If you’re like most of us, you can’t wait ’til we can finally bid 2020 goodbye. While nothing will magically change at the stroke of midnight, it just feels good to move on, even symbolically.
Just like it was this year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, most of us won’t be coming together for a big celebration. At best, maybe 8-10 people, although the CDC recommends being extra careful. But just because you’ll probably be seeing the same faces you’ve been seeing for the past 9+ months, doesn’t mean you can’t make it fun and memorable. In some ways, it might be more enjoyable and less stressful.
Let’s start with some memorable dishes we found on Delish.com!
Steak Frite Bites
If you’ve never considered steak a finger food, you’ll enjoy this new adventure. Take a 1-pound slab of flank steak, tenderized to ¼ inch thick and slice it against the grain into 2-inch strips. Soak the strips in a marinate of olive oil, rosemary, Dijon and Worcestershire. While it’s soaking, bake a half-pound of frozen French fries.
Once the fries are done, you can heat up the grill or the stove. Lay out the strips of steak, toss 2-3 fries on top and roll the strip up, securing with a toothpick. Grill until charred – about 2-minutes per side for medium rare. The full recipe is here.
Okay, appetizers are done. Now for a main dish.
This one starts with a 1lb bag of frozen ravioli. We’re going to roll the frozen bits in a nice batter consisting of eggs, milk, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. These are fried on the stove top, in heated oil.
Or – if you were lucky enough to get an air fryer – you can make these even healthier. Either way, you work in batches until the whole bag is done and you have plenty of mouthwatering toasted ravioli for everyone. Click here for all the juicy details.
Of course, if you want to follow certain Scandinavian traditions, fish is often served for New Years Eve. Their scales represent silver and (most) fish only swim forward, not looking back at the past.
Now, how about some snacking fun?
Cranberry Brie Bites
This is a quick and simple, but super tasty and festive finger food. All you need is a tube of crescent rolls, an 8-oz wheel of brie and a jar or can of whole berry cranberry sauce. You could probably use the solid cranberry gel that comes in the can instead, but it won’t look as nice.
Roll out the crescent roll dough as one piece, make sure the seams are connected, then cut it into 24 squares. Place a square in each slot of a greased mini muffin tin. Tuck small pieces of cut Brie into the dough, then top with the cranberry sauce. You can also add some chopped pecans and a spring of rosemary to add to the look.
Bake for about 15 minutes and serve! Recipe here.
Confetti Cookie Dough Ball
This is a fun alternative to the classic wine cheese ball that everyone will love. Using a hand mixer, beat together 1½ packages of softened cream cheese with a half stick of softened, but not liquid butter. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in ½ cup of powdered sugar, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Then fold in a heaping cup of chocolate chips.
Use a couple of sheets of plastic wrap to lay out the dough and form it up into a ball. Refrigerate it for at least three hours. In the meantime, stir together a variety of rainbow and silver sprinkles. When you’re ready to serve, you can dust the ball with sprinkles – or even better, roll it in the bowl. Make sure it’s fully covered and sparkly. Lay it out on a serving dish and surround with vanilla wafers or pretzels to dip into the ball. Be sure to have plenty on hand, for return dipping (no double dipping allowed!)
Round fruits have often been considered good luck for the new year, but Spain takes it one step further. At Midnight, you pop 12 grapes, one on each stroke of midnight. Each of the las doce uvas de la suerte represents a coming month, so hopefully you get all sweet ones, and no sour grapes. Hey, we’ll take what we can get for 2021.
Everyone knows the tradition of kissing someone you love at Midnight. This time-honored smooch-fest first emerged in the German suburbs of New York City in 1863, and quickly spread. Toasting and kissing became an even bigger deal as electric lights began to open up night life across the city.
And the famous Times Square Ball Drop? The result of a fireworks ban. While other cities had time balls and attempted drops before, all the way back to the mid 1800’s, they never quite worked right. Western Union even had one on their headquarters in New York. But when fireworks were outlawed in 1907, the owner of the New York Times arranged for an illuminated solid wood and steel ball weighing some 700 pounds to be lowered from the Times flagpole. And a New Year’s tradition was born.
Save A Wish
Here’s a fun new tradition you can start without leaving your household. Have everyone write down a resolution, goal, wish or note to their future selves on a strip of paper. Fold the papers and drop them into a mason jar. Next year, you can retrieve the Wish Jar and everyone can open their wishes, etc. and share to see how everyone’s progressed.
Some Other Interesting Traditions
In Columbia, people will come outside with empty suitcases and race around the block as fast as they can. They believe that doing so will guarantee a year filled with travel. You never know!
People will go to their friends’ and families’ homes in Denmark. But instead of going inside, they smash plates, bowls, glasses and other dishware on the doorstep. The more shards you find on your doorway, the more well liked and, supposedly, luckier you are. George Bailey would likely agree.
We hope you have a festive, if smaller, New Year’s Eve celebration this year with those closest to you. And we’ll see you in the new year. Happy 2021! We can’t wait!