My husband and I don't like crowds. We don't like cold weather and we don't like spending tons of money on things we could just as easily make at home. What we do like is spending quiet evenings at home, with good quality food and good friends. To that end, we've been throwing a New Year's Eve party for our friends for the last several years.
Our parties are always pretty casual. We put out some finger foods, some drinks, and expect everyone to entertain themselves. Our menu this year is pretty similar to what we've put out in the past. We've got some old war horses, but I also like to try new things and mix it up a little.
This year includes:
A cheese plate (gouda, cheddar, and blue cheese)
Fruit (grapes, apples, oranges, pomegranates)
Pizza Margarita (fresh roma tomatoes, on home made pizza crust, with shredded cheese and basil)
A baked ham and rolls for sandwiches
Veggies, with hummus for dipping
Crackers, to go either with cheese or the hummus
Assorted pickles and olives
Brie baked with apricots and rosemary
Drinks will be red and white wine. (We're experimenting with Target's wine cubes this year. I've heard from reliable sources that they are comparable to the Three Buck Chuck I usually put out for parties. ) We'll also have soda, and I'll put out sweet tea and water with limes. I'm considering mulling some of that red wine in my crockpot and having hot water out for tea.
People tend to bring more food or drinks too, so this list will expand in ways I can't predict.