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Ring In 2015 With DIY Party Dishes

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Dec 30, 2014

The holidays bring a lot of new and old company to the same table, but with the cold weather and general feeling of generosity this time of year, these holiday festivities usually include heavy, rich meals. For New Year’s Eve, I’m looking forward to trading in the honey-baked hams and turkey feasts of the last two months of the year for festive appetizers and party-friendly bites.

Setting up make-your-own party dish stations for New Year’s Eve is a fun way to keep portions small and keep your guests active. Plus, these customized dishes will please even the pickiest of party guests.

Grilled cheese sandwiches: Grab a few different kinds of sliced breads and easily melted cheeses, along with prepared meats (sausage, bacon) and vegetables (tomatoes, caramelized onions, roasted veggies). The central part of this station is a well-buttered griddle, which guests can use to make their own grilled cheese sandwich creations.

Sundaes: Who doesn’t love a hot fudge sundae? Stock this station with some basic ice cream flavors, sauces (caramel, hot fudge, strawberries, peanut butter), and toppings (sprinkles, nuts, M&Ms, Maraschino cherries), and let your guests do the rest.

Fondue: Whether sweet (ie, chocolate) or savory (cheese), fondue is a . For cheese, serve toasted, buttered bread cubes, sliced soft pretzels, salami or pancetta, and cherry tomatoes. Chocolate fondue pairs well with fresh berries, salted pretzels, bananas, miniature cookies, and pound cake.

Ice cream sandwiches: Get plenty of soft-baked cookies and ice cream and voila! Bonus: if you already have the sundae bar out, party-goers can use those toppings on their ice cream sandwiches.

I’m looking forward to leaving behind the heavy holiday feasts and ringing in the New Year with good food and even better company. For more tips on hosting a great party, listen to our Amy Sedaris episode, and there are plenty more party-friendly recipe ideas in Eat More Better. Happy New Year from The Sporkful!

Elite Truong is a support manager and snack maker at Eater.com. In her free time, she's learning how to code and throw a good party. Find her on Twitter @elitetruong.

Image: Flickr CC / CMBellman

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