“I should invite some people over for New Year’s!” you said. “It will be fun!” you said. “I can pull this off!” you said.
And right about now, you might be saying: “Help!”
Maybe your holiday budget is just about tapped out by this point, between gifts and travel. Maybe the reality of throwing a party has just sunk in, and you’re not sure how you’re going to swing it.
Well, cast your doubts aside. You can do this, and we can help.
Just because other folks might be shelling out big bucks for over-the-top parties doesn’t mean you have to go (for) broke when ushering in 2019. Let your friends bring over their favorite bottle of bubbly while you put out some of these easy, budget-friendly-but-classy dishes from our archives:
Holiday Cheese Ball, pictured above. A little retro? You bet. And this big, beautiful hunk of cheese makes a fitting centerpiece to any party spread. Mascarpone, crumbled Stilton and cream cheeses are the base, and honey, cognac and a little dried fruit dress things up for the occasion.
Olives With Citrus Zests and Fried Herbs. For very little in the way of time and ingredients, the result looks and tastes swanky. Make these cocktail companions up to a week in advance.
Stuffed Dates. These sweet-and-salty morsels are a crowd-pleaser. The recipe scales up easily for bigger groups.
Chorizo Turkey Kebabs. Forget pigs in a blanket. This upgrade features cubes of toasted bread with chorizo wrapped in turkey. And you can make them in 15 minutes flat.
Sweet and Salty Onion Triangles. If they were good enough for James Beard, they’re good enough for us. Get a jump on things by making the flavored butter ahead of time.
Hummus Deviled Eggs With Za’atar. An old favorite gets a contemporary flavor twist. The components can be prepared well before the party starts.
Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Hardly anyone can resist this type of dip. You can assemble it up to three days in advance. Serve with pita chips, crusty bread and vegetables.
Rum Balls. These holiday-season classics take only five ingredients and a few minutes to assemble. Plus, they improve with age (up to five days, anyway). Don’t have or like rum? No sweat. Use your liquor of choice, or whatever has been gathering dust on your shelf.
SOURCE: The Washington Post, by Becky Krystal