No doubt you know by now that I’m not a huge fan of cooking but eating is a whole other story, especially during the holidays. New Year’s Eve in our house is about celebrating the end of one year and the start of a new year with a family party. Instead of a big meal we’ll be filling our evening with nibblies. If you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few of our favourites.
You can’t have a party without cheese and crackers, at least not in this house. Our platter with have the standards like old cheddar, swiss, and monetary jack, but I love introducing the kids to other varieties too such as herbed goat cheese, French brie, pepper havarti, and stilton with mango (a personal favourite). We enjoy having a mix of crackers, some for dipping, some for holding cheese, and some for just eating on their own. Our kids love making their own concoctions of cheese and spread laden crackers so having a platter of items enables them to get creative.
The Classic Cracker Assortment from Sobeys is great along side President Choices’ Rosemary Crackers. My youngest loves these with cheese or eaten on their own. My favourite this year has to be the PC Black Label Chipotle and Cheese Crackers. Aged Chedder and Asiago layered with sourdough, these have a sharp taste followed by a little heat from the chipotle. I love a lot of the Black Label products, having used many of them as part of our Summer BBQ Sunday series, so it’s no surprise that I love these bite-sized Chipotle and Cheese crackers.
The PC Black Label Cheese and Black Pepper butter biscuits are another party favourite. They remind me of cheese pennies. I have to warn you, they are terribly addictive. Also from President’s Choice, we’ll be adding the Recipe to Riches Montreal Deli Style Spread to our platter. Like you, I thought this was a strange mix of deli meat, pickles, and cheese processed into a spread but it is so good. It’s wonderful on crackers. I’ll be enjoying my mom’s homemade antipesto she sends me each year. She sent me two bottles this year so I might even share. Chutney’s are another favourite spread for me and the PC Black Label Spicy Mango Chutney is sweet with a little heat. Mix this with fruit and raw vegetables and we’re set for most of the day.
We’ll have hot items at our little party too. I tend to make my own meatballs. They’re not that hard and although you can buy them pre-made, I find the homemade versions are so much better, not as dry. Although I try to avoid a lot of processed food during the year, when shopping for our family New Year’s Eve party I usually head for the freezer aisle.
Some of our holiday staples include President’s Choice Coconut Shrimp and Sobey’s Sensations Crispy Noodle Shrimp Twists. Shrimp is popular in our home and the mix of textures — shrimp ring, breaded ship, and noodle-wrapped shrimp — make for an interesting taste. This year we’ll be adding Recipe to Riches PC Mini Cheesy Bees’ Nests to our list. These bite-size philo pastry shells with cheese, fruit and honey are wonderful, though I find we cook them less than required on the packaging to keep the shape of the pastry.
Of course a party isn’t complete without sweets. We’ll serve up whatever homemade holiday cookies are left plus we’ll have mincemeat tarts from our local bakery, plus Sobey’s Sensations Holiday Mini Log Collection, individual log slices. I think I might share. I’m looking forward to trying Black Label’s Sangria Cocktail Mix this year too, great for both alcohol and non-alcohol based cocktails at the party. PC Black Label Pomegranate Lemon Sparkling Beverage is also a family favourite, especially when you pour over frozen fruit.
We’re all looking forward to sampling bites of food throughout the day while we play games and watch movies and wait for the clock to strike midnight. We might even make a time capsule or try our hand at a few mocktails shared in our Family Friendly New Year’s Eve idea list. Whatever we end up doing, we’ll be celebrating together as a family and that’s what makes me happy.
How will you be ringing in the New Year?