11 Starters and Sweets for Your New Year’s Bash ~ Jennifer Segal

Now that Hanukkah and Christmas are over, it’s time to focus on the next party! The great thing about entertaining on New Year’s Eve is that your “meal” can be made up of fun finger foods. 

1. Crispy Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Red Chili Sauce


Coconut Shrimp makes fabulous finger food for a party, especially served with this Asian-Style Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing. Feel free to fry the shrimp a few hours ahead of time and reheat in the oven before serving. GET THE RECIPE

2. Cheddar & Herb Straws


These crisp and flaky cheese straws specked with fresh herbs and crushed red chili flakes make a wonderful hors d’oeuvre to go along with wine and cocktails. Though they look like bread sticks, they’re actually more akin to savory pie crust or pastry. I find them wildly addictive and just plain fun to serve. GET THE RECIPE

3. Red Velvet Cupcakes


Who can resist adorable red velvet cupcakes? These have a subtle chocolate flavor, deep mahogany color and lavish swirl of tangy cream cheese frosting on top. GET THE RECIPE

4. Chili Con Queso


Skip the Velveeta: from-scratch queso is so much better! This version made with fresh jalapeños, Cheddar and Pepper Jack is rich, creamy and delicious served warm with tortilla chips. GET THE RECIPE

5. Cocktail Meatballs


Throw away those old kitschy cocktail meatball recipes that call for grape jelly and frozen meatballs — these are easy-to-make and so much better. The meatballs are baked, not fried, and the sweet and tangy sauce is ready in under 15 minutes. Just be sure to make extra — they disappear in a flash. GET THE RECIPE

6. Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting


What’s a party without chocolate, and who doesn’t love cupcakes? GET THE RECIPE

7. Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas


Adapted from the website of Curtis Stone, these crisp flour tortillas filled with gooey melted cheddar and shredded chicken in a smoky chipotle sauce are the ultimate quesadillas. GET THE RECIPE

8. Homemade Caramel Corn


Sweet, crunchy caramel corn is easy to make. There’s only one problem: it’s utterly addictive. Don’t make this stuff unless you have the willpower of a saint or many friends to share it with! GET THE RECIPE

9. Baked Brie en Croûte with Honey, Dried Cherries, Rosemary & Pecans


Thanks to store bought puff pastry, this fancy-looking appetizer is easy to make — and it comes with a “most popular person at the party” guarantee. GET THE RECIPE

10. Chocolate Toffee Matzo “Crack”


Made with matzo crackers, this treat is called ‘crack’ because it’s insanely addictive (get it? crack-ers). GET THE RECIPE

11. Pomegranate Margaritas


Every party needs a signature cocktail and this seasonal twist on a traditional margarita is perfect for the holidays. Use a good quality 100% agave tequila like Patron Silver — it’ll taste better, and you’ll be glad for it the next day. GET THE RECIPE



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