Instead of hitting the restaurant scene on New Year’s Eve, I host an intimate candle-lit dinner party. With my closest friends in attendance, we start our celebration by toasting to the new year with fresh and festive Champagne Punch, which pairs perfectly with an iced tray of Oysters with Champagne-Vinegar Mignonette. And for the fancy food lovers in my life, I turn to Foie Gras Toasts with Sauternes Gelée for the ultimate finger-friendly appetizer.
A few hours before the clock strikes twelve, I gather my guests for a four-course treat. We start with a luscious Mushroom Consommé with Morels and Pastry “Hats” served alongside glasses of celebratory Champagne. Clinking glasses and numerous toasts soon make way for delicate portions of Asparagus Salad with Celery Leaves, Quail Eggs, and Tarragon Vinaigrette. The light and refreshing dish is followed by the crowd-pleasing casserole for the evening, classic Macaroni and Cheese, which is served alongside Lobster in Crazy Water. For dessert we shove forkfuls of Mile-High Chocolate Cake into our mouths just in time to catch the final New Year’s Eve countdown with a final sip of bubbly.
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Photo: Lara Ferroni
New Year’s Eve is a night for champagne, toasts, songs, celebrating, and hors d’oeuvres. With bite-sized delights like pigs in blankets, spanitkopita, mini quiche, crostini, deviled eggs, arancini, crab cakes, gougères, chicken satay, meatballs, bacon wrapped dates, shrimp cocktail, blinis with caviar, and empanandas, there is plenty of finger-friendly fare to choose from. But, we want you to tell us:
What’s your favorite hors d’oeuvre?
Photo: Kemp Minifie
With New Year’s Eve just two days away, along with spontaneous visits by childhood chums, it’s handy to be ready with some quick-to-assemble nibbles that will impress everyone and allow you to say with confidence, “Come on over!” Here are five that I swear by:
- Enlivened Olives: Olives become sensational when warmed in their brine or oil, then drained and tossed with grated lemon zest, smoked paprika, or toasted and ground cumin or fennel seeds.
- Feta Fun: Blot a block of feta cheese dry, then heat some honey with some cracked black peppercorns and/or chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, and pour it over the cheese. Serve it with crackers. It’s a life-changing combination!
- Party Pepitas: When toasted in a large skillet, raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds puff and turn golden within a couple of minutes—stir frequently. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt, and watch them disappear. Continue reading
Nothing quite says “convivial” more than the sound of a champagne cork being popped, especially in a bustling room, and even better if it’s in your honor. In that night of a thousand bubbles, everything feels special (and blurry). Whether you’re swirling Spanish Cava, pouring Prosecco, savoring sparkling Shiraz, German Sekt, or the French stuff, any bit of fizz marks a celebration, or at least gives you an excuse to have one. Here’s a round-up of my top five favorite champagne cocktails, all with a stiff kick.
What do you drink when a toast is in order?