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Whether your New Year’s plans include mingling with friends at a swanky late-night bash or watching the ball drop from the comfort of your living-room couch, it’s best to be surrounded by a spread of celebratory eats and drinks as you say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in the New Year. Champagne is a must-have sipper when the clock strikes midnight, but beyond straight bubbly, what munchies and cocktails should you serve? Look to Food Network’s top-five recipes for New Year’s to find sweet and savory picks plus a dressed-up cocktail from some of your favorite chefs, like the Neelys, Rachael, Giada and Ina.
5. The Neelys’ Pigs in a Blanket — Made with just a handful of everyday ingredients, the Neelys’ two-bite snack is ready to eat in a hurry thanks to store-bought crescent dough, which serves as the blanket for mini hot dogs.
4. Whoopee Pies — The beauty of these part-cake, part-cookie treats is that they’re eaten like a sandwich — with soft cocoa shells surrounding fluffy marshmallow filling — so guests can pick them up to enjoy while they’re mingling.
3. Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms — Rachael starts by quickly sauteing mushrooms caps until they’re tender, then fills them with a cheesy, flavor-packed mixture of sweet Italian sausage, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Just a few minutes in the oven is enough for the stuffing to warm and the tastes to marry in this savory appetizer.
2. Sgroppino (Italian Cocktail) — Instead of classic French Champagne, Giada opts for a sparkling wine as the base of her dessert-inspired cocktail spiked with vodka and finished with a zesty lemon sorbet and fresh mint.
1. Roasted Shrimp Cocktail (pictured above) — Easy to make and endlessly crowd-pleasing, Ina’s fuss-free shrimp are best served alongside her tangy homemade cocktail sauce, featuring equal parts chili sauce and ketchup plus a dollop of horseradish and lemon juice. Click the play button on the video below to watch Ina make her top-rated party starter.