When I was little, I loved everything about New Year’s Eve (everything means the food). My mom would make several appetizers for dinner, which to boys everywhere sounds like a horror story (where’s the meat?). But to us, it was fun and special and I would still rather have a meal made up of cheesy, hot finger foods than a plate of ham and potatoes.
New Year’s Eve these days involves friends, sparkly dresses (a must, even if you’re chilling on the couch watching the ball drop), dancing, and champagne. (By the way—have you ever successfully opened a bottle of champagne? If so, you’re doing better at life than I am.)
But back then, it was just me, my sister, my parents and a dog (and the strangest/creepiest cat you will ever meet, but that’s a story for another day).
So in case you’re having your own New Year’s soiree, whether it’s ahead of a night of partying or the main event, here are some of my favorite hors d’oeuvres that my mom used to make (and I still make, all the time). All of these are great for Christmas parties too!
Sausage Cheese Balls
(I personally am obsessed with these things. They don’t have the prettiest name, but we’re not eating the name, are we?)
–1 lb bulk pork sausage (uncooked)
–3 cups Bisquick
–4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
–1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
–1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled rosemary leaves
–1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together using your hands (it takes a while—I recommend a glass of wine on the side for sanity purposes). Bake for 20-25 minutes (if there happens to be a “crispy vs burnt” war in your household, such as in my own, just give in and take them out earlier so the person who declares them “burnt” when they are crispy actually eats them).
Hot Wing Chicken Dip
–2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I use a Rotisserie one, which I definitely do not pick all of the skin off of and devour while making the dip)
–1 bottle Frank’s red hot wing sauce
–1 12-ounce bottle Kraft Ranch (DO NOT use bacon ranch, peppercorn ranch, buttermilk ranch, or any other Ranch family member)
–1 8-oz block Cream Cheese
–2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Place shredded chicken and hot wing sauce in 9×13 baking dish and stir together. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and Ranch using a mixer. Spread that mixture on top of chicken and hot wing sauce. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with shredded cheese, and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with Fritos Scoops or tortilla chips.
(If you’re thinking this is another name that leaves something to be desired, you’re in luck—this actually is the fancier name. My family calls them Crab Things.)
–1 stick butter
–5 oz. jar Old English Cheese
–1 1/2 T. mayonnaise
–1 small chopped onion
–1/2 tsp. garlic salt
–1 tsp. seasoned salt
–1 tsp. parsley
–7 oz. crab meat
— 6 English muffins (12 halves)
Melt butter and add cheese. Stir until completely mixed. Add other ingredients and spread on English muffins. Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into quarters.
So besides these three yummy traditions, here are a few more links from around the Internets that I might tackle this year on NYE:
I am mildly obsessed with a good Chex Mix. Look at those crispy edges! (Don’t you think crispy edges are cause for excitement?)
Pickle Fries (I would definitely serve these with Ranch and there is definitely still no Buttermilk allowed.)
Parmesan Crusted Goat Cheese With Basil Oil (What a fancy name, right? Sorry bout ‘ya, Crab Things.)
And let’s not forget the other essential component to a good NYE party (besides the obvious Britney Spears music).
A few adult beverages that look worth giving a try from Self Magazine:
Peppermint Cosmo (I’m going to give us all clearance to pretend to be Carrie when we’re drinking this. Manolos not included.)
Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis (This one’s practically a health food.)
So that’s the round-up … in case you’re like me and devote 80% of a party’s allotted excitement to the edible parts of the evening. If you give any of them a try let me know!
Here’s to a yummy Christmas and New Year!