New Year’s Eve Party for People Who Have a Hard Time Staying Awake

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Recipe-booksAre you like me? I have a hard time staying up New Year’s Eve. Larry is also a geezer, there I said it. Rarely do we see midnight. Parties? A LOT of hours ‘til the stroke of 12.  But a few years back, we threw a cooking party that our guests still rave was THE BEST way to ring in the New Year.

No worries if someone is not a GOOD COOK. Enthusiasm grows with teamwork; there’s always prep that non-cooks can do. It’s the fact that we are all involved, mixing it up with friends, hours of conversation, laughs and bonding, and staying awake! Here is the evening:

  1. Four couples (or singles, but 8 total) – you run out of space otherwise
  2. Arrival time 6 PM – each couple brings a bottle of wine or champagne, plus their wallet
  3. Put all 8 names into a hat, pull out pairs (couples are not paired with their partner, less stress, believe me)
  4. Next drawing, each team pulls: Appetizer, Side Dish/Salad, Main Entree, or Dessert
  5. Make recipe books available for teams to plan their dish and grocery list
  6. Now, pile into cars and go to the store (this part might be tough in some towns, but in LA, plenty are open New Years Eve). All groceries paid via ONE tab, end of the evening, everyone reimburses equally split
  7. Back home around 8:30 PM, start cooking.  We divvied into four stations: 2 teams in the kitchen, 1 team at outdoor grill (LA weather), 1 team used the bar counter and sink, which worked fine
  8. First course is maybe 9:15 PM, with dessert by midnight.  Or earlier. Or later, kind of doesn’t matter!
  9. Wine throughout the evening.  Champagne at midnight.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!
  10. Eight people can clean up pretty darn quickly, too.

* for areas with no grocery store open, or really bad weather, try a Secret Box.  Host buys a bunch of groceries in anticipation of the party OR each couple brings a box of ingredients, and teams pick from all the goods brought, Top Chef style.

Happy New Year to my readers… and leave a comment telling about cooking parties you have attended!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison Cotter December 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

I remember Larry telling me about this was and was so happy to find the directions still available! We are giving it a try this New Years. Your great idea lives on!

2 Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff December 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

You are a genius! Food, drink and entertainment … sounds like a fun evening!

3 Travler2130 December 23, 2011 at 2:24 am

This sounds like fun. A definite do in the New Year.

4 Worth The Whisk December 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Karen, boot Marlene out of her seat and you can join us at a Gourmet Club. LOL

5 Karen Caplan December 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I love this idea for a party, Patti! I may use it NOT at New Year’s! Happy New Year to you and Larry. Let’s get together sometime. Maybe you’ll have an opening for one of your gourmet cooking parties and we can be a stand in?

6 Cookin' Canuck December 20, 2010 at 5:03 pm

This is a fantastic idea! There is nothing better than cooking together to stimulate conversation and silliness.

7 Michelle December 31, 2009 at 5:52 pm

This is a fabulous idea! Tonight’s a quiet night at home with the hubby, but this is definitely a contender for ways to ring in 2011!

8 Jennifer S December 18, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Now THIS sounds like fun to me. I might be able to get this together some year. Thanks for posting it.

9 Kate @ savour Fare December 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Love this idea but eight people strains the heck out of our kitchen!

10 Sonja @ ActiveFoodie December 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm

What a great idea! I would love to do something like this!

11 Maria December 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Love this idea!

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