Once Christmas is over, the last thing you probably want to deal with is a New Year's Eve party. However, if you're opting to stay at home with family and friends to see in the start of 2016, the chances are you'll need to prepare some food and drinks.
Rather than going all out and cooking up some complicated food, putting together some simple nibbles and allowing people to help themselves can make the whole evening less stressful for you. This is probably going to be incredibly welcome if you were the one who had to cook Christmas dinner.
So what can you put together for your NYE that won't take hours? Here are some quick and simple ideas:
Filling a bowl of punch and using that as a centrepiece for your food table is a really nice touch that takes minutes to prepare. You simply have to mix a spirit with fruit juice to create a light and tasty drink that people can help themselves to.
The aim is not to make it too strong, as this means it is likely that more people will like the drink. Of course, you can have other drinks at the ready for people, but this is a classic party option.
If children will be at your party, you should have an alcoholic and non-alcoholic choice. You should also make it clear which is which to avoid any mix-ups.
Chips and dips
One of the easiest party foods you can prepare is chips and dip. Whether you buy your dips or make them yourself, preparing this snack is really quick and easy, resulting in a popular choice for parties.
It is a good idea to pop labels on your dips so people know what they are. This ensures that anyone with dietary requirements knows what they can and can't eat. You could even colour code the bowls, with green bowls showing that something is vegetarian.
If you want a healthy option instead of crisps or tortilla chips, you could cut strips of carrot or cucumber up and display in glasses. This will add a touch of colour to your table and offer a lower calorie option.
Rather than serving up the usual sandwiches or mini sausage rolls, you can offer lettuce cups, which offer a tasty and different option. These are basically small leaves of lettuce that create a 'cup' shape so you can fill them with something tasty.
You can fill them with spicy steak strips, seafood or basically anything else that works with salad. This means you can whip up one of your favourite recipes and serve it up in a simple and attractive way.
Just be sure to avoid filling the lettuce cups with too much sauce, as this will make them difficult to eat.
While fancy desserts are always a nice touch, people are usually fans of cupcakes, which offer a pretty and easy option. Simply make vanilla cupcakes and top with swirls of bright icing to add colour to your table.
You could even decorate them with things like edible glitter or pearls, which could be a good activity to get your little ones involved with.
If you want to make a feature of your cupcakes, try displaying them on a tiered stand, which will help your cakes stand out and allow you to fit more on your table without making it look crowded.