are vegan-friendly, but no one will ever know. A friend gave me some for Christmas and it took a huge amount of willpower not to eat them all in one sitting!
- Coconut Caramel Dip – Another vegan-friendly option that is almost healthy. Dipping fruit in this stuff negates the sugar, right? (Warning: This recipe comes from Thug Kitchen. The language used may not be appreciated by some readers.)
- Peanut Butter Brownies – A little less healthy but we can start our reformed eating tomorrow, right?
- Ina’s Salted Caramel Nuts – These are a little salty and a little sweet… like me!
- Still got canned pumpkin left from your holiday baking? This Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust looks yummy.
- Vanilla, Pear and Vodka cocktail – If the drink contains pear nectar and slices of pear, it counts as a fruit serving, right?
- The Stone Fence – Apple cider, maple syrup, ginger and bourbon? This drink might make me a winter drinker.
- Party like it’s 1899: Victorian Gin Punch
- This drink will get you ready for your midnight pucker up: The Cranberry Kiss
- Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail – The perfect sweet/tart drink to have around with the clock strikes midnight!
Know someone who’s preparing for a New Year’s Eve party and is looking for easy, tasty food and drink ideas? Why not help them out by sharing these recipes with them? Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).