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New Year's Eve is traditionally the time to celebrate with friends, toast the year past, and wish nothing but the best for the coming year.

This year, for fans of Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama and Michigan State, New Year's Eve will include couchgating --- as those four are in the semifinals of the NCAA college football playoff structure.

With an afternoon-early evening doubleheader, many will choose comfy clothes and man caves instead of sparkles and high-priced evenings out.

So what to serve at your football-New Year's Eve combo?

You might want to choose to go with man food and nibbles combined. If you do, here are some ideas you might want to try.

Roasted Cumin Cashews

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cans (9-3/4 ounces each) salted whole cashews
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, whisk egg white and water. Add cashews and toss to coat. Transfer to a colander; drain for 2 minutes. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add cashews and toss to coat.

Arrange in a single layer in a greased 15- by 10-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, stirring once. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes")

Three-Cheese Fondue

  • 1/2 pound each Emmenthaler, Gruyere and Jarlsberg cheeses, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 4 teaspoons cherry brandy
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Cubed French bread baguette, boiled red potatoes and/or tiny whole pickles

In a large bowl, combine cheeses and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. In a small bowl, combine remaining cornstarch and brandy; set aside. In a large saucepan, heat wine over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add a handful of cheese mixture. Stir constantly, using a figure-eight motion, until cheese is almost completely melted. Continue adding cheese, one handful at a time, allowing cheese to almost completely melt between additions.

Stir brandy mixture; gradually stir into cheese mixture. Add spices; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and smooth.

Transfer to a fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with bread cubes, potatoes and/or pickles. Makes 4 cups fondue.

(Recipe courtesy of "Holiday & Celebrations 2013")

Marinated Shrimp

  • 2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into rings
  • 2 medium lemons, cut into slices
  • 1 cup pitted ripe olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a 3-quart glass serving bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, lemons and olives.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Pour over shrimp mixture and stir gently to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving. Serves 14.

(Recipe courtesy of "The Taste of Home Cookbook")

Pinecone-shaped Blue Cheese Spread

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups process cheese sauce
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon diced pimientos
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups unblanced almonds, toasted
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs, optional
  • Assorted crackers or fresh vegetables

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, cheese sauce and blue cheese until smooth. Stir in the onions, pimientos and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

On a serving platter, form cheese spread into a pinecone shape. Beginning at a narrow end, arrange almonds in rows. Garnish with rosemary if desired. Serve with crackers. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes")

Ham 'n Broccoli Triangles

  • 2-1/2 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 2-1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces, 14- by 9-inch sheet size) frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

Swiss Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional

In a large bowl, combine the ham, broccoli and mozzarella cheese. In a small bowl, beat eggs; stir in the cream, basil, pepper, Italian seasoning if desired and cayenne. Stir into ham mixture; set aside.

On a work surface, carefully remove one sheet of phyllo dough and fold in thirds lengthwise (keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out). Lightly brush phyllo strip with butter. Place a rounded tablespoonful of filling in lower right corner of strip. Fold dough over filling, forming a triangle. Fold triangle up, then fold over, forming another triangle. Continue folding, like a flag, until you come to the end of the strip.

Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling. Place triangles on ungreased baking sheets. Brush with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth; add milk and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in Swiss cheese until melted. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Serve with triangles. Yield: 40 appetizers.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes")

Beef Brisket with Mop Sauce

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 fresh beef brisket (3 pounds)

In a large saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

Place the brisket in a shallow roasting pan; pour sauce over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of "2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes")

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS.


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