The One and I have never been big on New Year’s Eve. We’ve never thrown a party, and I don’t recall us ever attending one. And we shake our heads at folks who weather sometimes bone-chilling cold for hours and hours for a 10-second countdown in Times Square.

We prefer to be under a quilt on the couch watching the spectacle.

But just because we’re on the couch doesn’t mean we’re couch potatoes. Hardly! We don’t eat an official dinner, but rather graze all night from a big spread on the coffee table.

Some of our favorites are chicken liver pâté, nutty cheese sticks, oozy goat cheese with onion confit, my prosciutto cheese puffs, and classic palmiers.

This year, though, we’re doing something different. Friends are coming to a late lunch of beef bourguignon, smashed potatoes, and our favorite chocolate cake. So we might usher in 2023 with only a few Aperol spritzes and hugs.

And that’s perfectly delicious to me.

The One and I wish you all a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy new year.

The word "David" written in script.
Three Champagne cocktails with a Champagne cork an a plate of sugar cubes beside the drinks.
Chris Middleton
1 of 13

Champagne Cocktail

This Champagne cocktail is a classic for a reason, and we’ve tossed in a few signature extra flourishes (found as variations beneath the recipe that are remarkably easy to make and even more remarkably stunning to sip. And there’s no need to wait for a special occasion.

I loved these Champagne cocktails! I love anything that can add flare to classic Champagne, and these recipes are definitely it. They were simple to make and created a gorgeous and delicious cocktail!

kaitlyn n.
Roquefort and walnut shortbreads lined up on a white serving platter, with a glass of white wine in the background.
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Roquefort and Walnut Shortbreads

These Roquefort and walnut shortbreads are our most elegant appetizer—crisp, light, and delectable. They're the perfect finger food.
Homemade potato chips on a crumpled piece of parchment paper and a bowl of sour cream.
Quentin Bacon
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Homemade Potato Chips with Pecorino

Homemade potato chips are an entirely different animal from packaged ones and are definitely worth the effort. Make. A. Lot.

These are wonderful! So easy to make and well worth the small effort that goes into slicing and frying the potatoes.

Various filled puff pastry twists lying on a sheet of parchment paper.
Joann Pai
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Comté and Sesame Twists

Cheese is a daily part of life in France, and lucky for us all really, there are so many of them. Most are meant to be eaten just as is, but there are a few to also use in cooking, such as Comté. If you eat it all before you get to cooking (been there), sub Emmental or Gruyère. Any of them are perfect in these buttery twists.
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Roasted Bone Marrow

This roasted bone marrow is a cinch to make. Sprinkle it with salt and roast until rich, unctuous, and irresistible. Simply the best. Here’s how to make it.

Made this last night. It. Was. Divine! Did not realize how easy bone marrow is to make and how quickly it cooks. The husband was blown away – said it was better than a restaurant. Thank you for the recipe and for the detailed instructions.

A tray of oysters Rockefeller with bacon--baked oysters topped with bread crumbs, bacon, and butter.
Kristin Teig
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Oysters Rockefeller with Bacon

Oysters Rockefeller with bacon is made with a mix of herbs and smoky bacon and buttery bread crumbs. The best variation I've had. And so easy.
Spicy Chex mix scattered on a baking sheet with a spoon lying in the middle.
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Spicy Chex Mix

This homemade spicy Chex mix bears some resemblance to the original but is SO much more interesting. The combination of roasted nuts, toasted cereal, and the ideal amount of cayenne and chili seasoning means you may never go back to the classic.
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Fromage Fort

Fromage fort is a beautifully transformative way to use up the scraps of all those expensive cheeses that are crammed in the fridge. It’s a classic, frugal, and flavorful French technique shared here by Jacques Pepin.
A plate with a large piece of seared foie gras topped with watercress and apple puree on the side.
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Pan Seared Foie Gras

Pan-seared foie gras is an elegant appetizer made with foie gras, a grapefruit-Chardonnay sauce, and apple purée. Superb for when you feel like going fancy schmancy. And it’s easier than you think to make.
Classic cheese charcuterie board with grapes, spiced nuts, baked Brie, sliced meat, toasted baguette, gherkins, cheese and more.
Kylie Mazon-Chambers
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Classic Cheese and Charcuterie Board

This recipe is a foolproof beginner’s guide to a great cheese and charcuterie board! A good spread is made of four important elements: cheese, charcuterie, vehicles (crackers and bread), and accoutrements (fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and jams) to balance the savory flavors.
A rimmed sheet pan filled with truffles coated in confectioners' sugar.
Ryland Peters & Small
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Champagne Truffles

Champagne truffles—made with bittersweet chocolate, cream, brandy, and, natch, bubbly—are homemade orbs of dessert spectacularness gilded in ganache. A perfect food gift or cocktail party conversation starter.
A coupe glass filled with a revolver cocktail, garnished with orange peel.
Alanna Hale
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The Revolver Cocktail

This revolver cocktail recipe is made with bourbon, coffee liquor, and orange bitters. An alternative to the Manhattan cocktail.

The revolver cocktail is a great drink recipe. Very mellow and with a hint of coffee that blends well with the whiskey, I chose Bulliet. I had to sample 2 or 3 to make sure I understood the flavors!!! Thanks for sharing.

A molten chocolate cake on a plate with the filling oozing out and a few pieces of dark chocolate on the side.
Taylor Kiser
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Classic Molten Chocolate Cakes

These classic molten chocolate cakes (also called chocolate lava cakes) from Jean-Georges Vongerichten are made with flour, sugar, chocolate, egg, and butter. When baked, the cake doesn't cook through, creating a lava flow of chocolate when cut into. If that weren't enough, the batter can be made ahead of time.


How long can cocktail-party food be left at room temperature?

Shelf-stable foods like potato chips, roasted mixed nuts, and Chex mix can be safely left out all evening for your guests to enjoy. For perishable foods, keep hot foods hot in a warmer, and cold foods, like oysters, shrimp rings, and mayo-based salads, cold, on a bed of ice. Any perishable food being served at room temperature needs to be refrigerated after 2 hours.

Which foods are considered lucky for the New Year?

Foods representing good luck and prosperity for the New Year vary from region to region, but can include black-eyed peas, cornbread, noodles, and grapes. If you’re curious about the history, read this article about the lucky foods to eat on New Year’s day and the ones to avoid.

How much food should I serve at a cocktail party?

Plan for about 8 pieces of food per person, if you’re serving all at once. If you’re serving food continuously throughout the evening, plan for about 4 pieces per person per hour. Expect that the most food will be consumed during the first 2 hours.

Still looking for more ideas? Peruse our entire selection of New Year’s Eve recipes, cocktail party recipes, and hors d’oeuvres recipes to create the perfect party menu.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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