Since the big event, the ringing in of the new year, doesn't happen until midnight, guests often don't arrive until later in the evening, and a full dinner isn't required. This makes it possible to plan a last minute party with easy, sparkling decorations, and tasty little bites for food. Guests aren't looking for anything more than delicious nibbles to accompany the champagne and other beverages they'll be drinking until the big ball drops at Times Square.
Many of these food ideas require nothing more than presenting them on an attractive tray. If they require any cooking, I've selected recipes where the time is minimal. For optimal quality, don't put out everything in the beginning of your party. Instead, replenish items as the evening progresses keeping the cold food in the refrigerator until required, and putting out the hot food in small batches so that something warm is always available.
Moroccan Spicy Shrimp - Spice up the usual cold shrimp offering by serving these warm, Moroccan shrimp instead. Prepare several batches of the spices so that you can sauté new batches of shrimp throughout the evening.
Shrimp and Artichoke Mini Peppers - Prepare these colorful appetizers before your party and keep them in the refrigerator until needed to replenish your serving platter.
Anchovy Dip - It takes no time to whip up this dip that only requires sitting in your refrigerator a couple of hours to blend the flavors. Serve it with the pre-cut and washed vegetables you've picked up in the supermarket.
Olive Bar Goodies - Your supermarket's olive bar is the best source for easy, tempting nibbles for a no-time-to-prep party. Pick up an assortment of goodies for an instant tray of nibbles, such as: olives, gherkins, marinated mushrooms, marinated mozzarella balls, pickled beans, and roasted peppers. Serve then with an assortment of crackers or cheese toasts, also available now in many markets.
Bacon Wrapped Breadsticks - If you have the time these can be prepared the day before and reheated just prior to serving.
Offer a few sweets to cap off the savory bites after you ring in the New Year. This could be biscotti, high quality chocolates, and pastry shells filled with excellent fruit jam and topped with whipped cream.
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