Growing up, my older siblings had one movie they loved watching over and over again—a movie they knew terrified me. Pretending to be as unfazed as they were, I’d sit and watch it with them. Wedged between sofa cushions, one eye on the screen and one tightly shut for protection from the inevitable, we’d await the terrifying surprise twist we all knew was coming. Each time we watched the film, I’d let out a scream, much to the delight of my brothers and sisters, who’d then taunt me for hours.
Nowadays, that terrifying anxiety revisits me only once a year—on New Year’s Eve. Without fail, the New Year finds a way to take me by surprise. I know it’s coming; I even know when. Still, amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I’m never quite ready for that ball to drop, yet I always end up playing party host. If you find yourself in my situation, here’s a list of super-simple noshes that make it look like you’ve been planning this party for months.
The Easiest New Year’s Party Menu Ever
Teriyaki-Glazed Bacon Water Chestnuts: What’s a party without something savory wrapped in bacon, pierced by a toothpick? These bites are more than a party prerequisite. There’re an amazingly delicious, unbelievably easy-to-prepare party prerequisite. Don’t be surprised if friends request that you bring them to every party throughout the year.
Caesar Salad Cocktail: When it comes to the spread this NYE, there’s no need for pretention. Familiar flavors like those found in this mini salad are upgraded to party fare with a little inventive presentation. Yes, you can bring salad to a party!
Pomegranate-Lemonade Punch: Of course, in between bites, you must drink something. This is a party. Punches are a great way to ensure there’s enough for all, and this one is a guaranteed hit for any crowd. Made with real pomegranate juice, it’s a refreshing option that’s got a little fizz thanks to ginger ale.
Creamy Cappuccino Mousse: Nothing’s worse than watching guests drop hard-to-hold food onto your clean floors. Keep things simple with tiny cups and bowls. How elegant is this dessert? Easy to prepare in just 20 minutes, it boasts all the flavors of your favorite morning/end-of-the-party beverage in an easy-to-handle dessert.
Sriracha Shrimp-Endive Appetizers: Is there anything Sriracha can’t do? The fiery chili sauce adds just the right amount of kick to these easy apps. Plus, thanks to the natural spoon-like nature of endive leaves, you’ll have fewer dishes to clean at the end of the night. Win-win!