by December 23, 2011 at 10:00 am 3,422 0

hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies

Hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. (Stephanie Willis)

From Stephanie Willis. Follow her on Twitter @shaw_girl, email her at [email protected].

We all get it in our heads to host a festive New Year’s Eve party at least once in our adult life.  It usually starts with, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have the gang ’round to ring in the new year?”  Before you know it, a gathering of a few people has morphed into a bash that could rival Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve.

The inevitable panic of what to serve everyone can drive some to hit up the supermarket deli counter.  I cannot stress this enough: stay.away.from.the.deli.counter.

You can whip up some tasty eats that are party approved and easy to make. To get you started, here is a round-up of recipes from some of my favorite local foodies.

Deviled Eggs, Bacon Options

  • I love deviled eggs. Actually love may not be a strong enough word to describe my passion for this party staple. Zach and Clay over at The Bitten Word give it a sophisticated twist with this smoked salmon deviled egg recipe. You can make these ahead of time and pull them out to oohs and aahhs from your guests.
  • What better way to ring in the new year than with bacon? These bacon and leek mini quiches from Pete Bakes! use a crust that even the most kitchen-phobic host(ess) can master.
  • In case you are going for a bacon-themed party (which sounds like my kind of party), these asiago stuffed dates with bacon and smoked paprika are an instant party classic.
  • Speaking of bacon and cheese, these gruyere cheese and bacon cheesy puffs are a decadent way to ring in 2012.  Flaky, cheesy and with touches of pork? Who wouldn’t love ’em??
Circle Cheesy Puffs, Stephanie Willis

Circle Cheesy Puffs with gruyere cheese and bacon. (Stephanie Willis)

Wings, Brie, Pepper Crackers

  • The lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s party wings were the talk of a DC Food Blogger event last January. And rightly so.  These Asian inspired wings are a delicate balance of sweet and salty on your tongue.  Bonus? They’re super easy to throw together.  The recipe calls for fermented black beans but if you can’t find them, don’t panic.  I have made this recipe without the aforementioned beans and they were amazing.
  • I love the look of these black raspberry brie-bites from Not Derby Pie. People will think you spent ages delicately putting them together but they are a breeze to assemble.
  • These savory parmesan black pepper crackers from Jenna over at Modern Domestic pack quite a tasty punch.  Pile them high in your favorite serving bowl for people to graze on as they toast their way into 2012.


  • And to add a sweet cap to the evening, might I recommend hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. Blondies are one of the easiest desserts to make and these have Nutella in them. NUTELLA!
  • If you’d like to be a bit more ambitious with your New Year’s Eve dessert, this chocolate bourbon pound cake is just the ticket. Not only is it delicious, it will look beautiful on your new milk glass cake stand.  I’m not the only one who asked Santa for one of those this year, am I?

So fear not, party host(ess) with the mostest! You can bang out phenomenal looking trays of appetizers in no time flat. Take a deep breath, plan out your menu and, most of all, enjoy yourself.

Have a safe and happy start to 2012, everyone!


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