I love the idea of going to a stylish New Year’s Eve party this year, but the reality is, I’m a mom, and might not be able to find a babysitter. Throwing a stylish, sophisticated New Year’s Eve party at home seems just as out of reach, as I don’t have energy to make hundreds of appetizers.
Casual and comfortable is the easiest and most relaxing way to go for a New Year’s Eve party, and I can’t think of a better way to create that than having a party where various delicious foods are bubbling away in slow cookers around the kitchen.
Invite your friends to bring their own favorite party dishes in their crockpots, or you can assign them some of the following ideas and recipes.
Bean Dip. I’m calling this healthy—not particularly because it’s low in fat, but because it is made out of beans. Really, anything made with beans is healthy, in my opinion. They’re loaded with fiber, and all other kinds of goodness, and let’s be honest. They’re probably the healthiest thing many of us will be eating over the holidays.
1 pound pinto beans, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
10 cups water
1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/4 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
Garnishes, such as chopped avocado, tomatoes, scallions, or olives
1. Place beans in a slow cooker and cover with the 10 cups of water. Add in onion, and cook on high for 8 hours, or overnight (Do not add salt or any other ingredients at this point).
2. Working in batches, place beans in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Blend the tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Add to the beans and tomato mixture back into the crockpot. Stir in spices, salt, and 2 cups of cheese. Cover, and turn to high. Allow to cook for another 2 hours. Garnish with remaining cheese. Cover again for 30 minutes. Garnish with everything else. Turn the crockpot to the warm setting, and serve with chips.
Cheese Fondue. Who doesn’t love this??? Do I really need to say anything about it?
Here is a fantastic recipe for fondue you serve inside little pumpkins. But of course, for our purposes, you’ll just serve it in a slow cooker set to warm. Serve with bread, Granny Smith apples, pretzels, and whatever else you want. To make it more kid friendly ( or if you’re not a fan of alcohol), you can substitute the alcohol for Martinelli’s or any kind of high quality apple cider.
Chocolate Fondue. This is the best part, of course.
In a large microwave safe bowl, heat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream until almost boiling, about 45 seconds. Stir in 12 ounces of high quality semi-sweet chocolate and 1 cup of mini marshmallows. Stir to combine well. Pour into a crockpot set to warm. Serve with strawberries, bananas, shortbread, or leftover Christmas cookies.