Throw an elegant, last-minute New Year’s bash

You thought you were content watching the ball drop with your honey, but the phone won’t stop ringing from friends who want to party! Fortunately Robyn Moreno, author of “Practically Posh: The Smart Girls’ Guide to a Glam Life,” has plenty of ideas for hosting a festive fête in a flash.

Moreno’s main tip: When it comes to serving food at a party, your appetizers should be sassy on the table but simple to prepare. Consider these easy and elegant possibilities:

White bean puree

Ingredients

    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups canned white beans
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a saucepan, sautée the garlic in chicken stock. Add the beans and cook until heated through.Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree with the remaining ingredients, except lemon juice. Adjust seasoning, and add lemon juice to taste. Serve with chips as dip or on bruschetta.

Portable caprese

Ingredients

    • Package of grape tomatoes
    • Package of marinated mozzarella balls
    • Bunch of basil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Skewer a small ball of mozzarella, a grape tomato and a bit of basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil.

Warm spiced olives

Ingredients

    • 2 cups mixed olives
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 sprigs rosemary
    • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 long strips of lemon zest
    • Extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Place olives on a long (about 18-inch) length of aluminum foil. Toss with the bay leaf and other spices. Add the lemon zests and drizzle with olive oil.Wrap the foil around olives and seal seams.Warm in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve while still warm.

"Pan tomate"

Ingredients

    • 2 thick slices of rustic bread
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 large beefsteak tomato
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt to taste

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Toast or grill bread. Slice off the end of the garlic clove and rub the exposed side over each slice of toast. Slice tomato in half, and rub thoroughly, flesh side down, over the bread, one half-tomato to each slice of bread. Drizzle the tomato bread with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt

Serving Directions:

Can top with jamón de serrano (or prosciutto di Parma if that’s easier to find).

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