As a kid on New Year’s Eve I remember running around the house playing with other kids and my cousins while my parents where busy engaged in spirited conversation. Noise would fill the entire house, music playing, the tv on waiting for the countdown from Times Square and people talking and laughing. When the parental units weren’t looking we would sneak bites from the New Year’s Eve spread. My mother would always tell me I had enough, but I would sneak back for more. I’ll be honest, when it comes to sneaking back for more things haven’t really changed. It’s the end of the year after all, we got to eat when the eating is good, and before we make all those weight loss resolutions.
If you are hosting guests for New Year’s Eve festivities and, what to look good while being effortless, I got some easy appetizers for you. These will make you look like the slickest hostess around.
Your guest will be all like. “OMG! These are so good, you must have been cooking all day!”
Your all, “Yes, but I totally love it!”
And, they’re all, “And, they are so fancy! I don’t know how you do it!”
You say, “I know right!”
Actually the appropriate response would be, “Thank you, but they are so easy you can do it too!” Seriously!” Because let’s be honest don’t we always want to brag about how awesome something is or how you got that amazing dress on the clearance rack for only $20!
If there is one thing I love to have on hand to make simple appetizers is puff pastry. Take some classic ingredient combinations and some puff pastry and you have a party.
This simple tart is just puff pastry, brie, pear, honey and fresh rosemary. Crazy easy! You can change it up with cheddar and apple or cream cheese and berries, it’s up to you. The possibilities are endless.
For these I used puff pastry shells and filled them with a sausage, apple and onion mixture. Easy-peasy!
Cut the puff pastry into rounds and bake, smear some whipped honey goat cheese, top with beet and hazelnut mixture. Done! Goat cheese and beets, how can you go wrong?
Want crazy easy? Spread your choice of spread on to a sheet of rolled out puff pastry, roll, slice and bake. For these pinwheels I used a red pepper and chipotle spread and sprinkled queso fresco on top. You could also use an artichoke spread or olive tapenade.
Cheese and bacon twists! Nuf said!
Then there is the always dependable cheese ball. Who doesn’t love a good cheese ball? This cheese ball is made using the classic combination of fig, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar. Serve it with crackers and prosciutto and you are sure to have a home run.
Whatever you are doing this New Year’s Eve have fun! Hug your loved ones and get that New Year’s Eve kiss. Get excited about what 2014 brings and remember…diets start on Mondays.
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 8 oz brie cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 anjou pears, cored and thinly sliced
- fresh rosemary, minced
- 6 puff pastry shells
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and small diced
- slash of white wine
- 2 links Italian sausage, casing removed
- fresh rosemary, garnish
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 1 small red beet
- 1 small golden beet
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon minced tarragon (plus more for garnish)
- 4 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 1/2 cup choice spread
- 1/2 cup choice cheese (optional)
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 10 sliced bacon
- 8 oz block cream cheese
- 10 oz blue cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup fig preserves
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecan, hazelnuts or walnuts)
- fresh thyme, minced
- balsamic vinegar reduction to drizzle