A New Year's Eve Party To (Mostly) Remember
I love New Year’s Eve.
A celebration of friends and new beginnings, NYE is one of those occasions for which I love to go all out: buckle your seatbelts friends, it’s time to Dinner Party like it’s 1999.
My secret to an excellent NYE dinner party? Wait until December 29th to invite guests! Those friends who are available will be ridiculously excited to (finally) have fun plans -- and their enthusiasm will be contagious. (Don't worry that no one will be available -- you will be shocked at how many of your fab friends don’t have equally fab NYE plans and would kill for an invite to your dinner party.)
Trick #2 to ensure a killer NYE dinner party. Don’t have your guests arrive before 9:00. I know -- on a typical night you want to fall asleep by 8:30, right? But on this night that’s supposed to go until the wee hours, you’ll find people wilt if you start before 9:00. We’ve really all only got about 4 hours of party in us.
Down to brass tacks. Start cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as guests arrive until about 10:00 when dinner should start. Again, I know it seems late but this timing will help ensure your guests are still able to stand to ring in the New Year. I mean, they’ll definitely be swaying as the room spins, but it won’t be due to drinking fatigue.
Most importantly, don't make everything yourself. Ask your punctual friends to bring appetizers. Then ask your slightly irresponsible and decadent friends to bring an insane dessert (if they eff it up, no one will remember thanks to your most reliable friend, the martini). This leaves you with dinner. Easy breezy.
Start with this winter bisque. Make just enough so that everyone gets a taste and make it ahead of time -- even the day before.
I whiz it in the food processor and forgo the straining.
I serve it with simple mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. The sauce makes the whole plate ah-ma-zing.
If you have it, break out your fine china. And if you don’t, who cares?! It’s the friends and food plus the celebration of the New Year and all the possibilities it holds that will create an unbeatable atmosphere, not your dishes. Buuuut, I’m a sucker for aesthetics, so if I didn’t have china, I would probably pick up these fab champagne flutes and these wineglasses to add something special to my everyday plates. The price is oh, so right and you’ll love them.
Add to the mix a bunch of white candles and flowers (just pop bunches of flowers into water glasses). Water glasses add great height and sparkle to the table and couldn't be easier.
Finally, no party is complete without groovy music -- I'll be playing my "Pink Martini" Pandora station.
Happy New Year!!
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