Set Up Self-Serve Stations For New Years Eve

I think New Years Eve calls for something different, something a little more special, something interactive even! How about setting up different serving ‘stations’ or ‘bars’?

 We already know Champagne is a must-have. Why not kick it up a notch by setting up a Champagne Bar. You can’t read this blog without knowing my love for the champagne bar! All you need to do is set out some small containers of various juices like pomegranite, cranberry, peach, oj….you get the picture. A few new recipes to try: the Tropical Tinsel-adding pineapple juice; the Berry Mango-adding mango juice. My no-fail recipe: fill the bottom of a champagne flute with an inch or 2 of the juice, then fill with champagne (sparkling wine). Some people like to add a sugar cube, but personally I’ve never found it neccessary. You can experiment with different juices or combinations of juices as well. Important to Remember: Use dry (Brut) champagne when mixing with juices.

Two more fun, interactive food stations to incorporate are cheese fondue, and a mashed potato martini bar. First of all, who doesn’t love cheese or mashed potatoes?? It’s comfort food! Cheese fondue is actually very easy to make and you can keep it warm with various pots on the market. And there is an old ‘rule’ about whomever drops their dipper in the pot has to kiss the person next to them…perfect for NYE! Perfect dippers are chunks of bread, slice apple, veggie sticks, and more bread chunks.
Remember a few years back mashed potato bars were all the rage? I think it’s high time we bring them back! Serving mashed potatoes in a martini glass is just so fun! Your guests will think you are brilliant for thinking of it! Just whip up a larg batch of mashed potatoes (I am NOT opposed to using pre-made from the grocery store), and set out toppers of shredded cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, butter, chives, even gravy or sauteed mushrooms. Keep the potatoes warm in a crock pot on low, or chafing dish. Presentation is everything so serve your toppers in martini glasses, small glass square vases from the dollar store, or other coordinating dishes.
 Hot cocoa may not be a traditional NYE drink, but it IS a cute ‘bar’ idea, and if you are having children, then this makes perfect sense. I love the presentation above and look how cute the glasses are with the marshmallows and candy sticks. Add-ins you’ll want to have set out are grated chocolate, whipped cream, mini marshmallows, candy sticks, maybe even some Kahlua, Godiva liqueur, or Irish Creamfor the adults.
 Send your guests home with a New Years fortune (or prediction). There are several options for this. Set out a plate of fortune cookies for people to pick up at the party, or pre-bag a single cookie as a take-home favor, or create your own paper fortune cookies using paper to match your party decor. If you’re serving real cookies, you can buy them pre dipped & drizzled, or you can buy them plain and decorate them yourself. Below is an excellent tutorial from Once Wed for the paper cookies.

I hope you will incorporate some of these ideas for your New Years party or any party in 2010!
About Chris

Chris Nease is a party stylist and home entertaining expert with over 15 years of experience. In addition to her work as founding editor of Celebrations At Home, Chris is an editorial stylist and contributor to Homes.com, Marie Callender's, and SheKnows. Most recently her work has been published in Woman's World, Yum Food & Fun for Kids, and Cottages & Bungalows.

Comments

  1. Simply Creative Insanity says:

    How cute is that Hot Cocoa Bar?

  2. purplehomes says:

    Love your ideas, 2 years i sent the guests home with a lil handpainted vase. It had a tiny scroll in it, each carrying predictions for the new year for their sunsign. They were delighted, who doesn't like a little peek into the future ;)

  3. Awesome ideas! Love the fortune cookie favors.

  4. Susan Crabtree says:

    love the hot cocoa bar-yummy!

  5. This post was so on time! I'm hosting my first New Year's Eve party tomorrow and I'm doing the Mashed Potato Bar! I'll have to save the hot cocoa bar idea for my next winter party :)

  6. I love the idea of a drink bar! So clever and fun :). The handmade fortune cookies are the perfect little favor! Thanks for sharing!

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