Every year I try to make sure that I host my annual New Year’s Eve, since I can’t get Christmas dinner! Last year was our first one at our new home, and I went a lot overboard on the food and I didn’t plan any games. I had assumed we would all talk the night away as we do at either parent’s place. This year I planned accordingly and am very happy it was much more of a success!
I did an appetizer table with cheese and crackers, chips and dip, shrimp ring (that didn’t thaw out right), spinach dip with veggies and pumpernickel bread and punch. Last year I did a regular punch and no one drank it. So this year I made a Christmas sangria with cranberries and green apples – it was delicious! I omitted the Rosemary since I served it in a punch bowl. I also did 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 1/4 cup, and added half a bottle of 7-up to make it a bit sweeter. It was soo soo good! Everyone enjoyed it!
This was just one of the tables I had set up, the other one is off to the left side and was moved to connect once I was done in the kitchen. I hung black balloons upside down over the table. Loved how it looked but wasn’t ideally the best thing to do since I couldn’t see everyone once standing.
I used a black plastic table cloth from the Dollar Tree, on top of that I put down a thick vinyl table cloth that I got last year from Dollarama. I used the chargers that I had bought for our wedding – yippee!, used our new plates and bowls that I just bought on sale from Target on Boxing Day. The champagne glasses I bought from Dollarama last year. My flatware I bought a few years ago from Walmart – they are strictly for dinner parties, and I keep them in a separate bin downstairs. For the napkin rings, I used toliet paper rolls and black ribbon from Dollarama. Super easy to make and they look very elegant.
For dinner I started off with Split Pea, Bacon & Potato Soup. This was such a tasty hearty soup and I loved having a soup or salad course before the big dinner.
Last year I made the mistake of making all my dishes for the exact time my dinner was to start at. What a stressed out mess I was! This year I made everything for about an hour early, put them in their platters covered with foil and then kept them in my oven on warm. I’m very lucky to have a double oven so I could still make some things in the top oven while everything else was kept warm in the larger bottom oven.
I decided to keep it simple for two reasons: 1) last year we had SO SO much leftovers and 2) we have a wedding to pay for this year! Next year I can up the ante a bit – and that’s the plan!
For the main dishes, I made Lemon Pepper & Rosemary Roasted Chicken by Paula Deen, and Sweet and Sour Meatballs that I got from M&M’s Meat Shop.
I also made Creamy Scalloped Potatoes (very delicious and quite easy to make!), Greek Tortellini Salad (which I thought tasted good when I made it the day before, but the day of I wasn’t a big fan of having the tortellini cold so will probably be throwing out that big bowl of it), Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Broccoli (I roasted them all for about 30 mins in 425 degrees. Very yummy but of course everyone only took just one of each since they were big haha), Cornbread Stuffing (the box kind, I just love the box types way better!), Pillsbury Biscuits, and gravy. Alongside dinner, I served Martini Champagne – yum yum.
Everyone was full after dinner but sadly one of them had to work early the next day and was wanting to go home so I did a few games quickly before he left.
First we started off with the candy ball. It’s a ball of clear duct tape wrapped and wrapped with candies inserted at random points. Then I wrapped it completely in one roll of clear tape with no candies so it’d be hard to open it at first! I’m glad I did it with tape since for 10 people, we all got about 5 turns and everyone got some candies! At first people were a little resistant to wanting to go crazy on opening it, but by the second round, it was a ton of fun seeing everyone trying to rip the ball apart and have candy flying out! A word of advice…don’t use those rocket candies – every.single.candy.piece came flying out! Not fun to clean up with dogs trying to “help” you haha.
Until next time…