Ring in the new year with our classy make-ahead appetizer and dessert menu plus crafty ideas for serving the food! New Year's Eve happens but once a year, so why pass up the opportunity to host this gotta-have party? With our detailed plans on when to do what, all that's left is deciding what to wear!
Decorate with Delight
- Light up your party! Arrange strings of miniature white lights (electric or battery-operated) in baskets, around mirrors or in crystal bowls.
- Greet guests with a party atmosphere by lighting your drive and walkway with luminarias. You can purchase luminaria bags at party stores. Fill with about 3 inches of sand or kitty litter, place a 1-pint canning jar into the sand and add a votive candle. Light the candles shortly before guests arrive.
Serve It with Style
- Make the serving trays as inviting as possible by decorating them with a garnish. Most garnishes can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Kumquats, radish roses, green onion brushes, purple kale, cherry tomato flowers, mushroom flowers, starfruit, citrus twists and carrot curls can add quick color to a tray.
- Dazzle desserts by dusting with "snowy" powdered sugar or tucking in chocolate stars. See the Chocolate Cutouts recipe with Star-Studded Celebration Cupcakes for directions.
- Add dimension to the buffet table by using serving pieces of various heights or pedestal serving pieces.
- Sauces and dips look great when served in a stemmed martini or margarita glass.
- Choose a three-tiered plate for appetizers or miniature desserts such as the Pistachio Fudge Cups.