A lot of people go out to dinner on New Year’s Eve. Mostly, I’m convinced, because they don’t want to host a big party and neither does anyone else.

But with a built in theme, it’s not that hard! Here are two ideas for a New Year’s Eve party:

Invite people over at 8:30 for appetizers, open bar, dancing and champagne at midnight.
Make a play list that mixes the years top songs, slow songs, oldies, line dances, etc. Keep it changing to bring people out on the dance floor. For some tasty appetizers try:

Spiced Pecans

1 lb pecan halves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
On a baking sheet spread the pecans.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and let them roast for about 10 minutes, but make sure the pecans do not get burnt.
While the pecans are roasting combine all the other ingredients in a bowl.
Transfer the pecans into a bowl and drizzle the oil mixture on them, so that the pecans are well coated and serve them warm.

Spinach Balls

1 packet frozen chopped spinach
1½ bread crumbs
3 lightly beaten eggs
⅓ cup melted butter
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Blanch the chopped spinach in hot salt water.
Drain and add spinach to a large bowl, then add the other ingredients and mix well.
Make the balls and then freeze them before baking.
Bake them for about 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 350ºF, till they are slightly brown and serve them hot.

Crispy Chicken Chunks

1 lb boneless chicken breast (cut into pieces)
½ cup Bisquick mix
1½ cups cornflakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients other than the chicken pieces and oil and mix them well. You can also use a plastic bag to do the mixing.
In a separate bowl, mix chicken and oil and well.
Then add about 6 pieces of chicken to the cornflakes and Bisquick mixture and make sure all of them are coated well with the crumbs.
Place the chicken pieces on the microwave rack and cook it for about 3 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes, till they are well done. Serve this with a dip of your choice.

Cheesy Shrimp

1 can rinsed and drained shrimp
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
12 oz. chili sauce
sliced ripe olives for garnishing

On a platter, first spread a layer of cream cheese as evenly as possible.
Then spread a layer of chili sauce over this cheese and place the shrimp delicately on the sauce.
Grate the cheddar cheese over the shrimp and then give it a topping of any desired olives or black olives for garnish.
Refrigerate it before serving.

Stuffed Red Potatoes with Caviar

16 boiled and chilled red potatoes
4 teaspoons cream
4 teaspoons caviar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

Cut off the top of these red potatoes and hollow them out.
Fill each of these hollow potatoes with ¼ teaspoon of caviar and top it up with ¼ teaspoon of cream and then sprinkle the top with chives.
Serve them cold.