I know that not all the holidays in December before New Year's Eve have even happened. However, I'm one who believes in planning with New Year's Eve and the major college football bowl games are only two week away.
Party season is upon us. Whether we are having the parties or going to some. As you think about parties let's try some new dishes this year.
I'm not saying you can't have many of the old ones too. It is just that I believe in a little variety. There are two recipes this week. The first is for "Olive Bites" and they are easy to do. They can be served warm or at room temperature. That makes it possible to prepare them a little ahead of time and not be so rushed just before the party. The recipe calls for pimiento stuffed olives but I mention in the notes section of the recipe to maybe try the jalapeno and/or garlic stuffed for a little more variety and bite. There is also a dipping cheese sauce in the notes if serving hot.
The second recipe is for a cheese log. Cheese logs are not something new but changing up an item or two can make them a new variety for the party goers. The recipe is for "Gouda Cheese Logs" and you can use regular gouda or try smoked gouda for that slightly different taste. I mention you can change cheese flavors in the notes section. If you like things spicy then try using some pepper-jack cheese. The cheese logs can be made the day before the party and then just set out about 15 to 20 minutes before serving to let them soften up a bit.
These are only two ideas for the party scene. So if you are going to someone else's party they both make it an easy task of it. Take one or both to make your entrance.
Now if you are throwing a party let's get to some planning. The first decision you need to make is the type of party your throwing. By type I'm not talking about a theme for the party. Some questions to ask: Am I providing everything? Just the food and letting everyone bring beverages? Some food and beverages and asking others to add to the mix?
Once you have that decision out of the way you can proceed to planning what you'll need. It, of course, will depend on your physical layout. Do you have a good area for all the food to be set up and not bottleneck up all the people. I suggest that the food area and beverage area are at least slightly separated That way someone going for food is not in the way of those getting drinks and vice-versa.
If you are having people bring food dishes let them bring whatever they want. Unless you have a "Theme" and then you may want to assign recipes or just ask them to follow the theme. If you know individuals have some special recipe they do and the party goers don't see it very often, then go ahead and ask them to bring it.
It's good to let people know that they should bring a recipe that will take care of X number of people at a minimum. They can always bring more but this way everyone knows ahead of time what is expected of them and people don't get embarrassed when they show up.
Don't forget to have many of disposable plates, flatware, napkins and glasses or cups. I'd also make sure you have extra trash containers around and conveniently located.
Have a great "New Years" and enjoy all the parties you attend. Lastly, if drinking alcohol have a designated driver lined up. Be safe because we all you around for the whole "New Year."