Foodie news | Throw a rockin’ New Year’s Eve bash on a budget
TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. -It’s hard to believe the year is quickly coming to an end; start 2012 off on the right note by hosting a fabulously frugal New Year’s Eve party at home. Use the tips below to ring in the New Year right on budget.• Decorate on a dime: Gold, sliver, black and white are all classic color combinations to decorate for a New Year’s celebration. Use an assortment of inexpensive clocks as dcor and set them to go off at midnight. Or go for a number theme and have the number 12 displayed on everything from centerpieces to paper goods.• Food: Since most New Year’s parties last well past midnight, choose to start your party around 9 p.m. and serve light appetizers or just desserts. Most appetizer foods, like nuts, cheese, crackers and premade meatballs, as well as baking products, are popular sale items at the grocery stores this time of year. Stock up on these items and save big while still serving a festive holiday spread of food.• Drinks: No New Year’s party would be complete without cocktails and a champagne toast. To keep liquor costs low, consider serving a signature cocktail, such as a classic Cosmo or bubbly punch, in addition to wine and beer. Check your local liquor store to see if they offer discounts for buying in bulk or consider buying your beer and wine from a warehouse store to receive maximum discounts.• Entertainment: A New Year’s Eve party can simply be a time to socialize with old friends. But if wanting to add additional entertainment, consider these ideas: Rent a karaoke machine, have a board game tournament, play charades or put together a time capsule of this year’s big events to be reopened at next year’s party. Staying at home to celebrate New Year’s Eve is a great, safe way to ring in the New Year with friends and family. This Black Bean Hummus is very inexpensive to make and can be easily doubled or tripled to serve a large crowd. It is a great addition to a New Year’s Eve party and goes well with vegetables or tortilla chips.Black Bean HummusPrep Time: 10 minutes Serves 61⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro2 tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons water1 tablespoon lemon juice2 tablespoons olive oil3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin1⁄4 teaspoon salt1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained1 garlic clove, peeled1 small jalapeo pepper, seededPlace all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; sprinkle with extra cilantro.- Chef Heather Hunsaker attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family-friendly meals since she was 9 years old in her mother’s kitchen. She is an avid crockpotter and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site http://www.foodonthetable.com.