New Year's Eve Dinner Party a Success

As long as you don't count how they felt the next day, I think my New Year's Eve party guests would say the party was a success. I followed many of Rachael's party planning tips and added a few of my own. I kept the party small - only six guests. I also tried to keep it simple by not making an elaborate meal. I chose the relatively simple menu of Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary, Green Beans and Portobello Mushroom Saute, Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Orange Cream Liqueur Dessert from 30-Minute Meals 2. Each and every dish was a keeper. I followed them exactly as written (except I added the green beans back to the pan too early by mistake, oopps).

Another way to make a party simple is to take people up on their offer to bring something. I'd recently seen Rachael make stromboli on her show and thought they'd be the perfect appetizer, since they were filling enough to hold people over for our later than usual dinner. My friend Krissie made Meat Lovers Mini Stromboli Bites and Spinach-Walnut Pesto and Fontina Mini Stromboli Bites. She served them with marinara sauce and ranch. I am still learning how to use my new camera, so this picture does not do justice to Krissie's creation. These little guys exceeded my expectations.

Our friend Kate offered to bring the ingredients for the Creamsicle Liqueur Dessert. This is a textbook Rachael Ray dessert (she doesn't like to bake): ice cream, alcohol and a little garnish. Kate went above and beyond by using her ice cream maker at home to create the french vanilla and she added an orange sherbet too (which was in the picture on the food network, but not in the recipe). It was so good that everyone cleaned their bowl. And, it really did turn out tasting like a creamsicle (but I am not sure it would have if Kate had not added the sherbet).

The other tip from Rachael that I used was to have one special drink that you serve along with wine and beer. We chose a cosmopolitan, but since the guys were drinking them instead of the girls, we called them Mantinis. After we ran out of lemons, we used clementine juice. At that point, I don't think the boys were really tasting them anymore, but they said they preferred the lemon. Who knew they'd be cosmo Mantini connoisseurs by the end of the night?

I really liked the sit-down dinner party, but next year I might try tapas, with tons of appetizers throughout the night for picking at. How was your New Year's Party?


  1. Those stromboils look fantastic. I've been meaning to try making my own calzones, too.

    Glad to hear you had a good New Year's Eve!

  2. I thought they would be good, but they were excellent. Krissie said they were pretty easy to make, too. Although, her last one turned out the best, after she learned how to fold it well.

    Rachael also has a video on the same page that I linked to for the recipe. That's a good place to look for tips on how to make it.

  3. I've made something similar to those roasted red potatoes w/rosemary. Those are GOOD!

    Mantini! Hee! Love it.

  4. We don't eat many potatoes anymore (our own Phase 4 of the South Beach Diet is still in effect), so they were really a treat.

  5. I did a tapas New Years Party--sadly, none were Rachael Ray recipes....(our party also involved several 1 year olds and playpens)

  6. Jeny - so I'm guessing they didn't make it till midnight?

  7. Madeline,
    Thanks again for the invitation and WONDERFUL dinner party. I will never roll my eyes again when you talk about Rachael Ray. You are such an incredible entertainer and we had a blast!

  8. How much do I owe you for such nice comments? Thanks so much for bringing the dessert. It was a keeper.


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