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Last Minute Appetizers, Mocktails & Toasts for New Years Eve

By Brooke McLay |

New Years Eve is here, but it’s not too late for you to pull together the ultimate party.  We’ve put together a whole list of last-minute party plans.  Delectable appetizers, incredibly easy mocktails, simply splendid toasts for the New Year.  Our list is stocked with simple, accessible recipes, ingredients and ideas.  Things you can pull together in a matter of minutes, using items you probably have in your pantry.  So, go ahead!  Ring up your friends, ring in the New Year in style.  It’s party time, and you’re just minutes away from throwing the perfect one yourself.

EASY, LAST-MINUTE APPETIZERS

Monte Cristo Quesadillas
The surprising combination of pepperjack and strawberry jam in this recipe is absolutely addictive.
Sprinkle grated pepper jack cheese on one-half of a flour tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half, butter it, and grill both sides until golden brown on a hot griddle. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and serve with warm strawberry jam for dipping.

Savory Ham Cheese Ball
This simple cheese ball uses basic ingredients but packs some serious flavor punch. Do not make this unless you’re having guests over. Otherwise, you’ll want to eat the entire thing!
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 can chunk lean ham (you’ll find it near the tuna aisle in your grocery store)
1 teaspoon celery salt (more, if desired)
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, ham, and celery salt until well mixed. With slightly wet hands, gather together the cream cheese mixture and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball into crushed pecans. Serve with butter crackers, wheat crackers, or your favorite gluten-free crackers.

Boneless Chicken Wings
These easy boneless chicken wings make quick use of frozen popcorn chicken to create a delicious, easy appetizers.
1 package frozen popcorn chicken
1 bottle buffalo sauce
1/2 cup bleu cheese dressing
Garnish with celery stalks
Place the frozen chicken pieces in a large baking dish. Bake according to package directions. As soon as you remove them from the oven, toss them in just enough buffalo sauce to coat them completely. Serve with bleu cheese dressing & celery spears for dipping.

Creamy Avocado Dip
This creamy avocado dip is delicious when served with tortilla chips, plain potato chips, parmesan-garlic fries, red bell pepper slices, carrot sticks, and a slew of other fresh veggies.
2 avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, beat together the avocados and sour cream until creamy. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately with your favorite accompaniments.

Teeny Weeny Nachos
Sometimes a good appetizers are less about clever flavors and more about clever presentations. Such is the case with these familiar treats. The fun of these nachos, however, is that you construct each one on it’s own tortilla chip boat.
20-25 unbroken tortilla chip triangles
1 cup mexican blend cheese, grated
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons jalepeno’s, fresh or canned
Place the tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese into the center of each tortilla. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees just until the cheese melts. As soon as you remove the chips from the oven, transfer them to a serving tray. Pipe a small amount of sour cream into the center of each chip, sprinkle with diced tomatoes and jalapenos. Serve immediately.

QUICK MOCKTAILS

White Grape ‘Champagne’
Bubbly and sweet, this pretty mock-champagne is a snap to mix up and absolutely delicious to drink.
1 can White Grape Juice frozen concentrate
2 liters Gingerale
Mix together until the concentrate is fully melted & incorportated into the gingerale. Serve chilled & enjoy!

Tornado Twister
Two seconds is all you need to mix this delicious, fruity drink up and have it ready to go for your party guests.
1 can Cran-Raspberry frozen juice concentrate
2 liters lemon-lime soda
Soften the juice concentrate in the soda. Serve with a twist of lime.

Shirley Temple
Let the little kids share in New Years reveling with this favorite mocktail classic.
1 liter lemon-lime soda
1 bottle maraschino cherries
Pour 1-2 tablespoons of the maraschino cherry juice into the bottom of each glass. Plop a cherry or two in there, as well. Pour chilled lemon-lime soda over the cherry juice.

TOASTS TO A PROSPEROUS 2011
In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want. ~ Traditional Irish toast

Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy, Happy New Year, everybody. ~ Phyllis McGinley

Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you. But your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others. ~Anonymous

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!” -Joey Adams

Here’s a toast to the future, A toast to the past, And a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant; The past a bright dream; May our friends remain faithful and dear. ~Anonymous

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” – John Burroughs

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About Brooke McLay

brooke-mclay

Brooke McLay

Brooke McLay is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer, and cooking show host for Babble, General Mills, and Good Cook. You can find and follow her latest whims at Cheeky Kitchen. Read bio and latest posts → Read Brooke's latest posts →

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