New Year’s Eve party dishes, drinks and other delights
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Nibbles for New Year's Eve

Whether you’re throwing your own soiree or attending someone else’s, New Year’s Eve should be a night of celebration. Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, try these tasty drinks, small plates and sweets that are perfect for mingling and munching. New Year’s Eve resolutions don’t technically kick in until midnight, so eat up!


Hawaiian Roll Sliders
Does the snow and cold weather have you feeling blue? Give your party a tropical feel with these tasty sandwiches.

  • 24 slices of deli honey ham
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese, cut into fourths
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 packages (12-count) King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls

Cut rolls in half. Place a slice or two of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese on bottom half of roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.

In a medium bowl, stir poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce together. Cover tops of rolls with mixture. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2-3 minutes until rolls are slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.

Baked broccoli balls with carrots.
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Broccoli Tots
A sneaky way to get people to eat their vegetables, these tasty, gooey tots are easy to eat and taste delicious!

  • Frozen broccoli, one package
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Hot sauce (your choice)
  • Salt
  • Shredded carrot (optional)

Boil water, add a pinch of salt and cook broccoli for 2 minutes until tender. Chop broccoli into small, ground-up pieces and mix in a bowl with egg, bread crumbs, green onion, cheese, garlic and a pinch of salt. Add your favorite hot sauce to whatever degree of heat you desire. Chill. Roll mixture into walnut-sized balls or “tot” shapes. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping the balls halfway through.

Some variations of this recipe call for shredded carrots as well, which can be added to the mixture before chilling it. 
Source: Buzzfeed

Mack Dip with Tortellini 
A hearty dip for garlic-lovers or anyone looking to use bad breath as a deterrent for midnight kiss fanatics.

  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (the kind sold in a jar, not fresh)
  • Cheese tortellini

Combine ranch dressing, cheese, basil and garlic. Add in more garlic, one teaspoon at a time to taste, if desired. If the dip seems too thick, add a bit more ranch dressing. Follow package instructions and boil tortellini until cooked. Refrigerate both dip and tortellini until cool before serving. Dunk cold tortellini into dip and enjoy!


Dump Cake
This is an easy dessert you can make ahead of time and forget about while you focus on more important things, like your outfit, or telling your wife her outfit looks amazing.

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 can apple pie filling

Put dry cake mix and pie filling in slow cooker or baking dish. Slice butter and distribute over top. In slow cooker, bake for 4-6 hours on low, stirring occasionally. In oven, preheat to 350 degrees; cook for 50 minutes. Best served with vanilla ice cream.

Other pie filling flavors — such as pineapple, cherry or blueberry — and other cake mix flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry or vanilla — can work as well. 

Chocolate Mousse Cups
These adult pudding cups are an easy crowd-pleaser because while you’re essentially feeding people chocolate pudding, it feels a lot fancier. The key here is how you serve it. There are several varieties of edible candied or chocolate cups available at grocery stores or specialty bakeries, but if you can’t find any, this fluffy, heavenly mixture is good served in a wine glass with whipped cream and a cocoa powder garnish. Use your imagination!

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (or Frangelico)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or an orange liquer
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream.

Melt chocolate, Kahlua and orange juice over low heat and set aside. Mix all eggs, vanilla and sugar in a blender for 2 minutes at medium speed before adding heavy cream and blending for another 30 seconds. Combine everything into the chocolate mixture and blend until smooth. Pour into desired serving dishes and chill before adding garnishes and serving.

Optional garnishes

  • Whipped cream
  • White, milk or dark chocolate chips
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Caramel
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sprinkles


Shirley Temples
A classic you can spice up with unique, personalized garnishes. Hit up the party section at your local Pier 1, Target or Wal-Mart and play around with some fun drink ID bands or fun cocktail umbrellas. With this one, it’s all about presentation.

  • 1 1/4 ounces grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • Lemon wedge, optional
  • Ice

Combine grenadine, lemon juice, lime juice in a tall glass. Add ice and club soda. Garnish with cherries and/or lemon wedge.

"Shirley Temple"
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Red Sangria
Talk about two birds with one stone: this one is technically a food and a drink! Not too sweet and not too heavy, this Sangria will be a party favorite. Keep in mind that while the fruit masks the taste of the alcohol, this is a high-octane drink. Pace yourself.

  • 1 bottle red wine, preferably a sweet Spanish variety
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup Pom pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • Fruit: chopped apples, lime wedges, orange slices, grapes, blueberries, cherries
  • Mint leaves, optional

Mix all liquid ingredients in a large glass pitcher. Add pieces of fruit and let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Orange slices, apples and berries should be favored; lime wedges should be used sparingly. A fun twist to this recipe is letting your guests add their favorite fruits to their own individual glasses or making fruit “kabobs” with with cocktail forks or stir sticks. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

“Secret” Rainbow Punch
It seems like everybody and their Great Aunt Ida has a “secret” fruit punch recipe, but this one might just top them all.

  • 2 liters fruit punch (such as Hi-C, Capri Sun or Kool-Aid)
  • 2 liters 7-Up/Sprite/Sierra Mist
  • 1 gallon rainbow sherbet

Let sherbet thaw slightly, then scoop into a large punch bowl. Pour fruit punch and lemon-lime soda of choice into bowl. Stir and serve.

Pro tip: For those who partake, this could also be served mixed with one shot of vodka in a tall glass.

Standard-Examiner digital producer Makenzie Koch contributed to this report.