Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year’s Eve Party ~ Cocktails - Appetizers - Desserts

Here’a a picture of the infamous Times Square Ball.
On New Year’s Eve it will be raised to the top of the pole and then decended down in time to
ring in the new year.
It’s a time for celebration and some bubbly…champagne.
“Where is the Ball lowered?
The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball descends from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. It can best be seen along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street." You can read about the history of the ball here.

“Each year during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, a time ball made by Waterford Crystal and electric lights is raised to the top of a pole on the One Times Square building and then lowered to mark the coming of the New Year. The Ball descends 77 feet (23 m) over the course of a minute, coming to rest at the bottom of its pole at 12:00 am. Toshiba's Times Square billboard directly below the Ball counts down to midnight as well.

Every year up to one million people gather in Times Square to watch the Ball drop, and an estimated 1 billion watch the video of the event, 100 million of them in the United States.”

Have you ever seen the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball drop in New York? It must be so exciting to be with so many people ringing in the new year. Will be adding this to my bucket list for sure!

Now onto New Year’s Eve preparations…


Coquito is a drink my family enjoys during the holidays. This version is an eggless eggnog. You can find the recipe on my blog post,  Coquito ~ Puerto Rican Eggnog.

On to Appetizers… I’m making four appetizers for New Year’s Eve.

#1 Pecan-Cheese Filled Wontons ~

A dollop of soft cheese mixed with crushed pecans are the center of the wonton. Wasabi and ginger-laced soy sauce is used as a dipping sauce for the sauteed wontons. (note: I sautee instead of fry the wontons)

#2 Mini Fish Skewers ~
The skewers consist of cherry tomatoes, scallions and sauteed swordfish. Cilantro vinaigrette is the dipping sauce.

The Cilantro Vinaigrette Sauce can be found in Bobby Flay’s book, Mesa Grill Cookbook.

# 3 Zucchini Bites ~

Zucchini strips are dipped in flour, egg and panko bread crumbs. The panko covered zucchini strips are sauteed in oil and served with an Orange Mustard Marmalade Dipping Sauce. See recipe below.

Orange Mustard Marmalade Dipping Sauce

Adapted by Carmen of Baking is my Zen

½ cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard (or a good Spicy Brown Mustard)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I omit this)
2 teaspoons orange juice (I omit this)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce or diced jalapeno pepper. Add to taste (my addition)
Cilantro – chopped. Add to taste (my addition)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Use with any appetizers that can be dipped (such as: Panko covered Zucchini strips,  Coconut Shrimp, Crispy Chicken Wings).

# 4 Dipping Oil & Artisanal Bread ~ A Fuss-Free Appetizer

By Carmen of Baking is my Zen
This is so easy to put together. You can purchase any artisanal bread you like, such as Ciabatta (my fav) and a cheese of your choice, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano.

1.Put a plate on the table.
2.Pour some olive oil on plate.
3.Sprinkle with your favorite spices (oregano, basil etc), salt and pepper and mix.
4.Dip warm pieces of artisanal bread into the spiced olive oil. A delightful match for the tastebuds!
5.To make this even better, enjoy the bread & oil with pieces of parmesan cheese (or any cheese you like).
6.Also, (optional) but a nice topper…enjoy this with a glass of wine. After all, it’s for New Year’s Eve.

Time for the best part…Dessert…

I’m baking a Pound Cake for my mom’s birthday. That’s what she requested. She’s not a fan of frosting. So, she doesn’t want a typical birthday cake. I’ve made this many times and it is always well received.
Here’s the pound cake recipe on called  Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake.

Dulce De Leche Blondies is also on my list to bake. Everyone in my family loves this dessert. It has sweetened condensed milk in the center. This makes it heavenly! You can find the recipe on my blog post called

New Year’s Resolutions…Are you one to make new year’s resolutions? I always do. To make sure I have a balance of things to accomplish, I add goals that include mind, body, and soul.

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution Worksheet I found online. Check it out!

I look forward to a great New Year's Eve with my family!
May you also have a blessed and loving time with your family!

I raise my champagne glass to you…
Peace, Love, and Prosperity in the new year!

Welcome 2011…I embrace you with open arms.

Peace and love, Carmen

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul




Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)