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Party Plan: New Year's Eve

Make throwing an awesome party your first resolution for the New Year!

Ring in the New Year with Great Party Ideas!
It’s the last party of the year, so toast it in style. A tasty cocktail sets the right mood, so try the refreshing tartness of a Cranberry Fizz, or enjoy the exotic, spicy sweetness of a Ginger Pear Gin Fizz. We’ve even got a Virgin Citrus 75 for the kids to enjoy!

Appetizers like Avocado Potstickers will have partygoers delighting in the taste of guacamole (with a crunch!), while Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms bring rich, earthy flavor. Ready for the main course? Impress your guests with a delicious Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin, or try Seared Scallops with Champagne Butter Sauce to bring a bit of the bubbly to the dinner table in a unique way. And for dessert, how about indulging in a Coconut Honey Pistachio Tart?

Once the table is cleared, get the party into full swing with some New Year’s Eve Photo Props to commemorate the occasion, or reminisce on what the last year has brought with some New Year Memory Prompts. When the ball finally drops, enjoy the festive tastes of Champagne and Chambord with a delicious Kir Royale, a perfect way to toast the occasion.

Avocado Potstickers

Avocado Potstickers

Created by: Nicole Leggio, Cooking for Keeps

I have a serious thing for guacamole, and I also have a serious thing for pot-stickers. So why not combine the two for the perfect bite-sized crunchy app?

The idea for these is actually derived from one of my favorite appetizers of all time – the avocado egg roll. I’ve made them a few times, and still can’t get enough of them, but I thought it would be fun to switch things up a bit and put a Mexican spin on them.

Ingredients:
  • 2 avocados
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup frozen yellow corn, defrosted
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup tomato , finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 50 wonton wrappers
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • Salsa and sour cream for serving
Directions:
  1. Add avocado to a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add red onion, corn, jalapeno, salt, lemon juice, tomato, cilantro and cumin. Mix until combined.
  2. Fill a small bowl with a little bit of water and set next to your wonton wrappers. Place one heaping teaspoon of avocado filling near the corner of the wonton wrapper, but not right to the edge.
  3. Dip your fingers in the water and wet the sides of the wrapper, then fold the corner of the wonton over to form a triangle. Seal the edges, making sure there are no air bubbles. Fold the corners over each other, using water to seal. Repeat for remaining filling.
  4. Working in 3-4 batches, heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (about 1½ tablespoons should do it). Add the dumplings, browning on both sides until crispy and golden. Repeat with remaining pot-stickers.
  5. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

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Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Created by: Crystal Owens, A Pumpkin & A Princess

New Year’s Eve is a time to gather with friends and loved ones to celebrate. Whether you’re hosting a big party or looking for a quick recipe to enjoy in the comfort of your home while the ball drop, this recipe makes a great appetizer for New Year’s Eve.

Ingredients:
  • 12 mushrooms, stems removed and set aside
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Chop mushroom stems, garlic and onion.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté mushroom stems, garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Combine cream cheese, black pepper and cayenne pepper with onion mixture.
  5. Fill each mushroom with a rounded tablespoon of cheese mixture.
  6. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container.

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Chocolate Suckers

Chocolate Suckers

Created by: Sharon Garofalow, Cupcakes and Cutlery

In our home, we celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family and it’s a night we look forward to all year long. I like to come up with ways to keep the kids entertained so we can all make it to midnight!

This activity not only keeps them busy, it lets them be creative AND make a special treat. A quick stop in the fridge to set the chocolate and the kids get to enjoy their DIY suckers in no time!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package (24 oz.) Kroger Chocolate Bark Coating
  • Sucker sticks
  • Assorted toppings: decorative sprinkles, toasted coconut, chopped nuts, candied ginger, chocolate candies, etc.
  • Quart-sized plastic zipper bag
  • Wax paper
Directions:
  1. Place wax paper over several baking sheets.
  2. Lay out sucker sticks on waxed paper, making sure to leave a few inches between them.
  3. Set out your toppings so they are easy to get to.
  4. Place the plastic zipper bag inside of a glass, with the zippered side folded out over the top. (This will help you pour the melted chocolate into the bag without creating a huge mess!)
  5. Follow the directions to melt the chocolate coating in the microwave. (Microwave in approximately 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth. Do not overcook.)
  6. Let cool for about a minute, then pour melted chocolate into the plastic zipper bag and close.
  7. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag.
  8. Pipe chocolate onto the waxed paper, taking care to cover the top ½” of the sucker stick. Also make sure the chocolate doesn’t overlap with the sucker next to it.
  9. Add toppings as desired.
  10. Place in fridge to set (approximately 20 minutes).

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Coconut Honey Pistachio Tarts

Coconut Honey Pistachio Tarts

Created by: Sharon Garofalow, Cupcakes and Cutlery

New Year’s Eve is such a fun night! We skip the elaborate holiday meals and opt instead for easy finger foods to enjoy as we wait for the clock to hit midnight.

These Coconut Honey Pistachio Tarts are a great dessert idea for a long night of celebrating. They are served at room temperature and are a great bite-sized party food!

Ingredients:
  • 1 box (4.2 oz.) Private Selection™ Shortbread Tartlet Shells
  • ½ cup pistachios, roasted, shelled and chopped
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
Directions:
  1. Toast almonds in a dry skillet, approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly so they don’t burn.
  2. Toast coconut in the dry skillet, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt honey and butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add pistachios, almonds and coconut to the honey mixture. Mix well.
  5. Spread tart shells on a cookie sheet or plate. Fill each shell with approximately 1 tablespoon of honey and nut mixture.
  6. Add an additional drizzle of honey at the time of serving, if desired.

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Cranberry Fizz

Cranberry Fizz

Created by: Krissy Allori, Self Proclaimed Foodie

I’m a huge fan of easy cocktails. This tart and tasty cocktail starts with 100% cranberry juice, fresh orange juice, and sugar.

Just to make this drink extra pretty, I love freezing fresh cranberries in ice cubes. Simply add a few cranberries to an ice tray and only fill the ice cubes wells half way up. Let them freeze, then top them with more water and freeze again to keep the cranberries in the middle. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Juice from one orange
  • 2 shots vodka
  • 12 oz. sparkling water
Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberry juice, sugar and orange juice; cook until reduced by half while swirling occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  2. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. To make cocktail, combine sweetened cranberry syrup with vodka. Mix well. Divide between two ice-filled glasses and top with sparkling water.

Tip:

  • You can turn this into a non-alcoholic mocktail like I did for my kids by just mixing this syrup with sparkling water, or in my case sparkling cranberry lime water.

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Easy Tortellini Skewers

Easy Tortellini Skewers

Created by: Jessica Williams, Butter With A Side of Bread

These tasty tortellini kabobs are filled with flavor! Drizzle them with Italian dressing and set them out as a delicious addition to any party. With fresh flavors and a colorful presentation, they’ll disappear fast anytime they’re served.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cheese-filled tortellini pasta
  • Fresh mozzarella balls
  • Salami slices
  • 1 jar (5.75 oz.) whole olives
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • 3 Tbsp. Italian salad dressing
  • Wooden skewers
Directions:
  1. Cook tortellini al dente according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Toss with 2 tablespoons of your favorite Italian salad dressing.
  2. Cut sun-dried tomatoes in half. Tear basil leaves from stems.
  3. Arrange all ingredients on skewers in an alternating pattern, filling the skewers half way. Depending on size, fold the salami slices and basil leaves to better match the size of the other ingredients. Brush with additional Italian dressing and serve.
  4. Skewers can be made ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator overnight. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

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Ginger Pear Gin Fizz

Ginger Pear Gin Fizz

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

The New Year is a wonderful holiday for celebrating with friends and family, and I have a few New Year’s traditions I’ve been in the habit of following through on each year: sharing resolutions, making a big feast and creating a signature cocktail to enjoy throughout the evening.

When it comes to cocktail formation, I believe the perfect beverage has a fine balance of sweet-tangy-spice to go along with the liquor bite. Combining pear juice, ginger simple syrup, gin and champagne makes for a super flavorful, delicious beverage to cheers during the New Year.

Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups cane sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 8 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 100% pear juice
  • Gin
  • Champagne
Directions:

Prepare the Simple Syrup:

  1. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sliced ginger, stir well and reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to sit for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the ginger. Transfer syrup to a sealed jar and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Prepare the Cocktails:

  1. Fill glasses with ice.
  2. Add ½ ounce of simple syrup, ¼ cup of pear juice, and 1½ ounces of gin to each glass.
  3. Stir well to combine.
  4. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne and serve.
Tips:
  • Most fruit juices will work well in this cocktail if you’d like to substitute the pear juice, particularly apple cider (or juice), cranberry, pomegranate, etc.
  • The ginger syrup will stay fresh for one month when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • This cocktail can be made in a large batch by adding simple syrup, pear juice and gin to a shaker with ice. If selecting this method, triple or quadruple the recipe as necessary, divide between glasses and top with chilled champagne.

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Kir Royale

Kir Royale

Created by: Lauren Saylor, A Fabulous Fete

A New Year’s Eve celebration just isn’t complete without a sip or two of champagne! This recipe is a great one that pleases champagne lovers and champagne skeptics alike. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Try it out beforehand to get your Chambord ratio right (it gets overwhelmingly sweet with too much!).

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle of Champagne
  • 4 oz. Chambord
  • 1 Lemon
Directions:
  1. Pour 1 ounce of Chambord into the bottom of each glass.
  2. Top with champagne to taste (more Champagne for a dry cocktail, less for a sweeter one).
  3. Using a knife, cut away 2”-3” pieces of lemon peel, avoiding the white part of the skin. Twist over your cocktail and drop in. Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

Created by: Emily Buys, Clever Housewife

Homemade salads aren’t very exciting unless you have the right combination of toppings. Plain lettuce and dressing is no fun, but this Mediterranean Chopped Salad is full of flavor with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, Persian cucumbers and more. Toss it together with a homemade Greek dressing and you’ll be eating healthier in no time!

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 package (10.5 oz.) grape tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, chopped
  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Persian cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
Directions:
  1. Prepare the dressing by tossing together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix vigorously and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss all other ingredients together and pour in the Greek dressing. Mix well and serve.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

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Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies

Created by: Erin Sellin, Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

Meringues are light and airy—the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs whites, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. white decorating sugar (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes. Add cream of tartar and vanilla extract, mix for 10-15 seconds until combined. With the mixer on, gradually add sugar and beat on high until smooth and glossy.
  3. Place batter in a bag, fitted with piping tip (or use a spoon). Pipe 1 inch meringues onto a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with decorating sugar if desired.
  4. Turn off the oven and place baking trays inside, leaving the door closed for 2-3 hours. Once the meringues have a matte finish, remove from the oven. Store in an air tight container.
Tip:

I sprinkled my meringue cookies with white sugar crystals so they would “sparkle” a little bit for New Year’s Eve. You can also stir in mini chocolate chips, if desired.

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Oven Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Oven Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

If you’re entertaining guests this New Years’ Eve and want to keep the menu healthful yet filling, oven-baked chicken with a side of roasted root vegetables is a great main dish. Preparing this recipe is very simple! The chicken comes out tender, flavorful, and is a great option for kicking off the New Year on the right foot.

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole chicken
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1¼ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium beets, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Directions:

Prepare the Root Vegetables:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the chopped sweet potato, turnip and onion to a mixing bowl and drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil, sea salt and Italian seasoning. Use your hands to toss everything together until it’s well coated. Spread the vegetables over a large baking sheet.
  3. Place the chopped beets in the center of a 12” piece of foil. Fold all of the edges onto themselves, creating a secure foil packet (Note: beets secrete juice while roasting, so be sure the foil packet doesn’t have any openings).
  4. Place both the sheet of vegetables and the foil packet in the preheated oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Remove vegetables from the oven and cover with foil while preparing the chicken.

Prepare the Chicken:

  1. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder and salt (to taste) in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a casserole dish and pour the oil/spice mixture over it. Use your hands to rub the mixture gently onto the whole surface of the chicken. Allow chicken to marinate at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the chicken on the center rack of the preheated oven and roast for 1 hour, or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving with root vegetables.
  3. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tip:

If you’re making the vegetables ahead of time, you can prepare that portion of the recipe up to 3 days ahead. Simply store the roasted vegetables in a sealed container and keep them in the refrigerator.

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Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Created by: Carrie Robinson, Frugal Foodie Mama

Impress your dinner guests this New Year’s Eve with this elegant Pomegranate-Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin. Infused with sweet maple and tart pomegranate, this tender and juicy tenderloin is sure to be the star of your holiday dinner table.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5-2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1½ Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Private Selection™ Whole Grain Garlic Mustard
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat your oven to 450°F. Place a 12” cast iron in the oven and heat for 20 minutes.
  2. While the skillet is heating, rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the salt and the pepper over the pork tenderloin.
  3. Once the skillet is heated, swirl in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place the prepared tenderloin in the skillet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the tenderloin is baking, prepare the pomegranate-maple glaze. Whisk together the pomegranate juice, cornstarch, 2 sprigs of rosemary, maple syrup and garlic mustard in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling, whisking often. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove the rosemary sprigs from the saucepan and discard.
  5. Once the tenderloin has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and flip it over. Turn the oven down to 400°F. Brush ⅓ of the glaze over the tenderloin. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip it again, and brush with another ⅓ of the glaze. Bake for another 5 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the loin registers at 145°F.
  6. Let the pork tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
  7. To plate, slice the tenderloin, spoon over the remaining glaze and garnish the platter with fresh rosemary sprigs and pomegranate seeds, if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Rock Candy for your NYE Party Drink

Rock Candy for your NYE Party Drink

Created by: Emily Buys, Clever Housewife

New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past year, and to get excited about the year to come. Sparkling cider is a go-to party beverage on New Year’s, but I thought it would be fun to add some pizzazz and extra fizz to the party drink.

I don’t know a kid who doesn’t like rock candy, and making it yourself is a lot of fun because you can watch the rocks form over the course of a week. While the kids are home for Christmas break, get them started on making rock candy, and it will be ready for your NYE party. Add it to your party drink and it will create some extra fizz, color and flavor!

Things You'll Need:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Skewers
  • Mason jars or champagne flutes
  • Clothespins
  • Food coloring
Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Heat over medium-high heat and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Slowly add the remaining sugar to the mixture in small amounts until the sugar no longer dissolves (it may not take all of the sugar to get to this point). The water should look slightly cloudy. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. While mixture is cooling, prepare mason jars or champagne flutes by placing a few drops of food coloring in each jar.
  4. Make sure the skewers are longer than the height of the jars. Dip each skewer in the sugar-water and roll them in a bit of sugar on a plate. Allow to dry completely.
  5. Pour equal amounts cooled sugar-water into each mason jar, and stir to combine with food coloring.
  6. Place dry sugar-coated skewers in each jar, careful not to touch the bottom or sides of the jar with the stick. Hold in place by pinching skewer with a clothespin at the top of the mason jar. The clothespin will rest on the mouth of the jar.
  7. Allow rock candy to grow on sticks for about a week, or longer if desired. Remove rock candy from the jars and place them on a plate to dry.
  8. They’re ready to be enjoyed as is, or placed in your party drink! Store in a cool dry place until you’re ready to enjoy.

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Seared Scallops with Champagne Butter Sauce

Seared Scallops with Champagne Butter Sauce

Created by: Nicole Leggio, Cooking for Keeps

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to go all out on a fancy meal at home. These seared scallops with Champagne butter sauce are not only ridiculously quick and easy to throw together, but visually, they’re a show-stopper.

Ingredients:
  • 6-8 large sea scallops (about ¾ lb.)
  • Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. shallot, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup dry Champagne
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Directions:
  1. Cut butter in to 12 pieces and refrigerate until needed. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and remove the muscle of the scallop if still attached. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Add shallots, champagne and vinegar to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1-2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the Champagne reduces, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, but keep the rest in the fridge until needed. Once the butter melts, add scallops. Do not overcrowd the pan: keep at least ½ inch in between each scallop and, if necessary, work in two batches. Sear scallops until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once the liquid has reduced, turn off the heat and slowly whisk in butter, ½ tablespoon at a time, making sure each piece of butter has been fully incorporated until adding the next. Once all of the butter has been added, you should have a thick, smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve seared scallops with sauce. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Stacy's Pretzel Thins

Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Stacy's Pretzel Thins

Created by: Laura Franklin, Food Fun Family

This quick and delicious spinach-artichoke dip may just be the perfect addition to your New Year’s Eve, whether you’re hosting a get-together with friends or welcoming the New Year quietly at home. The hot, cheesy goodness of this dip is even more scrumptious served alongside Stacy’s Pretzel Thins.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated (plus more to sprinkle over the top)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 bag (7 oz.) Stacy’s Pretzel Thins
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove spinach and garlic from skillet; set aside.
  3. Add artichoke hearts to the skillet and heat until liquid is cooked off and artichokes deepen in color. Remove artichokes from skillet and chop; set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the other tablespoon of butter and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour until it makes a paste. Pour in milk and stir, cooking until the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese, as well as a dash of cayenne pepper. Stir until all cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add chopped artichokes and spinach to the sauce; stir.
  6. Add additional Monterey Jack cheese over the top and place in oven. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dip is a light golden brown. (Note: If you are not using a cast iron skillet, place the dip in a 9”x9” baking dish before adding it to the oven).
  7. Serve warm and enjoy with Stacy’s Pretzel Thins.

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Virgin Citrus 75

Virgin Citrus 75

Created by: Carrie Robinson, Frugal Foodie Mama

Raise a glass at the stroke of midnight with this fun and bubbly Virgin Citrus 75, bursting with fresh citrus flavors and fizzy bubbles.

Ingredients:
  • 1 mandarin, peeled and segmented
  • Lemonade
  • 7Up
  • 1 lemon
Directions:
  1. Set aside two of the mandarin segments to garnish the glasses. Place three mandarin segments into each glass and muddle slightly to release the juice.
  2. Fill each glass halfway with lemonade, then top with the soda. Give it a quick stir.
  3. To make the lemon twists, cut two thin slices from either end of the lemon. Make a slice through one side of the peel and drag your knife all the way to the rind on the other side. Separate the pulp from the rind so you have one long peel.
  4. Cut the peel into the number of glasses you have and twist each peel into a curly-q shape. Garnish each glass with a mandarin segment and a lemon twist. Serve immediately.
  5. Cheers!

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New Year Memory Prompts

New Year Memory Prompts

Created by: Amy Christie, this heart of mine

Watching the ball drop, clinking glasses of champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne are all good ways to celebrate the start of a new year. However, let’s not shuck off the last year too quickly. There was a lot of living that happened! Share memory cards with family and friends to remember the past year together.

Things You'll Need:
Directions:
  1. Print off the Memory Prompt Cards on cardstock.
  2. Cut the cards apart with scissors.
  3. Read aloud with family and friends and enjoy remembering the past year.

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New Year's Eve Photo Props

New Year's Eve Photo Props

Created by: Sharon Garofalow, Cupcakes and Cutlery

Whether you’re having a party or just hanging out with your family, these New Year’s Eve Photo Props are a great way to commemorate the new year! I set up a DIY station to make the props and keep the kids entertained until midnight.

Things You'll Need:
  • Paper shapes and/or numbers to embellish
  • Wooden dowels or skewers
  • Tape, glue or other adhesive
  • Decorating supplies such as glitter, stickers, yarn, etc.
Directions:
  1. Decide what you want your photo props to look like. I had someone draw funny, cartoon-like mouths and different hats. If you don’t have an artist on hand, you can find free clip art online to use. I also printed out the numbers for 2017 from a word processing program. There are tons of great fonts to choose from!
  2. Set out a variety of art supplies and adhesives so that each person can embellish their photo props as they like. Letter stickers, glitter, rub-on letters and colorful yarn are inexpensive and easy to work with.
  3. When you’re done embellishing, tape a wooden dowel or skewer to the back to create the handle for the photo prop.
  4. Provide a blank or decorated wall to act as the photo backdrop. Have a camera set up on a tripod or let people use their own phones to take the photos and share on social media. The photo props will help make special memories from a fun New Year’s Eve!
Tips:
  • I cut out all the shapes ahead of time and decorated a few as an example for people to get ideas from.
  • Make sure to use kid-friendly materials so that this activity is safe and can be left out for party guests to access throughout the night.

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3 Kid-Friendly NYE Ideas

3 Kid-Friendly NYE Ideas

Created by: Amy Christie, this heart of mine

Ring in a brand new year with the little ones, even if the night ends at 9pm! Make your own party hats with fabulous tassels, print off glasses and color them wild, and do it all while munching on the glitziest popcorn! It’s the perfect way to send off the old and welcome the new.  

Paper Party Hats

Things You'll Need:
Directions:
  1. Print off and cut out the party hat pattern.
  2. Trace the pattern on the colored cardstock and cut out the shape.
  3. Layer three sheets of tissue paper, measuring about a 3”x 4” rectangle. Repeat this step with other colors of tissue paper to make a multi-color fringe tassel.
  4. Using the scissors, make vertical cuts at the top of the tissue to create fringe.
  5. Roll the tissue into a tube and secure with a dot of glue. Layer two colors of tissue paper to make a multi-color fringe tassel.
  6. Glue the rolled tissue paper to the “point” of the cardstock shape.
  7. Roll the cardstock to form a cone and secure at the edge with hot glue.
  8. Use the hole punch to create two opposing holes near the edges of the hat.
  9. Cut a piece of elastic string and tie through each hole to create a loop. Fit to the head.

Printable, Colorable Glasses

Things You'll Need:
Directions:
  1. Print the paper glasses onto white cardstock.
  2. Color the glasses as desired.
  3. Use scissors to cut out the glasses shapes.
  4. Fold the glasses on the dashed lines.
  5. On the folded tab, place double-sided tape to stick on one arm of the glasses. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Wear to ring in the new year!

Glittery Popcorn

Things You'll Need:
  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn or 16 cups of popped kernels
  • Wax paper
  • 1 bag (12 oz.) white candy melts
  • Edible glitter sprinkles
  • Edible star sprinkles
Directions:
  1. Pop the popcorn and lay out on a piece of wax paper.
  2. Microwave the candy melts until completely melted and drizzle over the popcorn.
  3. Add the sprinkles before the melted candy hardens. Repeat step 2 and 3 as needed.

View Party Plan: New Year's Eve

Party Tips for the Perfect New Year's Eve

Party Tips for the Perfect New Year's Eve

Created by: Lauren Saylor, A Fabulous Fete

Parties can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I always use to keep the holiday stress low while still creating a super fun party. Here are my top five tips for a simple but impactful New Year’s Eve celebration!

  1. Prepare ingredients ahead of time for your signature cocktails. Chop, squeeze and measure the night before so all you have to do is set everything out when guests arrive.
  2. Have lots of fun props and decorations laying around for pictures and the countdown celebration.
  3. Prepare festive champagne glasses for the midnight toast by adding sparkling sugar to the rims or rock candy stir sticks.
  4. Give your guests personalized mini bottles of champagne to take home as favors.
  5. Ask guests to stick to a color palette (like white, silver and gold) to give everyone a reason to dress up. It’ll make your pictures look great!

View Party Plan: New Year's Eve

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