Friday, December 16, 2011

Italian Sodas, Part II / New Year's Eve Party (Last Minute!)

I don't know if there's ever been a Christmas when I didn't know what my plans would be at least several months in advance. Lots of people know what they'll be doing for the next five Christmases. But I can think of many years that I found myself in the few days leading up to New Year's Eve still having no idea where I'd be celebrating. Apparently, I'm not alone. Turns out a handful of our friends have been planning to wing it this year. Well, not on my watch! My awesome husband is indulging me, once again, and has agreed to throw a last-minute New Year's gathering with a few friends. 
Here's how we're doing it:
  • INVITATIONS: Pingg is where I go. If I'm hosting something formal, I might send out paper invitations, but otherwise, I'm a Pingg girl (though you can send out paper invitations through them, come to think of it!) Try it! I think you'll like it better than Evite. Anyway, they go out this weekend.
  • START TIME: Typically a New Year's Eve party might begin around 8:00 or 9:00, but our guests have kids that are too young to stay up late, so we're doing our social celebration early, around 5:30-6:00.
  • CHILDCARE (if needed:) Save your guests the headache of finding someone to watch their kids at home. If you know a good sitter, have her/him come over with a few of their friends and hire them to man a designated kid-friendly space. Parents can bring activities for the kids, and you can keep a couple of fun films on hand as a back-up.
  • FOOD: Appetizers three ways... for dinner. You could do it earlier in the day or later in the evening, but it works out best for our guests to do it around dinner time. Which puts us in a food dilemma. I really hate to just forget about the fact that the food usually served on New Year's Eve is ours devours. So, I'm throwing out dinner time rules, and we're eating appetizers. For a fun twist, we're asking each couple to bring one appetizer prepared three ways. Want to do the same? Here are some classics that you and your guests can get creative with:
          -Chips and dip
          -Pigs in a blanket
          -Jalapeno poppers
          -Lettuce wraps
          -Fruit salad
          -Egg Rolls
          -Cheese and crackers/bread
          -Mozzarella sticks
          -Mini quiche
          -Finger sandwiches
          -Deviled Eggs
We are doing the drinks: Italian Sodas Three Ways
Vanilla and raspberry are all-time favorites, and I couldn't pass up the pomegranate. 

Seltzer water and club soda are virtually the same, so choose either. Costco sells a big case of seltzer for under $6.

Torani's tasty and affordable. Get them at World Market for $7/each. The pumps are about $2.50/each.

Cream and stirrers

We don't have actual stirrers, but we do have a slew of chopsticks!
Just needs a good stir....

...and she's ready. :)


  1. Sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You bet, Tia! It really turned out better than I even imagined. Everyone got to taste such great food!