Nothing says party like a festive atmosphere, good friends, and delicious food.  Appetizers are a fantastic choice to serve at your New Years Eve party for a number of reasons.  Many of the appetizers you can make well in advance, so when your guests arrive all the cooking is done.  Appetizers also provide a wide variety of choices and even the pickiest eaters will find something they enjoy.  Best of all, appetizers can be eaten anywhere – you do not need to worry about having a place setting for each of your guests.  Try these yummy appetizers at your next party – they are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Sake Cheese Ball

This beautiful cheese ball can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  It tastes delicious with crackers or thinly sliced rye or pumpernickel cocktail bread.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ¾ cup sesame crackers, crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, mix the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese.
  2. Blend in the sake.
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Roll the cheese mixture into a ball.
  5. On a plate, mix the crushed crackers with the parsley.
  6. Roll the cheese mixture around in the cracker mixture until cheese ball is completely coated.
  7. Wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. Serve on a platter with an assortment of crackers.

Holiday Pecans (serves 12)

These are an addicting treat your guests will enjoy munching on all night – so be sure to make a big batch.  For extra zest and a little heat, add a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups pecan halves
  • 2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten egg whites with the water.
  3. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir until all of the pecans are coated with the egg mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
  5. Add the spice mixture to the pecans mixture and mix.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  7. Spread the pecans on foil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  8. Stir the pecans every 5 minutes.
  9. Keep a close eye on them during the last 5 minutes of cooking time because they can burn very quickly if you aren’t watching.
  10. Remove from oven and cool.
  11. Serve at room temperature.

Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies (serves 12)

These little appetizers are a bit time consuming to make, but well worth the extra effort.  Not only are they the first to get eaten, but my kids beg for them every year.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut the bacon slices into 3rds and wrap each piece around a cocktail wiener.  Secure with a toothpick.
  3. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  4. Arrange the wieners on the baking sheet and cover with brown sugar.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
  6. Increase oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer wieners (and sauce on the foil) to a crock pot set to low.
  8. Pour maple syrup over the wieners.
  9. Serve from crock pot.

Antipasto Salad Platter (serves 8 people)

This recipe evolved from a dish I ate growing up at our favorite Italian restaurant, The Sicilian Sun. It is absolutely delicious and whenever I make it, my friends always ask for the recipe.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds sliced deli ham
  • 1 pound sliced deli salami
  • 1 pound sliced deli provolone
  • ½ head lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Layer 2 slices of ham, 1 slice of salami, and 1 slice of provolone.
  2. Roll the meat into a log shape and cut into pinwheels.
  3. Line a large platter with the pinwheels, and leave the center of the platter empty.
  4. In the center of the platter, layer the lettuce, olives, onion, and cucumber.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients for the dressing.  Once mixed, add in the vinegar.
  6. Sprinkle the dressing over the pinwheels and salad.

Looking for more ideas for your New Year’s Eve party?  Check out appetizer recipes on Allrecipes.com.  Not only are they user submitted, but they are user rated. It is very helpful to read what others think of the recipe before trying it yourself.  If you are looking for chef submitted recipes, try the appetizer recipes at Food Network.  You are sure to find the perfect dish for your next party.