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Lara Galian's Blog » Lifestyle, Postings » Smorgasbord Strategies for Smooth New Year’s Entertaining

Smorgasbord Strategies for Smooth New Year’s Entertaining

Posted on December 30, 2010 by laragalian

The last day of 2010 is approaching. Soon all the hullabaloo of the holidays will slip into dormancy for (almost) another whole year; but who’s counting? If you thrive on order and run an organized home, at about this time there’s an itch for normalcy. It’s been too much rich food, too much wine, and too much chatter. Not to mention that you haven’t seen the gym in weeks, because the brunt of holiday season demands falls squarely on the shoulders of the homemaker. Once the house is organized and the kids are settled back at school, you’ll be back to your normal routine. It’s the final stretch; and you can do it without wearing yourself out.

There are many ways to celebrate New Year’s- going to a restaurant, going away with friends, clubbing, having a quiet night in, and working non-stop in the kitchen to do everything from scratch for a party of 30. There are downsides to each of these. Celebrating offsite means having to get back home on the busiest cab night of the year. Slaving away could mean you’re worn out by the big day. A quiet night in can be had any time.  This year, why not put a plan into place that will ensure recovery time is kept to a minimum?  The key is to do some of the work oneself, and leave the hard part to a good caterer. Keep it casual- have an open house on New Year’s when friends, family and neighbours can just pop in for a hot beverage and some canapés.

During the day, set out platters of cold snacks which can be refreshed as more guests arrive. Try a large veggie platter with a couple of homemade dips. Try “green goddess dressing”, (December 2010 issue of Bon appétit), and “Warm Olive and Artichoke Dip” (November 2010 issue of Bon appétit).  Make these two days ahead and serve with the veggies and a selection of crunchy breads. The week of the party, stock up on an assortment of beverages. If there’s no room in the fridge, keep them in the basement or garage. That’s one positive about these colder temperatures! If you like to bake, make a selection of desserts up to two days before your event. Alternatively, pick up a coffee cake, a cheesecake, some brownies, and some macaroons, or anything else your guests might fancy. While you’re out and about, buy some nice cheeses and crackers. Add to the cheese plate a variety of dried fruits and nuts, and you have an elegant presentation. Don’t forget about the disposable plates, cups and cutlery!

Now, that should be pretty manageable. That’s where you should draw the line in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the upcoming party. Even if you love to cook, by New Year’s it’s a good idea to give yourself a break. It’s your party, too! Find a good caterer online or ask for recommendations from friends. The caterer should have excellent customer service and be able to easily provide personalized solutions for your holiday get together. This year a friend recommended Select Service Caterers ( , based in Cambridge Ontario. Their catering manager is most helpful. Responses to every question and concern are confidently handled along every step of the planning. Seating space will be limited on New Year’s, so an hors d’oeuvres party makes sense. Some tantalizing hors d’oeuvres options are: Skewers of beef with pistachio, skewers of chicken satay with peanut sauce, smoked salmon nori peaks, stuffed cherry tomatoes with herbed goat cheese, beef tenderloin on foccacia with caramelized onions and horseradish cream, chunky potatoes with pesto dip, cashew and basil tartlets, mini quiche with roasted red peppers and caramelized onions, and phylo triangles with rosemary and prosciutto. For a party of 30, 10 to 14 pieces per person will ensure that each guest can make a meal out of the tapas. Remember to note your favourite items from this year so you’ll have them handy for your next event, and voila!

Taking care of the non-perishable snacks, cold canapés, desserts, and beverages in advance and leaving the hot canapés to a trusted caterer will mean that you’ll feel like a guest at your own party and have more energy to ring in the New Year. So bring on the hullabaloo, because it’s going to be a smooth finish to 2010. See you on the other side!

Filed under: Lifestyle, Postings

5 Responses to "Smorgasbord Strategies for Smooth New Year’s Entertaining"

  1. Christine says:

    Sounds like we missed some yummy food on New Year’s! Hope you had a great party and all the best for 2011!

  2. Saul says:

    The food was soooo good, the company excellent. Amazing time we had.
    Thank you for hosting great partiies all the time.

  3. inheritance says:

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  4. tab mcaally says:

    I adore your wordpress web template, wherever do you get a hold of it from?

    1. laragalian says:

      Thank you! I really like it, too. You can get the template from WordPress. At the bottom right hand side of the screen, you can see the link. I hope this helps.

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