Last updated on December 30th, 2016
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party? Take my advice, and make your appetizers well in advance. This way, you won’t be trapped in the kitchen while your guests are
wearing lamp shades sipping champagne in another room. Here are links to my favorite make-ahead dips, spreads, and canapes:
Kale Pesto. This garlicky, lemony, pesto is delicious on…everything. Serve it with crackers at your next cocktail party, or as a gorgeous topping for grilled chicken or baked salmon. Or, do what I did yesterday, and stir it into steaming strands of angel hair pasta. Yum, yum, yum. The easy recipe:
Easy-Peazy Cheese Crackers. These two-ingredient crackers are crisp, delicious, and elegant. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve them at a swanky cocktail gathering. They make terrific after-school snacks, too. In fact, your kids will probably leap at the chance to help you make them. Ready for some fun? Here’s the simple recipe:
Onion and Asiago Rounds. These two-bite cocktail appetizers are crisp, creamy, and screamingly-delicious. They are also a snap to make. Here’s my step-by-step recipe:
Chicken and Lemon Polpettine. These old-world Italian meatballs (which we should never confuse with American meatballs) are flavored with Parmesan cheese, fragrant herbs, and a big burst of lemon. Poke ’em with a cocktail pick, and you’ll have a swoon-worthy appetizer for New Year’s Eve! The recipe:
Cecina — pronounced “chay-CHEE-na” — is a Tuscan flatbread composed entirely of garbanzo bean flour, water, and seasonings. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s naturally gluten-free. And it’s so easy to make you can wear a blindfold. My step-by-step recipe:
Chive Pesto. Yesterday, I took some freshly-snipped chives, and processed them together with garlic, almonds, Parmesan cheese and a little olive oil. The result? Well, let’s just say that after one bite, my eyes rolled to the back of my head. After two bites, I knew I’d have to share the recipe with you:
Herbed Cheese Straws.These cheese straws are crazy-delicious. Think of elongated “Cheetos,” kissed by the sharp tang of real cheddar and the heavenly air of Herbes de Provence. Serve the straws at your next cocktail party, and watch them disappear. Or, just do as I did last night, and hog them all for yourself! Here’s the recipe.
Angelic Zucchini Fritters. What’s the difference between a good zucchini fritter and great one? Well, first the crust. It should be delightfully crunchy. Then the interior should be firm but smooth, and loaded with good zucchini flavor, plus other tastes such as fresh lemon and chive. And finally, when you bite into the fritter, you should hear a choir of angels sing. Such exquisiteness is easily produced. Here’s proof:
Potato Croquettes. These are crunchy on the outside, and smooth and creamy on the inside. I make them this way:
Bacon-Wrapped Grissini. Whenever I retrieve a batch of Bacon-wrapped Grissini from the oven, Lily the Beagle appears at the kitchen door. And who can blame her? These cocktail-appetizers are smokey, sweet, and tender-crisp. To try them is to love them. Fortunately they are no trouble to make:
Roasted Radishes with Honey, Lemon, and Thyme. What’s crispy-tender and slightly-sweet? My version of roasted radishes! Enjoy them as a healthy snack, or serve them as a side dish. You can even turn them into Crostini, just as I did last night. Here’s the step-by-step.
Did you find something delicious to serve in the links above? Perhaps you can let me know by leaving a comment. You can also let me know what — if anything — you are doing to ring in the New Year!
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Root Veggie Pizza
Homemade Spaetzle with Butter and Herbs
Mushroom, Spinach, and Rosemary Tart
I love the idea of make-ahead appetizers. These are lovely suggestions for a swanky soiree! Hope you’re enjoying the holidays!
Or, you know, you could plop a bunch of grape jelly meatballs in the crockpot 🙂 Just kidding, Kevin, your apps are much more elegant 🙂
I do make an obligatory cream cheese/tiny shrimp/cocktail sauce spread every NYE, along with Christmas tree shaped Ritz crackers…just about as trashy as the grape jelly meatballs, but tradition is tradition. One memorable NYE we signed papers for our new house and the papers had cocktail sauce on them.
Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your garden and recipes – it makes my day when I see a new post up.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Shivonne – All best to you in 2016!
Amy – Well, traditions are…traditions! And would you believe that I have never tasted grape jelly meatballs? On my list, because, why not?
Jill Mackay says
Love all your recipes – thanks a million and Happy New Year from The Sunshine Coast Down Under-!!
Perfect timing!!!! Tossing various appetizer ideas around in my head for this Saturday night party! Bingo! The cheese crackers are right up my alley! Gotta love the easy-peazy! It has been very warm here in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, but I’m ready for winter sowing as soon as the weather co-operates! My seeds arrived, my gallons are prepped, and I have my potting soil! Let the sowing begin! 🙂 Have a healthy, wealthy and fabulous New Year Kevin!!!
Thanks for the appetizers. Came just in time. Going to a party this late p.m. I’ve been looking for garbanzo bean flour fries or chips. Maybe I’ll try the herbed cheese straws. You’re looking fabulously relaxed with the glass of wine in hand ! Have a wonderful New Year!
I so appreciate the new and delicious ideas for appetizers. I’m finally going to try making cheese crackers Kevin, you’ve made it look so easy. I don’t know yet if I’ll share them at the New Years I must pair them first with the wine I’m bringing. Oh the trials of good food!
I’m quite jealous of your warm Chicago winter, I could use a little right now in SLC, Utah. We still have piles of snow from the foot n a half dump on 12/14, the pile last week and all the little flakes in between including this morning. If you’re a skier, this is heaven.
Layers of dated snow like the rings on a tree.
Judy Pennington says
One of my all time favorite appetizers is something most people despise, chicken livers! But, dip the livers in flour, wrap those puppies in smoky bacon and fry, and it’s an all together different story. The caterer for our Bicentennial celebration of our town served them and they were gone in an instant! You can also wrap little smokies in bacon, roll them in brown sugar and fry. Delicious!!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Judy – I love chicken livers, and your bacon-wrapped version sounds awesome! Must try.
Lillian plummer says
Thank you Kevin, great ideas. I had forgotten about potato croquettes such a long time since I have made these.
Happy New Year and keep those delicious tid bits coming.
Best Lillian in Hong Kong xx
Frances A. Goodson says
You make projects, chores and cooking so accessible, beautiful, and delicious.
You bring back my aging inspiration with your enthusiasm and skills. I even want to cook after reading your recipes!
Thank you for such a wonder-full blog.
Frances in MD
Lyndia Bernabe says
Thank you for your wonderful and creative recipes! I have copied them and prepared them many times but failed to ever say a word of “Thanks”. Well, with this latest newsletter–I have to praise you for the wealth of Wonderful Tidbits you have created! They are dazzling and look delicious! I can hardly wait to get to the grocery to get the ingredients to prepare them!!! THANK YOU! Wishing you all things good in 2016! from Lyndia in St. Louis, MO
Anne O'Neil says
I made the bacon wrapped grissini last night. WOW!! they were a huge success .Thank You
Patricia C says
Thank you for sharing your treasure trove of knowledge. I take away at least one idea or recipe or suggestion every single time I open your page!
Jeanne Marshburn says
Made the Autumn Spice Cookies and the cheese crackers for a get together… They were immediately devoured..
People wanted the recipes so I just referred them to your site… Ummm!!
Happy New Year, Kevin!
Your braised short ribs were a hit at Christmas! I can’t wait to make them again. In the past I have also made your cheese sticks, zucchini fritters and the cheese crackers, and they were also big hits.
I always make chicken liver pâté over the holidays. It’s spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and fresh thyme and bay, so it’s perfect for this time of year. And like your short ribs, it’s actually better to make a day in advance. I’ll give you the recipe, if you like.