NYE 2013 Light Bites & Cocktails

Whether you’re planning on hosting NYE tonight or attending a party as a guest, you will enjoy these delicious and fool-proof recipes. Besides being tasty these handpicked light bites will ensure that you will be spending more time on your hair than you will be cooking in the kitchen. Even if you’re plans don’t include turning on the oven, make sure to earmark these stress-free recipes for all of your 2014 soirees.

cocktailWhen guests arrive, I like to greet them with an already made cocktail. This Grand Champagne Cocktail, created by Bobbie Flay for Food Network, will get everyone in the mood to celebrate.







crostiniThese Goat Cheese Crostini with Blood Orange and Black Pepper Marmalade are the perfect light bites to offer your guests. Not only are they easy to make, but there are only a handful of ingredients needed. Don’t like goat cheese? Substitute feta or ricotta. Blood oranges not available in your neck of the woods? Try grapefruit or nectarines instead.






endive appetizerI personally love the taste and the look of endives so this recipe is a no-brainer. Even better this recipe calls for four ingredients. Besides toasting the walnuts there is really no effort involved. If you’re not an endive fan substitute medium to large mushrooms, remove the stems, and add a little bit of the mixture to create stuffed mushrooms instead. Just put them in the oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.





shrimp cocktail

I will be bringing shrimp cocktail as one of my appetizers tonight. It is a crowd favorite. My favorite grocery store to pick up my shrimp is Mariano’s. If you don’t live in Chicago that’s okay. There are several fish markets or local grocery stores that offer a wonderful selection of fresh seafood. I prefer to buy 15-16 count when it comes to buying all ready cooked shrimp. Even though there’s only a little more than a dozen shrimp per pound, it makes for a better presentation and most importantly a better shrimp cocktail. A rule of thumb with smaller parties it is best to plan on 1-2 shrimp per person. Planning a larger event? 1 shrimp per person is fine. There will be more than enough food besides this one dish anyways. In terms of preparation I wash the shrimp just before I’m ready to serve it. I like to make my own cocktail sauce and it can be made the day before to save time. If you prefer to buy your cocktail sauce, my favorite is Whole Foods Spicy Cocktail Sauce.



Cocktail Sauce (My mom taught me this recipe when I was little and it’s very easy to make):


Horseradish (buy a jar of prepared horseradish, and use more for a spicier cocktail sauce)

lemon juice (1/2 lemon, use the other 1/2 for presentation)

salt & pepper to taste


I hope you have a chance to make some of these recipes. I loved sharing some of my favorites with you. Have a Happy and safe New Year!


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Posted in chicago dining, nashville dining
One comment on “NYE 2013 Light Bites & Cocktails
  1. Leslie says:

    Goat Cheese Crostini looks delicious.

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