When it comes to New Year’s Eve parties, there are often just two kinds of get-togethers: the casual bash complete with an expansive guest list, and the intimate, elegant event with just one special person or perhaps a small group of friends. When planning for the first gathering, think ease and simplicity, both in terms of food preparation for a crowd and also logistics like serving and plating different eats and drinks. For the dressed-up dinner party, look to elaborate yet accessible dishes to match the fancy flair of the event. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s favorite party-ready menus to fit both kinds of celebrations, plus a collection of creative and classic cocktails alike that will help you ring in 2013. Check out our top New Year’s Eve recipe ideas and effortless entertaining tips below, then tell us in the comments: How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Keep reading for recipes
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them in three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
There’s nothing like ringing in the New Year with a little bubbly. We mixed some of our favorite flavors with champagne to create the perfect libations for any party, New Year’s Eve and beyond.
First, start with your favorite champagne
The holidays offer a great opportunity for gathering family and friends, to remember old times and make new memories. And since it’s a celebratory time, it’s inevitable that there will be some drinking going on — a toast with Champagne, wine with dinner, etc. Wine is also a popular host/hostess gift. But after you’ve received the umpteenth bottle of Merlot, what do you do with all the wine? FN Dish has the perfect solution for you.
How about mulled wine? Just think about it. Unless you have a wine cellar to store the bottles, you probably won’t have the space to keep them. And how many times have you put a bottle of wine in your pantry only to discover next Christmas it’s still there? So instead of letting those bottles gather dust, make mulled wine. It’s the perfect way to extend your holiday entertaining into the New Year. Plus it’s a great solution for using up cheap wine (i.e., inexpensive wine — you wouldn’t want to use a $50 bottle for mulled wine).
Get the mulled wine recipes
Happy (almost) New Year! We’ve made it through the holiday rush and now it’s time to talk about ringing in 2013 in style. Since champagne is of utmost importance at any New Year’s Eve bash, we’ve rounded up a few very festive coasters (like the ones pictured from Lucky Bee Press) so you can set that drink down while you watch the ball drop. Who knew coasters could be letterpress-printed, spotted with gold and even humorous? Pick up a set of any of these to have your guests talking about what’s under their drink this year or give them as fun favors at your big celebration.
Click here for our festive coaster picks
We recently asked Food Network fans on Twitter to send their party-themed questions to an entertaining pro, Giada de Laurentiis. Just in time for New Year’s Eve, Giada shares tips to ensure you enjoy your own party, as much as your guests do. Click the play button above to watch Giada answer fan questions and get some of her party recipes below.
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After all the gift wrap has been cleaned off the floor, it’s time to play with the new toys you may have received for the holiday. If you’re done charging that brand-new mobile device, don’t forget to download these Food Network apps for instant access to your favorite chefs, top-rated recipes, can’t-miss shows, featured restaurants and more.
Food Network On the Road: Make every stop on your next trip delicious with this app. Find recommended restaurants and road trip ideas from top shows, like The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and more.
Food Network In the Kitchen: Get instant access to your favorite Food Network chefs and their most popular recipes. Compare multiple recipes at once, add ingredients to shopping lists, save recipes to your Recipe Box, create menus with the interactive meal planner and get helpful tips from our library of how-to videos.
Click here for more apps
Fall has finally given way to winter. Driveways are being shoveled, snow tires are mounted onto cars and steaming mugs of hot chocolate warm our souls. I, however, sit on a snowy-white beach contemplating what to bake for Santa’s annual visit, a tradition my mom started when I was very young.
Fast-forward to today: As one who works with flour, sugar and eggs, I bring joy year-round (to the many sweet tooths out there), but never a more important time than at holidays. This time of year, I bake for a “claus.”
I like to deliver tasty treats to my local police and fire stations as my way of saying thank you for saving lives. All of this leads me to sharing some of my fun holiday traditions. Some are past favorites, some are newer ideas soon to become classics.
Cookies left on a plate for Santa maybe very traditional, but who says it has to be boring? Invite the neighbors, family and friends over for a decorating party.
Find out how I set up my decorating party
While some families are slicing the holiday ham or carving the crown roast of pork on Christmas Eve, many Italians and Italian-Americans are preparing a meal with not just one star ingredient, but seven. It’s an Italian tradition to celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and with that comes a long, relaxing meal of fish-forward dishes. The strictest adherents to the seven-fishes tradition will tell you that indeed there should be seven fish on the dinner table, but for the sake of simplicity, consider any and all seafood, including shellfish, to count toward your final fish tally. The key to committing to cook seven different kinds of seafood is spreading out the dishes throughout the meal; instead of preparing seven whole fish for what would be an excessively large main dish spread, offer perhaps three small appetizers, a soup, pasta, then entrée plus a side salad, each with seafood as the focus. Check out Food Network’s favorite Feast of the Seven Fishes menu below, then tell us in the comments: What’s your favorite kind of fish?
Get the menu
When I was younger the thing I loved most about the holiday season was the dizzying array of cookies, candies and breakfast cakes that would suddenly appear in the our house. A practiced food sneak, I’d spirit away frosted sugar cookies and waxed paper-wrapped caramels and eat them in the luxurious privacy of my bedroom closet.
My parents were on to my sugar-seeking ways and would do their best to conceal the best of the treats from me so that I didn’t eat them all in a single day (I’ve since learned much about moderation). The one thing they never needed to tuck behind the cereal boxes on top of the refrigerator was the gingerbread. A yearly gift from our next-door neighbor, it was dense, heavy and smelled just slightly of bourbon. It was clearly not a cake for kids.
But as so often happens in life, my tastes have evolved over the years. The cookies I once craved now seem disgustingly sweet and that gingerbread I scorned appeals to me more than ever. That original recipe is long since gone (our neighbor died when I was 13), but I’ve spent the last few years searching out a similarly solid, barely sweetened cake to make and give out during the holiday season.
Before you mix your batter, read these tips