New Year’s Eve will look different than last year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fun.
Instead of heading to a club or party, most of us will stay in and stay safe. That’s why Weekend Times put together a handy guide on what to eat, what to drink and how to celebrate without leaving your home.
Whether you have kids or will celebrate as a couple or party of one, here’s how to (safely) kiss 2020 goodbye.
End the year deliciously. Check out these finger foods from our Local Flavor: Recipes We Love archives to serve before the ball drops.
Anne Kessler’s Cheese and Sausage Dip
Originally published Dec. 29, 2019
- 1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilies
Crumble and cook sausage for 10 to 15 minutes in a frying pan. Drain the fat. Add the cream cheese and let it melt. Drain can of tomatoes about halfway and mix it into cream cheese and sausage. Place in oven-safe dish and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes.
Ann Sheroda’s Stuffed Mushrooms
Originally published Aug. 25, 2019
- 18 to 20 white button mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound sausage
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle
Saute mushrooms and onions until soft, adding salt and pepper. Take sausage out of skin and crumble into sauted mushrooms. Cook until done; add parsley and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
Take off heat and add Monterey Jack cheese. Mix thoroughly.
Spoon stuffing into mushrooms. Place mushrooms on cookie sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
Judy Giacometti’s Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bon Bons
Originally published May 13, 2018
Yield: Approximately five dozen
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 4 cups Rice Krispies
In a mixing bowl, mix butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
In a plastic bag, crush the cereal moderately. Add to the peanut butter mixture and mix well.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop mixture and roll into 3/4-inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet and chill or freeze at least one hour or overnight.
- 10 ounces milk chocolate bars
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Nonpareils or decoration of choice (optional)
In a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate and chocolate chips, stirring frequently.
Using a fork or toothpick, dip each ball into chocolate to coat all sides, shaking off excess. Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with nonpareils immediately. Chill or freeze until coating is firm, or at least one hour.
Whip up one of these winter cocktails from Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine & Good Spirits, and you’ll find yourself even warmer — inside and out.
Cookies and Cream Spiked Milkshake
- 1 ounce Chila Horchata cinnamon cream
- 1 ounce Tuaca Liqueur
- 3 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 chocolate sandwich cookies with cream, broken (2 for mixture; 1 to garnish)
Add first four ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with cookie.
Cider on Fire
- 1 ounce Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Tuaca Liqueur
- Hot apple cider
Combine first two ingredients in a mug. Top with hot apple cider.
- 2 ounces Southern Comfort whiskey
- 5 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 dash fresh lime juice
- 3 fresh cranberries
- 1 lime wedge
Combine the first three ingredients in a Collins glass filled with ice and stir. Garnish with skewered cranberries and a lime wedge.
- 2 ounces Southern Comfort whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Keep It Simple Syrup
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 orange wedge
- 1 Mezzetta maraschino cherry
Combine first three ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with orange wedge and cherry.
For the kids
Fill plastic champagne flutes with sparkling apple juice and garnish with gummy bears, or let them use rock candy as stirrers.
If you’re celebrating apart, why not be alone together? Set up a virtual meeting with your friends or family — just pick a time and virtual hosting platform. You can have a game night with your crew or watch a movie together. You also can make a playlist to share with everyone to dance the night away.
Take it outside
If it’s not too cold or you have heaters or a fire pit, ring in the new year under the stars. Bring out chairs and blankets and make s’mores. Set up a hot chocolate bar with all the fixings including marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, candy canes and, for adults, something to spike it with.
Reflect and reevaluate
Instead of making a resolution, which often doesn’t stick, look back on how you’ve grown this year. Write down something you learned or something you’ve gotten better at. It’s a nice way to see how far you’ve come and that growth always is possible.
Decorate a “Memory Jar” to keep over the next 12 months. Every time something good happens, write it on a piece of paper and slip it in the jar. Next New Year’s Eve, open the jar and take a trip down memory lane.
When the clock strikes midnight, go all out. Pop champagne (or sparkling juice.) Bang pot and pans or blow on a noisemaker. Sing “Auld Lang Syne” at the top of your lungs. If anything can be said about the past 12 months, it’s that life can change pretty fast. Live in the moment.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT