Friday, 3 January 2014

My Untraditional New Year's Eve Party

I'm pretty sure I was meant to be a sixties housewife, but somebody somewhere messed up and I was born in the nineties. What the crap, guys? I live in a time where I'm not expected to bake, host dinner parties and clean all the time. I'm expected to have a job, go to work, and be independent. I would way rather be home all day, keeping the house clean, making casseroles for dinner, baking plenty, and hosting dinner parties often. Honest to goodness, I was meant to be a sixties housewife.

But with the way life has been going, I haven't been hosting much. The last event I had at my house was in May. Recently, a couple friends of mine were planning a New Year's Eve Bash, so I jumped on the chance to host it. Yes, that meant I would need to do a lot of cleaning, but goshdarn it, I wanted to have people over again.

Until it was time to plan the party, and then I realized I've never even been to a NYE party... I mean, my parents had friends over every year, and I used to go out to a big youth event, but that's it. I've never even been to a bar for NYE.

So I didn't know what to make, what to serve, what to do, or what to have on hand. I felt totally at a loss. I figured it out, and I think it went really great, but I didn't exactly do anything traditional.

We didn't even have champagne! Wait, is that the tradition? When I was younger, my parents and their friends would always have champagne and clink their glasses together at midnight. Is that what everybody does? What do people do for New Year's?? You know what, I'm not worried about it. It's over and done with for another year.

So my spread had a couple bowls of chips, a tray with plain chips and Ranch dip, a big dish of M's family Chex mix, a tray of quail eggs, chocolate covered strawberries and BBQ cocktail wieners.

Of the three things I made (the last three), the little hot dogs were the easiest. I bought a big pack of cocktail wieners (they weren't gluten-free, but I did check the ingredients) and a bag of Amazing Dad's Sauce BBQ Sauce.

PS, this sauce is delicious. It's organic, gluten-free, comes in a fun little squeeze bag and tastes amazing, to boot. Sure, it's a little pricey, but it's cheaper than the other gluten-free sauces I was looking at.

So I dumped the whole pack of hot dogs into my slow cooker and then poured most of the BBQ sauce over top. I saved some, in case I needed to add a bit later, but I didn't. They were plenty saucy just like that. I kept it on low for about six hours, stirring every couple of hours. I was more afraid of burning the little suckers than of messing up the heat by opening it.

Next up, were my chocolate covered strawberries. These were pretty intensive, taking me about an hour to make. I cut the leaves off of them so that the top was flat, and then carved out the white fleshy bit in the inside. I wished I had cream cheese or something to stuff them with, I might try that next time.

I found gluten-free dark chocolate wafers at Bulk barn. I put two and a half cups in a double boiler, stirring almost constantly until they were smooth and well melted. I carefully dipped each of the strawberries, keeping the pointy end out, and then placing them on a wax-paper-covered cookie sheet. I let them cool in the fridge for a bit before transferring them to my fancy little tray.

The last thing I made were quail eggs. I love these little guys. They're so tiny and adorable.

The eggs themselves are these little brown speckled guys that I find just so charming. You can make them any way you can make a normal egg. I went with hard-boiled, mostly because it seemed like the easiest option. They need four minutes to boil, and then they peel really easily. I love peeling them, because the inside of the shells is light blue, and it's like this little surprise every time.

I served them with a mustard/mayonnaise dip. The dip is really easy, about equal parts mayonnaise and mustard, and it adds just the right bite/flavour to the eggs.

So that pretty much made up my New Year's Eve party. My friends told me I was adorable, for not only making legit hor d'oeuvres, but for labeling them too... Apparently most twenty-year-olds don't do that.

The eggs and strawberries were completely devoured, and I was shocked at how few hot dogs we had left, so I would say they all went over really well. I didn't really understand how that much got eaten, but I'm told I had a lot more wine than I thought I did. Whoops.

Anyways, I'm definitely keeping all three of these ideas on my idea list for the next party I throw, and you probably should too!

Happy new year, once again!

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