8 Tips to Throw the Ultimate New Year's Eve Dinner Party
Although the holidays are in full swing, 2017 is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll be come New Year’s Eve. But between searching for the perfect not-too-ugly holiday sweater and shopping for last-minute gifts, there’s still plenty to do before 2016 comes to a close. Planning another fête is probably the last thing on your list, so it’s understandable if you literally can’t even. With that in mind, we tapped Laura and Danielle Kosann, who have perfected their entertaining chops after years of planning dinner events, for their professional expertise on how to throw a celebration for the ages.
The talented duo, who regularly pick the brains of lifestyle gurus like Martha Stewart and Jessica Alba for their blog The New Potato, threw together a delicious family-style feast and even dolled out some premium party advice. “It’s more fun to be at a small party with people you like than a big, crazy one with only a few people you know,” Danielle tells InStyle. As for the dress code, comfort is key. “This year we’ll both probably wear a loose-fitting slip dress or a jumpsuit so that we can move around easily,” Laura adds.
Read on for the full breakdown and ring in the New Year with a bang.
Send a Snazzy Invite
A card with metallic accents, like this geometric marvel pressed with rose gold foil ($46/15; minted.com), feels festive and chic.
Serve a Crowd-Pleasing Classic
"A vodka martini is classic and easy to customize for your guests," says Danielle. "You can offer it dry with a twist, slightly dry with olives, or on the rocks."Vodka Martini
2 oz vodka
.5 oz dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
1. Combine vodka, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Make Spirits Bright
To maintain a light mood, Laura says, "we get a lot of fun, silly things, like crowns that say '2017,' oversize glasses, and push-pop confetti."
$10 each; thimblepress.com
Come Equipped with a Make-Ahead Dish
This crispy garlic and lemon roasted new potato dish is surprisingly light and can be whipped up in under an hour. “Prep these ahead of time so all you have to do is put them in the oven during cocktail hour,” says Danielle. Get the recipe here.
Whip Up a Delicious Salad
Whether you plan on adding this to your New Year’s Eve dinner menu (trust us– after weeks of heavy holiday dishes, your guests will welcome it) or switching up your workweek lunch, this homemade dressing is as easy as it gets. “It's refreshing and a nice pairing for the spice in the salmon,” says Danielle. Get the recipe here.
Make a Refreshing Entrée
This delicious spice-rubbed salmon served with a yogurt-based cucumber sauce can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less, no matter what cooking apparatus you have on hand. “The recipe calls for a grill, but you can just as easily make this on the plank in the oven,” Danielle tells InStyle. “It’s delicious and light, which is always unexpected around this time of year.” Get the recipe.
Include a Tasty Snack
PEA AND RICOTTA CROSTINI
1 baguette, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepperDirections
1. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and lightly toast.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until all are combined but the mixture is not completely smooth.
3. Spread onto the toasted bread. Garnish with additional peas and mint if desired.
End on a Sweet Note
“A mini dessert is the perfect ‘little something sweet’ to follow a huge meal,” Laura tells InStyle. “Also, who can say no to Oreos?” Not us. Get the recipe here.