Make Something Easy and Delicious (URS: New Year’s Feasting)

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Serving simple appetizers is a great way to ring in the New Year without a lot of fuss.

Once upon a time, I tried to create fancy spreads for holiday meals. Roast leg of lamb on Easter, roast turkey on Thanksgiving, prime rib of beef on Christmas. What took days to plan and hours to prepare was consumed in about 15 minutes, with only a few crumbs and a mountain of dirty dishes to tell the tale.

It was one of those moments where I felt run ragged and asked myself, “Why?”

Since then, I’ve learned that holidays — those occasions when I really want to rest and relax and have a day off — weren’t really getting that kind of treatment. This past Thanksgiving when I cooked for hours and tangled with an undercooked turkey and a finicky oven in exchange for a mediocre meal, I made a mental shift.

I’m not doing this anymore!

Hubs and I talked about it and realized that while we love tradition, we love making our own traditions more. And while turkey may be a wonderfully frugal meal to serve, it really isn’t what we love or would consider a special occasion meal. Quite honestly, we’d both rather have tri-tip. So, we made a pact that for special occasions we’d prepare meals that we really enjoy and not worry so much about keeping tradition.

Unless, of course, said traditions were meals we really enjoyed!

So, it’s with great relief when I say New Year’s is all about food we love AND is easy to prepare. We do appetizers each New Year’s Eve — and it’s always a tradition that we’re happy to repeat year in and year out. Earlier this week on Good Cheap Eats, I shared some of our favorite appetizers.

This year I’m going with an Asian flair and preparing some very simple apps that I can pull together quickly or make in advance.

This is one of our family’s favorite ways to ring in the new year.

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This week on URS: New Year’s recipes

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    1. It’s definitely something I’m going to keep in mind for special occasions. I might also let the kids plan the menu.

  1. New Year’s Eve is simple for us too! I make chili, a cheese and beef stick tray, a relish tray and fresh fruits. Dessert is Christmas cookies! Then there are leftovers for New Year’s Day!!! That’s what I like!!! A simple and relaxing day to begin a new year! Have fun with your husband and sweet kids!
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois


    1 package of cream cheese
    4+ tablespoons (use as much as you want for your taste) wasabi powder (make into a paste, do not buy the paste this is much better)
    Regular and black sesame seeds
    Multi grain crackers
    Soy sauce
    Put cream cheese between plastic wrap and roll out fairly flat into a rectangular shape
    Spread wasabi paste all over cream cheese.
    Now carefully roll up the cream cheese.
    Sprinkle the seeds all over the roll, front, back, sides
    Drizzle soy sauce over roll and enjoy with your favorite multi grain crackers.

  3. I’m soooo there with you!

    One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is: dinner in a meal —- and not every meal needs to be an event. Talk about freeing! For New Years, we’re quiet folk with simple needs. I think we may spread out a few of the foods we don’t normally partake of, like chips and junk food. Having it rarely makes it a treat and special.

  4. Fondue and some small bites are our NYE food traditions (I bought jalepenos so I can try your brown rice jalepeno poppers, too!). I’m particularly excited about it as it will be our son’s first year doing fondue with us. He’s going to love it!

    1. I love the fondue idea! Unfortunately, I have people who balk at melted cheese. How can this be?

  5. Your Asian food themed New Year’s Eve sounds great! I told my husband that I was wanting to do an Asian theme for dinner and stay in, but… we were invited to some friends’ house tomorrow night so we are sort of compromising with me making crab rangoon dip and wonton “chips” to take to the party. I’m looking forward to it but would also just as well stay home and make an assortment of yummy snacks for us and veg all evening. : ) Happy New Year!