Cakes, dumplings, bruschetta, and of course, champagne are the most popular party foods for a New Year's Eve party.
There are parties to attend, and then, there are parties to host. The one we host or attend on December 31st to ring in the New Year is yet another party - the King of all Parties. When hosting a party, there are many areas, which need thorough planning. Other than the venue, the most important part about planning the party is the food to be served. The menu will have to be decided accordingly on the age group and number of guests.
Menu Ideas for New Year's Eve Party
As any host will tell you, a good party is not only about food and dancing. The preparation should start well in advance if one is to avoid last-minute crunches and party-fright (as in stage fright). Stacking up on foods that can be cooked earlier, baked in advance or chopped, frozen, or packed ready to serve, should be the first step. Then the day of the party is left relatively free for enjoyment. Here is a list of food items from which you can choose for the celebration. When planning the menu, make sure you have some traditional and some modern food items. With this there you will have a wide range of dishes to choose from and everyone will have his choice. Also make sure that the menu is balanced well, and you are not stressed out cooking all the items.
- Dips to be served with meat or bread
- Garlic bread
- Garlic cheese balls
- Cranberry chicken topper
- Bacon draped dates
- Peppered tuna with mayonnaise
- Bacon bread toast
- Buffalo wings
- Pasta salads
- Sautéed prawns
- Crisp filo triangles
- Spring rolls
- Mini pizza
- Blini with smoked tidbits
- Mini frittatas
- Deviled eggs
- Creamed corn
- Roast turkey
- Roasted vegetables
- Roast chicken
- Chicken grilled in Teriyaki sauce
- Mushrooms and Cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed vegetables
- Au Gratin
- Mini sandwiches
- Baked chicken
- Lemon and mustard chicken
- Stir fry
- Meat Loaf
- Chocolate fondue
- Sheet cakes
- Orange Pineapple Bavarian Trifle
- Marshmallows and chocolate
- Assorted fruits platter
- Flavored donuts
Soup → Butternut squash and apple soup, French onion soup
Dips to be served with meat or bread → Spinach and garlic dip, cheese dip, Greek yogurt dip, clam dip, cheese fondue, humus
Salads → Spinach and green apple salad, Caesar salad, shrimp salad, tossed green vegetable salad, lobster salad, Greek salad, black bean and corn salad, turkey salad
Bruschetta → Melon, Prosciutto and balsamic vinegar bruschetta, dill, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar bruschetta, olives, cherry tomatoes and cheese bruschetta
Garlic bread → With cheese, without cheese, with olives
Mushrooms → Roasted mushrooms, fried mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms, BBQ mushrooms
Dumplings → Vegetarian or non-vegetarian
Spring rolls → Steamed spring rolls, fried spring rolls with the variations of vegetarian and non-vegetarian stuffing
Skewers → Tomato basil skewers, chicken skewers, cottage cheese skewers, fish skewers, meat skewers, vegetable skewers
Spaghetti → With meatballs, with tomato-wine sauce, sesame sauce, Alfredo sauce, baked spaghetti, spaghetti Bolognese, herbed spaghetti,
Stroganoff → Again the option of vegetarian or non-vegetarian exists. Creativity can be put to use and fish stroganoff can be made.
Casserole → Squash, Ham cauliflower Casserole
Stir fry → Vegetable stir fry, chicken stir fry, meat stir fry. Vegetables can be added to the non-vegetarian stir fry
Cheesecake → Blueberry cheesecake, chocolate-chip cheesecake, vanilla cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, cream cheesecake
Mousse → Chocolate mousse, vanilla mousse, ricotta mousse
Pie → Pumpkin mousse pie, pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, dutch apple pie, blackberry pie, sweet potato pie, almond meringue pie, raspberry rhubarb pie
Pastries → Walnut pastry, vanilla pastry, cheddar cheese pastry, cranberry pastry, guava pastry
Gateau → Black forest gateau, strawberry gateau, chocolate-praline gateau, orange and coffee gateau, cherry and vanilla gateau, hazelnut meringue gateau, summer fruit gateau
Cake → Chocolate cake, chocolate-chip cake, hummingbird cake, fresh apple cake, carrot-walnut cake, apricot brandy cake, banana cake, coffee cake, red velvet cake, rum cake
Cupcake → Double chocolate cupcake, chocolate-chip cupcake, banana cupcake, coffee cupcake
The best way to save time and effort is to plan a menu that is no fuss, healthy, and tasty-something that the guests enjoy eating and YOU enjoy cooking. Rely on your tried and tested recipes, rather than trying out new ones for the party. There is a long list of party foods, finger foods, and bite size goodies that confirm to these standards. You can either choose between heavy, rich foods which make use of rich cream, nuts, quiches, choux pastries, etc., or between light foods for the health conscious people. One of the most important tip is to plan a buffet the party. When the party is planned carefully and well in advance, the hosts can enjoy together with the guests. Here are some tips to keep the party planning short, simple and well oiled:
- Keep the menu light, ethnic, and colorful. The food should look tempting and colorful.
- When you do not have a lot of time in hand, go for the filling or topping that requires the least labor. How about cream cheese?
- Foods that require baked bases can be made up to a week in advance, for instance, pizza crust or pastry for quiches and tartlets, blini, and filo pastries.
- Always try to include fresh fruits and vegetables in various parts of the menu, for instance carved vegetables with a range of savory dips, fresh fruits with chocolate or low-fat creamy dips, etc.
- A loaded basket of fresh fruits is as good as an elaborate tartlet or pie.
- Appetizers should not be too many, as then there are chances that the guests will never fill their plates with the food items from the main course.
- Make sure the food is arranged to look attractive on the table. For example, large canapé trays with color coordinated layout make the food more appetizing.
- Prepared raw vegetables and steamed as well as blanched vegetables can be packed in sealed plastic bags and kept in the refrigerator for a sufficiently long time.
- Cheese, required to be added to a food item, can be grated and bagged in a large quantity.
- Herbs can be kept fresh in the refrigerator by cutting off the stalks about a quarter-inch from the bottom and wrapping in a dampened towel, sealed tightly in a foil.
- Having a theme not only brings out the best of the menu but also gives the guest some food for thought in terms of dressing and presentation, and that goes a long way in making a New Year's Party a success.
- Make sure you have enough dishware and cutlery.
- Platters should always look as they have been just set out, so make sure the food is replenished almost before it gets over.
- Make sure the ashtrays, used napkins and plates are removed regularly so guests are not inconvenienced.
- Platters of cold foodstuff can be stored in a refrigerator.
- For easy storing, place corks on three corners of the platter and cover with either a cling film or foil, the cork will stretch like a tent on the platter and the food will also stay fresh.
- For drinks, make sure there is an ample supply of corkscrews and bottle openers so no person is stuck with only opening bottles through the evening.
- It is advisable to arrange food and drinks separately, so there is no overcrowding.
With these quick tips in mind, your New Year's Party will really be a time to enjoy, both for you and your guests!