In just a few short days we will welcome the New Year and say goodbye to 2017. Like every year, I will make the traditional Greek New Year’s cake (vasilopita), a delicious and easy-to-make, orange-infused cake with a hidden lucky coin inside!
After all the Holiday baking, the special preparations, the shopping, and the frenzy of the Christmas season, many of us crave simplicity and staying-in this time around. Hosting a simple New Year’s party doesn’t have to be a full blown, sit-down affair. An informal gathering with some great appetizers and a bottle of bubbly to share with the family and a few close friends is a great alternative.
With that in mind, I put together a few ideas for dishes I am thinking of making, drawing from a few favorite appetizers and small plates from the blog’s archives. You can make most of these ahead of time, a few you can buy at the market, while others can be pulled together with just a few easy steps!
1. Let’s start with this Ultimate Appetizer Board. A few cheeses, nuts, olives, cold cuts, fruit, crackers, jams & honey that you purchase ahead and pile up on a board, is a great way to start a party.
2. Thinly sliced toasted bread is the perfect vehicle for all shorts of delicious toppings. These Irresistible Spicy Crostini are the best!
3. For all the bacon lovers out there, these bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with asiago cheese are super simple to assemble ahead of time.
4. Several bowls with either your favorite store-bought nuts or these home made salted-caramel mixed nuts is a must for every gathering.
5. Baked Brie is everybody’s favorite, especially if it is enclosed in some kind of crust, like this kataifi-wrapped brie with fig jam.
6. Filo appetizers always disappear first at parties, so I always make these crispy spinach and Feta cheese filo triangles (Spanakopitakia) ahead of time to have on hand and ready to go!
7. These Feta cheese filo cigars are even easier to make.
8. There should always be some kind of seafood in the mix: this Greek shrimp saganaki is great for sharing on small plates.
9. I can’t imagine an appetizer spread without some good bread. Buy a hearty loaf at your favorite bakery or make this super easy, no-knead, Greek olive flat bread, (eliopsomo).
10. Something sweet, preferably a small bite, like these light and airy, bite sized, Italian zeppole are such an unexpected treat and the dough can be made ahead of time.
Last, but not least, do not forget a bottle or two of your favorite bubbly to toast the New Year!
Warm wishes for a happy and creative New Year 2018 to all my friends and all the readers of this blog!