Easy New Year’s Eve Appetizers

When I think about what makes a really great New Year’s Eve party, I immediately recognize the importance of being with the most-loved people in your life to ring in the new year — to celebrate your successes and relish in the memories of the past year while toasting to an even better year ahead. But what else makes a New Year’s Eve celebration really great? Well, that’s got to be the food.

The key to hosting a successful and enjoyable New Year’s Eve party is to create a menu of simple yet glamorous food. This is no time to be hidden away from guests preparing meals and clearing dishes in the kitchen. To avoid this, I recommend offering appetizer-like treats throughout the night. Finger foods are hassle-free and require very little clean-up, which means more time to mingle with your loved ones. Here are some of my favorite, easy hors d’oeuvres perfect for any New Year’s Eve celebration (and that I plan on creating myself tomorrow evening):

Smoked Salmon Crostini – Crostinis are an easy and versatile snack to create. To make these really special, set the base of your crostini with homemade dill-flavored cream cheese. Then start stacking with a small scoop of diced hard-boiled egg whites, a slice of smoked salmon and top with capers.

Mini Crab Cakes with Tandoori Aioli  I use tandoori spices a lot in my cooking. Mix them with some yogurt for a simple and delicious dipping sauce to compliment the crowd-favorite crab cake.

Jalapeño Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Scallops – Yeah, you read that right. Sizzle your bacon with some jalapeños and your scallops will gain a nice, crunchy kick.

Chimichurri Flank Steak Bites – Marinate your flank steak in a chimichurri sauce (I like to use parsley, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper) and throw on the grill or pan fry. Then just chop the meat into bite-size pieces.

And, of course, don’t forget the champagne!

I hope that no matter where you are or what you’re cooking, you have a wonderful celebration. Happy New Year from the Sidewalk Chef!

Happy New Year 2015

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