I'm not hosting a New Year's Eve party or even an open house on New Year's Day this year, but since so many people have been asking me for recipes, here are some ideas with links to recipes.
My approach to a party is usually to place all the items on the extended dining room table as a buffet. The table is either set against the wall if more floor space is needed or in the middle of the room so partygoers can approach from all sides.
For table setup (and I wish I had pictures of this!), I take several large boxes, preferably sturdy ones that you see in an office holding reamsof paper, and use them as a base under the tablecloth. Here's how:
- 3 Boxes: with the table against the wall, arrange three boxes along the back end of the table, with the middle box being taller.
- 5 Boxes: with the table in the center of the room, arrange the tallest box in the middle of the table. Place four other boxes, one at each end of the table, of the same size.
- if you need to secure the boxes so they don't slip, try using a dish towel or even non-slip rug backing which can be bought at a crafts store.
- make sure you have a large table cloth to cover the boxes and still have enough to hang over the sides.
- place platters and chargers on boxes.
- for "pockets" created when using the 5 Boxes arrangement, I sometimes place large vases filled with rolls, breadsticks, etc.
- remember not to place items too close to the edge of the table otherwise guests may drag their sleeves through the food items.
- if the tablecloth is too long, tie ends with big grosgrain or wire ribbon made into bows.
Prosciutto and Gruyere Pastry Pinwheels
Figs with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese