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Last Minute Party? By Roving Wino!

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Are you throwing a last minute New Year’s Eve party?  Don’t despair! You can give the perfect party without spending a lot of money or time and still make the evening memorable.  The secret to a successful fete is to get organized, serve simple finger foods and delicious cocktails. With a little creativity and a few good friends you’ll design an affair to remember.

Sending Invitations

In order to spread the word, your best bet is to call people to tell them about the bash. Not only is this the least expensive way, but it’s also the most reliable this close to New Year’s Eve.  You can also email guests, send “Evites” or post on Facebook.  Make sure to tell your guests if it’s a “the more the merrier” party or if it’s exclusive to your close friends.

If you want to make some nice, easy champagne cocktails, go here for recipes. 


Light snacks and finger foods are the way to go on New Year’s Eve, as opposed to a sit-down dinner.  Grab and mingle is what most guests will want to do without restricting them to a designated seat. Food items to have on hand:

Dips and Chips

Vegetables and Ranch Dressing

An assortment of cheeses and meats


Here are some ideas for additional finger foods:

Italian Layered Dip

8 oz cream cheese

6 oz goat cheese

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

6 oz pesto

8 oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Soften cheeses to room temperature and mix them with minced garlic.  Line a casserole dish with plastic wrap.  Put 1/3 of cheese mixture in the dish, spreading it evenly to the sides.  Next, layer ingredients in the following order: sun-dried tomatoes, 1/3 cheese mixture, pesto, and remaining cheese in the same manner.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

To serve, turn upside down on a platter.  Serve with crackers.


Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 pound sliced bacon cut in half (or thirds)

1 pound pitted dates

4 ounces asiago cheese cut to fill date

Stuff the cheese into the dates and wrap with a piece of bacon.  Hold in place with a toothpick. Broil them until the bacon is nice and crispy, turning them so they get done all away around.


Stuffed Mushrooms

Below is the recipe for basic stuffed mushrooms.  Add personal touches such as crabmeat, prosciutto, bacon bits and scallions.

12 whole fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick.  Put mixture in ziplock bag and snip off the corner.  Pipe mixture into each mushroom cap until filled.  Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.


Mexican Pinwheels

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup cheddar cheese grated

½ cup olives, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 10” flour tortillas

Red or green pickled jalapenos

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Mix well.  On each tortilla, spread about ½ cup of mixture.  In center, place a row of jalapeno halves lengthwise across the tortilla.  Roll up jelly roll fashion and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Unwrap and cut each tortilla into 12 slices. 


Quick and Easy Bruschetta

1 baguette

1 container salsa

1 lb “Tuscan Blend” cheddar cheese (Sam’s Club and Costco have this) grated

Slice baguette into ½” thick slices and place on cookie sheet.  Spoon on tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted and serve.



Having a lot of music on hand is a necessity.  Your play list should include dance, dance, and more dance, and some slow music for when things get mellow.


When the Ball Drops

The most important thing to remember when throwing a New Year’s bash at your place is to have a good time, relax and realize that as long as you’re spending the night with close friends, it’ll be memorable.

Don’t worry too much about everyone else having fun.  When the clock strikes twelve, the only thing you should have to worry about is who you’re going to be under the mistletoe with.

You can never have too much food or drinks.  With good food, good cheer and good friends you can’t miss.  Party hearty and remember…..Don’t let a guest who over-drinks drive.  It could save a life and save YOU from a lawsuit.


Want more?  Check out this article for Roving Wino’s Champagne Cocktail recipes.







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