Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our New Year's Eve Celebration

On New Year's eve, my initial countdown consisted of watching the hours and minutes until 9 pm... when guests would arrive at our condo.  It was a busy day and a very fun night!  I was really excited to try out some new recipes as well as mix up some family classics.


Friday, December 31, 2010

10:30 am - Put away Christmas decorations, dispose of our bone-dry, needle-shedding tree, and build my menu of recipes and grocery list.

Menu:
7 Layer Mexican Dip
Won Ton Appetizer
Italian Appetizer Bites
Tortilla Rollups
Cheeseball (plus other cheese and crackers)
Chex Muddy Buddies/Puppy Chow
Giant Cupcake Cake
Veggies and Dip (store-bought platter with spinach dip)

12:30 pm - Grocery shopping (with the usual stop by Starbucks along the way!)
1:30 pm - Lunch

2 pm - Giant Cupcake

Scott's parents gave me this fun cake mold for my birthday, so I decided to start off by getting the cake into the oven so I could assemble and ice it later (stay tuned for that part!).  The mold instructions call for typical cake batter, and I decided to get creative with chocolate cake for the base and white cake for the top.  I also used the insert piece which gives the base an indention, which can then be filled with any type of filling (in my case, more icing!).




2:20 pm - 7 Layer Mexican Dip (from my mom's recipe collection)

Ingredients:
1 can refried beans
1 package taco seasoning
#1) 1 carton guacamole
#2) 1 8-ounce sour cream
#3) 1 chopped onion
#4) 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
#5) 1 chopped tomato or jar or chunky salsa, drained (I used salsa)
#6) 1 small can green chilies, drained
#7) 1 bag of grated cheese (I used Mexican cheese but you can use any type)


Mix together the refried beans and taco seasoning.  Spread into bottom of a clear bowl (it's fun to see the layers from the side).  Layer the rest of the ingredients in order and serve with tortilla chips.


2:50 pm - Cheeseball

I already posted this recipe here, but this time I sprinkled some chopped pecans on top.  The cheeseball was a hit at the party!



3:10 pm - Tortilla Rollups (another recipe from my mom's collection)

Ingredients:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
Salsa to taste
1 small can green chilies, drained
Green onion (I used a couple stalks)
12 ounces shredded cheese (I just used one bag)
8 flour tortillas


Mix all ingredients.  Spread mixture over each tortilla.  Roll up jelly-roll style.  Chill, cut and serve with additional salsa. [I waited to slice the rollups until right before the party.]





3:45 pm - Italian Appetizer Bites (originally published in Family Circle magazine, my mom passed it along to me)

This recipe is a good, hearty one - especially when the drinks are flowing.  I found myself describing it as an Italian quiche of sorts since it contains layers of meat, cheese and egg.

Makes: 32 pieces. Prep: 15 minutes. Bake: at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Ingredients:
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 pound sliced deli salami
1/2 pound sliced provolone cheese
1/2 pound sliced boiled deli ham
7 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 jars (12 ounces each) roasted red peppers, drained


1) Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Unroll 1 package of the crescent rolls and use dough to line the bottom of prepared baking dish.  Pinch the seams together with fingers.

2) Cover rolls with half of the salami, provolone and ham.  [I cut the meat into pieces first to spread it evenly.]  Lightly beat together 6 of the eggs and the Parmesan; pour half evenly over the top.  Top with half of the roasted red peppers.  Repeat layering with remaining salami, cheese, ham, egg mixture and peppers.  Top with remaining package of crescent rolls.

3) Lightly beat remaining egg and brush over the top.  Cover dish with foil; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 30 more minutes.  Cool for 1 hour; cut into 32 squares and serve.  [I held off on cutting into pieces until right before the party.]







4:30 pm - Assemble cake

I leveled the bottom of the top piece with a serrated knife.  For the icing, I whipped up some of my mom's buttercream icing (butter and powdered sugar with a splash of milk... or water when one is out of milk).  I filled the indention with icing and spread some around the top of the base to help glue the two pieces together.  After placing the top on the base, I iced the whole top like a cupcake and added a ton of rainbow sprinkles.





5 pm - Chex Muddy Buddies or "Puppy Chow" (recipe on the back of the Chex cereal box)

Ingredients:
9 cups of Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


1) Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.

2) In 1-quart microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high  minute; stir.  Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage bag. [I simply added the powdered sugar into the bowl and stirred it well.]

3) Add powdered sugar.  Seal bag; shake until well coated.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.  [I skipped this step since I combined everything in the bowl.]




5:30 pm - Won Ton Appetizers (my mom received this recipe from my grandmother)

While I was home over Christmas, my mom told me that this appetizer was a complete hit at her recent holiday parties.  After our NYE party, I can vouch for the popularity - multiple people let me know that this dish was their favorite of the party!

Ingredients:
Won Ton or Mini Fillo shells (I only bought 30 mini fillo shells and had leftover filling - would recommend about 45 shells, can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store)
1 pound of sausage crumbled up, cooked well and drained
1 chopped red pepper
8 ounce bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
Mexican cheese (I used cheddar since I finished off the Mexican cheese with other recipes)


1) Cook shells as directed in advance.  [The kind I used required 5-8 minutes of cook time at 350 degrees.]

2) Mix sausage, red pepper, and ranch dressing.  When ready to serve, spoon above mixture into the pre-cooked shells.  Put shells on a pan or baking sheet and sprinkle cheese on top.  Cook at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  [I waited to complete this step until right before the party.]





6:15 pm - Relax a bit and eat dinner.
7:30 pm - Shower and get dressed.
8:15 pm - Cut tortilla rollups and Italian appetizer bites.  Bake won ton appetizer.  Plate everything.  Start up the music... the soundtrack for the evening was provided by my lovely and very hip younger sister J :)  (Thankfully, Scott cleaned the condo while I cooked, went to the liquor store and set up the bar!)

9 pm - Party time!

Midnight - Toast the new year with champagne and cake!




Hope everyone had a fabulous New Year's eve!  As Scott said in his toast at midnight, be sure to take a moment to count your blessings.  We are so fortunate to have such amazing friends and family.  2010 was a year I will never forget... and I am excited for everything 2011 has in store!

20 comments:

  1. Melissa,

    You are so clever and creative. This looks like a wonderful party. Scott is lucky to have you. See you soon. Love, Mama Tydell

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I am very lucky to have Scott too :) And happy birthday to you - see you soon to celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a fun evening! You and Scott know how to host a party. Happy 2011!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for all your recipes, Mom :)

    ReplyDelete

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