Seasonal Recipes

a hypothetical new years eve feast

Entertaining is my favorite thing.

Okay I lied. I think entertaining would be my favorite thing.

I can’t wait to have a house someday and have all my friends over for fun dinners and parties. Hosting a New Years Eve party would be a dream! Would you all come to my party?! That would be lovely.

So, until that day when I have a house and a dog and a dishwasher of my very own, I’ll settle for writing menus and taking joy in other people’s parties. I figure it’s good practice. I’m like an entertainer in training or something.

But if I WERE to be having a New Years Eve party, which I am clearly not since I’ll be celebrating in my favorite city with my favorite friends, this is what I would make.

I’ve obviously put a lot of thought into my hypothetical party…but that’s normal, right?

I’d probably kick things off with these blackberry margaritas. It’s my friend Morgan’s recipe and sometimes I dream about them at night when I sip my mint tea with Dexter. I don’t drink a lot, so when I do I want my drink to sorta be the best ever…and these are.

Mom made these spicy buffalo chicken wontons just the other night and I died. But then I came back to life and scribbled down the recipe for this very serious hypothetical dinner party. They’d be perfect for a crowd!

To go along with the wontons, I would totally whip up a batch of these simple turkey meatballs. Meatballs scream 1977 and I love that about them. I might even poke toothpicks in them if I’m feeling frisky!

I keep going back and forth between this barbecue pulled chicken and my favorite shrimp scampi. Technically I guess this chicken would be better for a crowd, but shrimp scampi (with lots of garlic and butter!) will always have my heart.

This quick & spicy jambalaya would definitely be on the side….mainly because it’s delicious, but also because it’s super easy to make in bulk!

Desserts! My favorite part. Oh Baby Bars for sure. These taste just like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the worst way possible.

And of course, these triple layer mint s’more brownies would also make a not so candid appearance…

As would these mini flourless chocolate cakes with buttercream frosting.

With some meringue kisses thrown in at the end for a healthy option. If you’re looking for apple slices though, you’ve come to the wrong house.

So that’s that! Are you entertaining this New Years? What’s on your table?

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  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    December 30, 2010 at 5:07 am

    I wish you could deliver those cakes with bright blue frosting to my door. Or better yet, to my couch, where I have currently been planted for 4 days.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    December 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

    I would totally come to your New Years Eve Party. Everything looks *fabulous*. 😀

    We’re doing low key celebrations this year, with my parents, my sister and her husband. We have a tradition of ordering chinese food and making sushi. 😀

  • grocery goddess jen
    December 30, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I’m spending New Year’s Eve up in New York this year, and as long as pizza is on the holiday menu, I’m good. And champagne. But I’d be happy to come to your party next year, assuming you have a house, dog, and plenty of those peanut butter chocolate things.

  • Lizzie
    December 30, 2010 at 5:24 am

    If by entertaining you mean my husband and I hanging out in our apartment eating weird cheeses and drinking a bottle of wine from Whole Foods while watching cheesy TV for New Year’s – then yes, I am entertaining! 🙂

  • Blog is the New Black
    December 30, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Love the frosting on those cc’s! 🙂 I’m making your wontons tonight… 🙂

  • Sarah @ goingongoals
    December 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I would definitely come to your party! I mean, you are serving margaritas, BBQ and lots of desserts. Who wouldn’t be game?

    I have never hosted a New Years party. This year I am meeting some girl friends in Orlando. A day out, I am still not sure what we are doing, but I don’t really care. I am just excited to see my college girl friends.

    Happy New Year!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    December 30, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I love won ton anything so I would love to be at your party 🙂 Not to mention the Oh Baby Bars!

    We are going out for NYE this year. We’re going to a brewery/distillery and having their “Big Beer Dinner” where they pair their craft brews with various meal courses. Then we’re seeing a bluegrass band at a local venue.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    December 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I won’t be entertaining this New Years because I’ll be in Chicago being entertained! We have plans to go out for dinner at a tapas place on NY Day and I am SO excited. Chicago has some seriously amazing food and I can’t wait to try out a new place!

  • Baking 'n' Books
    December 30, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I would go to your party regardless of what you made, but aren’t beans WITH chicken divine now?

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    December 30, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I wish we were entertaining for New Years as I’m such a homebody, but our home is a little too tiny for a lot of guests – we can have like 6-10 people over max. We’re going over to my cousin’s for drinks, games, and appetizers. I’m so like you in I don’t drink very often so when I do, it better be the bomb dot com.

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    December 30, 2010 at 5:39 am

    One my my favorite NYE was when we had a big dinner party… I obviously made lots of desserts:-) This year we are going to someone else’s place for dinner and I am limiting myself to two desserts for six people;-)

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    December 30, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I’m trying out soft pretzels for the first time for new year’s! and maybe some of Jessica’s cookie dough dip…that stuff is incredible 🙂

    • Gabby (Quest for Delicious)
      December 30, 2010 at 7:24 am

      Ohh I just made soft pretzels for the first time about a week ago! They were so good and not as difficult to make as I thought they were going to be. They’d be an awesome new years snack – good call. (:

  • Erika @ FoodFitnessFun
    December 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Sounds like a pretty awesome hypothetical party. Can I come? 😉

  • Fi
    December 30, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Can I come to your hypothetical party?? im going to a poker party for NY, and the host is a chef, so im thinking quiche is on the menu?? but im bringing an apple and date crumble 🙂

  • Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen)
    December 30, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I love entertaining too…although I am in the same boat as you and do not own my own house yet! Oh well… at least I can dream!

  • Kailey @ Caffienated Nut
    December 30, 2010 at 5:47 am

    ahaha jenna you crack me up!
    I can’t wait to be living on my own to entertain friends and family too 🙂

    ps. those oh baby bars would be a HUGE hit.

  • Kelly
    December 30, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I did meatballs for Christmas Eve and it was awesome. I hosted it at my hosue and I had a ton of appetizers and I did meatballs drizzled with BBQ sauce…toothpicks in all! Bring it circa 1977!! 🙂

  • Samma
    December 30, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Well, I thought that I would be having 8-10 people for a cozy intimate sit down NYE dinner. I was wrong. I am having a sit down dinner for 28 people in my little rancher! AHAHAHHHHHHHHHH!!

    Thank goodness for card tables. We’re having baked fontina, cheese and olives to start. Herb roasted pork tenderloin, Frank Stitt’s potato gratin, and a butternut squash and arugula salad for the main course, and homemade chocolate bark for dessert. And Krystals or chick-fil-a minis around midnight.

    I chopped butternut squash for an hour this morning and contemplated ordering pizza.
    Oh, and I work everyday this week, including a full day on Friday.

    • Samma
      December 30, 2010 at 6:18 am

      But it will be a super fun party!

  • jenna
    December 30, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Im dying to try those wontons!!!

  • Nelly
    December 30, 2010 at 6:31 am

    If you invite me to your party I will wash ALL of your dishes. And sing torch songs while I do it.

  • Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day
    December 30, 2010 at 6:34 am

    oh my god.. those chocolate peanut butter bars.

  • Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]
    December 30, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Thank goodness I’m not entertaining; it’s tiring during the holidays!! Would love to come to your party 🙂

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    December 30, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Wheee! That jambalaya just won my heart. I’m sick of sweets, it’s the truth. That is, for the next 3 days. Then it might change. 😉
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Dominique
    December 30, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I still live at home so no parties on my end but the BF and I are headed to a couple’s place for some new year’s eve festivities. Oh all right, we’re going over to meet their new English bulldog puppy! I’m bringing over gluten-free double chocolate pecan cookies though. The cookies are 3″ wide and they’re ridiculously delicious–and unhealthy.

  • Cathy
    December 30, 2010 at 7:06 am

    This year we’re going to a friend’s NYE party. We’re bringing our homemade beer, an appetizer (maybe your buffalo chicken wontons), and a dessert. The dessert is still up in the air, but I could make these raspberry champagne cupcakes (

  • Shannon
    December 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

    If you ever host a party I am so there! I work this New Year’s, and even if I wasn’t I’m too lame to have a party or be invited to a party, unless it’s just some dumb let’s-all-drink-and-get-hammered party, which I wouldn’t want to attend.

  • salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    December 30, 2010 at 7:09 am

    omg I would LOVE to come to your party! That lineup looks amazing!!!!!!!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    December 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

    i would totally come to your party! sounds fun to me 🙂

  • Gabby (Quest for Delicious)
    December 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I think it’d be so. much. fun. to throw a new years party! I’ll be all over it when I’m older and have my own place. For now, I’m cool with Twilight Zone marathons and Martinelli’s sparkling cider with some friends. (;

  • Camille
    December 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I love your “Most Interesting Man In the World” reference 🙂
    I’m sure you are a fabulous hostess!

  • Amanda (Eating Up)
    December 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

    How come the alcoholic drink is the one I’m drawn to most? Oh dear. This says something about me, I’m sure.

  • Moni'sMeals
    December 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

    we would all be at your party! From that first drink, to the last wonton standing, sign me up. 🙂 I love that Southern Hospitality too, hehe.

  • Amy K @ Healthy Peanut
    December 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I have yet to hostess my own New Years party, but I also dream of menus and decorations 😉 Love the ideas!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen
    December 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Your hypothetical party sounds absolutely delicious! I’d be there in a heartbeat! Yum.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    December 30, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I think you should hold a virtual New Year’s party 🙂 Either way, in real life or through your blog, I would be sure to attend!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    December 30, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Of COURSE I would come to your party. PS- your blue frosting makes me smile.

  • R @ Learning As I Chop
    December 30, 2010 at 7:57 am

    My husband made some of those “oh baby” bars, aka peanut butter squares, the other night. They are like crack.

  • Megan (Braise The Roof)
    December 30, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I love putting menus together for parties! I just wish I had an unlimited budget- sometimes I get a little overzealous. 🙂 But what would a party be without an overzealous host, after all? New Year’s dinner always screams seafood to me, mostly because my parents have a tradition of buying live lobsters for the event, so if I were to host I’d have to lean toward scampi, too. And lots of champagne, of course.

  • Deanna (PRetty in Pittsburgh)
    December 30, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I would TOTALLY come to your party. How ’bout when you do get that house/dog/dishwasher, you live-stream it for all your readers? 😀

  • Kelly
    December 30, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I will definitely be there! What time should I come over? 😉

    I am kind of in the same boat where I’ve been thinking about what the heck I should make for New Year’s Eve but I’m not even sure we’re having people over yet. Not good since it is tomorrow!

  • kate
    December 30, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Those Oh Baby Bars are haunting me! I think I need to make them!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    December 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I totally want to come to this hypothetical New Year’s Eve party!!

    I’m hosting with my fam and the dish I have claimed is the caramelized onion tart. I made it for a party earlier this week and it was a big hit 🙂

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    December 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Those blackberry margaritas looking amazing. Thanks for the inspiration. I will definitely be making a batch of those for New Years! Cheers!

  • Laney
    December 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

    We’re hosting a NYE dinner party this year…haven’t decided on appetizers yet, but we’re making an heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad, creamy potato soup, steak au poivre, and a pie (either apple/pear, cherry, or chocolate chess).

  • Mauimandy@the grains of paradise
    December 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I swear…. Those wontons are the only things that have ever tempted me to cheat on my 20 yr. vegetarian diet. Yummmmmmm

  • Julia
    December 30, 2010 at 10:36 am

    LOVE the menu! I would definitely come to your party 🙂 I think I’d prefer the shrimp scampi for the main course, in case you’re wondering 🙂

    I actually have purchased approximately 35 wine glasses in hopes of one day hosting a party like the one you’ve come up with. However, I barely have enough room in my apartment for the glasses, so nevermind the guests!

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa
    December 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I would TOTALLY come to your new years eve party. Obviously the most important part of New Years is the food!

  • Erica D (Gratitouille)
    December 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    If you build it, they will come…

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    December 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

    what a spectacular menu! i would be standing next to the food table all night!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    December 30, 2010 at 11:27 am

    dessert is my fave part, too!

    oh baby bars AND smores brownies, can I come over to your party, please! ?


  • Sana
    December 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I would love to ring in the New year in stretchy pants and a major food baby!

  • allie
    December 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    i’m totally in!! i’m drooling already.

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    December 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I think the same haha! I would love a plate of frosting and sprinkles with a side of margarita please! Count me in 🙂

  • Laurab @ FoodSnobSTL
    December 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    We are cooking for my parents. Steak, shrimp, risotto, champagne. . .not sure what else. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Jessica
    December 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I’m totally craving turkey meatballs right about now!!! And I’m with you on the whole when I have a house and a DISHWASHER…. oh how I would love to have one of those too… I despise doing dishes.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Kristi
    December 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I would definitely come to your NYE party. I wouldn’t want to miss the black berry margaritas 🙂
    I wish I was having a party… or even going to one, but since I have to work the next morning I think I’m going to stay in for the night.

  • Nikki
    December 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t know why I am kidding myself and pretending like I’m not gonna make those Oh Baby bars ASAP. I can pretty much already taste them. YUM!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    December 30, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    oooh this all sounds delicious! Menu planning is the best. I can’t wait until I have a big place too – entertaining will be such fun! We’re doing a low key NYE this year. Prawn pasta & wine & planning our vietnam trip 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Michal
    December 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I LOVE planning imaginary menus! I did ones for Rosh Hashana and Thanksgiving this year and even did a seating chart – my friends loved it!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    December 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    entertainer in training = “entertainer” lol

    I would come to your party in a heartbeat but in all reality, I’ll probably already be asleep for an hour before the clock strikes 12 this year!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    December 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Oops that was supposed to say “entertRainer” lol 🙂

  • Kelsea
    January 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Haha! I definitely made your brownies for my family’s NYE party. They were a hit! I changed the recipe a little bit, but they still turned out fantastic.

    • jenna
      January 2, 2011 at 5:04 am

      yay! i’m so glad they were good!