Monday, December 26, 2011

Ready for New Years?

New Year's Eve is only a week away, so I thought I would post some fun menu ideas for a new year's dinner party.  I hosted this dinner party a few days after the actual new year, but it was still very fun (and yummy!).  The party I hosted was themed A New York New Year, so my decor and menu centered around that theme.  
Since I am in California, the time frame for dinner worked well with this theme as well because of the time difference.  For invitations, design cards using a circle cutter, silver glitter, and string so it looks like the ball that drops in New York.  Put your party details on the back.  Or...if your guests live locally, why not craft a glitter ball and hang it from their front porch, so they see it as they walk out the door!  You can do this using a lightweight ball or even a white balloon that you cover with glitter.  Suspend the ball/balloon from the porch, and then dangle a card with the party details from it!  Here is the text I used on my invitation...

New Year's Resolutions:
1.  See my friends more
2.  Drink more wine
3.  Laugh more
4.  Create happy memories with my friends

Do these sound like some of yourNew Year's Resolutions? 
Let's accomplish them all on one night!

We'll recreate the new year by pretending we are in New York for the famousball drop & celebrate...

"A New York New Year!"
Dress in cocktail attire (as if you are going out in New York City) and come ready to
"Party Like It's 2008!"

Decor: This party was back in 2008, so my decor was a lot simpler in those days!!  I bought a New York background to hang on the wall and blow horns/poppers to spread out on the table. I also used New Years napkins.  All these items I found at Party City.  I used a white tablecloth on table, but also spread a smaller black tablecloth on top to add color.  My place cards were apples on which I attached a homemade tag that read "Welcome to New Years in the Big Apple" and the guest's name. I also had a ball hanging from the ceiling over the table (just like described in the invitation idea).
The silly paper hats were the "prize" in the poppers.
Menu:  I tried to serve everything New York related.  I started with Buffalo, New York Chicken Wings and dip as the appetizer.  These were very yummy!  My main dish was New York steak which I served with baked potato and vegetables.  Dessert was New York cheesecake which I topped with cherries. A very filling dessert, but delicious all the same.  Here are the recipes... 
Buffalo, New York Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

12 Chicken Wings (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons bottled hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic (minced)

For marinade, stir together melted butter, hot pepper sauce, paprika, salt, and red pepper.  Pour over chicken wings; seal bag.  Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Drain. Discard marinade.  Place chicken wing pieces on unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Turn chicken wings.  Broil for 10 to 15 minutes more or until chicken is tender & no longer pink.

For dip, combine all ingredients in a blue or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Cover and chill for up to one week.

New York Steak

Trim fat from steaks and marinate in Worchesire sauce overnight.
Grill for approximately 25 minutes rotating sides until desired doneness.

 Baked Potato with Chef’s Cheese Sauce

Potatoes for the number of guests attending
2 tablespoons margarine (soft)
¼ cup cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1-2 teaspoons snipped green onion
Crumbled bacon (optional)

Bake potatoes in oven or on grill.  Whip butter and cheese with mixer until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and beat until well blended.  Chill until ready to serve.  Place crumbled bacon on the side for guests to add if desired.  Cheese sauce feeds 2-3 people.
Sensational Foil-Pack Vegetables

1 cup zucchini chunks
1 cup button mushrooms
1 cup each red and yellow pepper chunks
1 cup large red cherry tomatoes
¼ cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Toss vegetables and tomatoes with dressing.  Place in center of an 18-inch long piece of heavy-duty foil.  Bring up foil sides and double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.  Grill 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, turning after 4 minutes.  Cut slits in foil to release steam.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

 New York Cheesecake Supreme

1½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup milk
3 slightly beaten eggs
½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional)
1 can cherry pie filling

For the crust, in a small bowl, combine graham crackers, walnuts, the tablespoon sugar, and if desired, cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter.  Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.  Set aside.  For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, the 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined.  Beat in milk until smooth.  Stir in eggs and, if desired, lemon peel.  Pour filling into crust-lined pan.  Place pan in a shallow backing pan.  Bake in a 375 degree oven 40 to 45 minutes for an 8-inch pan, about 35 for a 9-inch pan, or until a 2½ inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Using a sharp knife, loosen the crust and cool for 30 minutes more.  Remove the sides of the pan and cool cheesecake completely.  Cover with cherry pie filling.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

That's it for this simple party.  Not a lot of photos of this one either (sorry).  If I had known in January of 2008 that I would eventually start a blog and need good photos, things might have been different! Oh well...happy New Year!

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