Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Can’t believe Christmas is over and 2018 is upon us. I keep seeing social media posts about how the days between Christmas and New Year’s are so awkward and everyone is confused not knowing what to do with themselves–and I find it couldn’t be more true! It’s a better time than ever to really just be lazy and relax without any immediate obligations, if only for a day or so.
I haven’t done anything too crazy for New Year’s Eve the past few years, mostly just chill nights at home. This year we are doing a Star Wars marathon–with themed food, so look forward to that soon!–but I thought I would share some different appetizer ideas I’ve made on different occasions that are easy, delicious, with great presentation. Enjoy!
P.S. – Forewarning, there is (unintentionally) lots of cheese involved…
Pesto Yogurt CrostiniI got this from Good Housekeeping magazine I believe, one weekend when I was trying to save money but still wanted to feel like I was eating out. It was so simple and good! You slice some French bread up and bake it until it gets toasty, mix together pesto (homemade or store bought – at the time I had some leftover kale pesto in the fridge so I used that) with Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, and salt and pepper, spread on the toasts and top with prosciutto. Found the recipe online too here.
Fruit and Nut Baked Brie
This is a really simple recipe my mom got from someone years ago, and we still make it almost every time we need a quick app. First, mix some nuts and dried fruit (pistachios with apricots and craisins work well) with a tablespoon or two of brandy in a bowl off to the side. Then, take a round of brie, place it in a oven-safe dish, and poke it all over the top with a fork. Pour a tablespoon or two of brandy over the top. Then, put the nuts and fruit on top. Bake at 325° for 10-15 minutes, until it’s warmed through. The above photo was taken when we accidentally put it in a too-high oven temp, so it shouldn’t be THAT melted, but even if it is it’s still amazing!
Heirloom Tomato Galette
I know it’s not the right time of year for heirloom tomatoes, but this is so good and looks so beautiful I couldn’t resist. Below is an alternative with squash as well! Recipe here.
Read about when I made this for dinner here.
Dijon Arugula with Buratta and Prosciutto
This is an Ina Garten recipe I made that same weekend I wanted to save money while eating at home, but still wanted to feel like I was eating out!
Homemade Pizza with Ricotta
As each times passes, I’ve gotten better and better at making pizza at home, and this was definitely my favorite so far! I got store-brought dough (none of my local pizzerias would sell me just the dough, which I found odd), make this simple sauce from Bon Appetit, and followed the baking strategy from this recipe which involves baking it on the very bottom of the oven first and then finishing it off under the broiler. Just did the sauce with fresh mozzarella in the oven, and then when I took it out I topped it with ricotta.
The “Nor’easter” Drink
Combine 2 ounces bourbon, 1/2 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce maple syrup, and then top with ginger beer. Refreshing but cozy for a cold winter cocktail 🙂
Holly Jolly Sangria
I made this for a recent holiday get-together, but I figured it was festive enough to apply to a New Year’s shin-dig too. Combine 1 bottle of red wine with 1 bottle of cran-apple sparkling cider, and add a selection of fruit (I used oranges, green apples, and cranberries). Top with additional cranberries and a sprig of rosemary if desired.
Hope you enjoyed! To see what I’m eating in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Twitter @ClaireLeaden!