How are you ringing in the new year? I am having a house party. I have reached that point where I find New Years Eve parties at bars to be overcrowded and obnoxious. I think that spending the evening surrounded by friends sounds much nicer, and since I live right next to the train, my house is the perfect house party location. I have hosted lots of parties lately, so I have the strategy down. Here is New Years Eve party guide with tips and recipes to get you ready for tomorrow night.
1. Stock up on party essentials. Target has wonderful and inexpensive papers plates, cups, and decorations.
2. Create a beverage station and have drinks ready. My goal is always to keep people out of the kitchen, so I don’t want for guests to need to come into the kitchen to get a drink. I arrange glassware, open bottles of wine, and a mixed cocktail in a pitcher on a table outside of the kitchen. Beer can go in a decorative bucket filled with ice. Have a bottle opener and a corkscrew there too so people don’t need to search for them.
3. Shop for store bought essential snacks. New Years Eve parties start late enough that people don’t really expect a full dinner, but they will want snacks. Keep things simple by serving a mix of store bought items and homemade snacks. Hummus and artichoke dip are perfect since they can sit out at room temperature, everyone loves them, and the store bought brands are great (I especially love La Terra Fina artichoke dips). A cheese and cracker platter is always a hit too. Boom – now you have three appetizers for people to snack on.
4. Mix in some homemade treats. I usually serve one or two hot appetizers at parties. Pick appetizers that you can prepare ahead of time so that once guests arrive you just need to pop them in the oven. I served sweet peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon at a party this fall (inspired by Kitchensurfing), and my friends loved it. You can’t go wrong with mashed potato and bacon jalapeño poppers or prosciutto goat cheese tomato bites either.
5. Everyone loves dessert, but it doesn’t need to be homemade. Grabbing a variety of cupcakes in a variety of flavors will please everyone. Or make caramel marshmallow brownies using a brownie mix.
6. Have a game ready. New Years Eve parties tend to be long, so having an activity can be a good way to keep the party going. I suggest Cards Against Humanity or Heads Up.
7. Stock your bathrooms. It should go without saying, but this is a big party foul. Just make sure there is plenty of toilet paper, soap, and clean towels. If you want to be fancy, add a small flower arrangement or a candle.
8. Have a game plan for coats. Usually coats go on a bed, which is fine, just make sure that the bedroom is tidy.
9. Pick a playlist. Nothing gets a party going like the perfect playlist. Browse Spotify, or create your own.
I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful New Years Eve!