• Easiest NYE Apps

December 30, 2019

Have you ever had a last-minute New Year's Eve get together?  We did one year and it turned out to be one of our most favorite parties.  We invited our friends and our kids' friends and combined it with a fun dance music playlist and the easiest apps possible.  It was a blast and did not take much effort.

Here are some super easy appetizers that are a sure thing for happy guests.

Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma, @williamssonoma

Bruschetta, at its simplest, is grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil, but it can also be prepared with a variety of toppings. This recipe calls for fresh tomatoes and basil, but you can also use a mixture you’ve canned yourself to enjoy a summery dish any time of year.

Classic bruschetta demands the best-quality ingredients. Use a crusty coarse bread; ripe, red tomatoes harvested at the height of the season; freshly picked basil; and the best extra-virgin olive oil your budget will allow.

Tomato Bruschetta

About 1 lb. (500 g.) cherry tomatoes or 3 or 4 large tomatoes

About 16 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces


8 slices coarse country bread, each about 1/2 inch (12 mm.) thick

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the broiler.

If using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. If using large tomatoes, core and seed them and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm.) pieces. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, bas
il, and a pinch of salt.

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until crisp and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes.

Immediately rub one side of each slice vigorously with a garlic clove, using 1 clove for 4 slices.

Arrange the bread slices, garlic side up, on a platter. Spoon the tomato mixture on the slices. Drizzle with the oil and serve. Serves 4.

Charcuterie Boards

Photo Courtesy of Platters and Boards, @plattersandboards

Our biggest go-to for almost every party we have is the charcuterie board.  Long before it became "in" as it is right now, the Costellos were doing this as an easy but filling way to make our guests happy.  It mostly came about from the foods we like to eat, kind of with an Italian twist. My husband's Italian family love salami and I love cheeses, so it was a natural way to please everyone.

The recipe is simple and can be altered to your specific likes and dislikes, but this is basically what we love to include:

Fresh cut salami (rolled to look pretty on the platter)

Sliced cheeses and blocks of cheese


Berries, grapes, dried fruit


Carrot Sticks

Blanched vegetables such as asparagus

Banana peppers, fresh or pickled

Olives, pitted Greek, green and black

Crackers (including some rice crackers for a gluten-free option)

Baby sweet pickles

Garnish with herbs

This is super easy to make but Kansas City residents are lucky to have the option of buying a beautiful charcuterie board from Katie Hudson at Platters and Boards, @plattersandboards. Email them at PlattersandBoards@gmail.com. They make custom platters designed to your wants and needs, and voila! You have an instant party!


This is one of our many charcuterie boards that we have created for parties.

 Margarita Shrimp with Cilantro and Citrus

Our other go-to for parties is Jumbo Margarita Shrimp with Cilantro and Citrus. Adapted from one of our favorite caterers, Karen Watts, @food2style, it is super easy and a crowd pleaser - plus I like it as a healthy option.

Margarita Shrimp with Cilantro and Citrus

1 Bag of frozen jumbo shrimp with tail from Costco

1 Bunch of cilantro

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. lemon juice (bottled)

1/2 c. lime juice (bottled)

1 orange, sliced for garnish

Pour shrimp into a container to marinate.  Add oil, lemon juice, lime juice and as much cilantro as you wish.  Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight and pour into a pretty glass dish to serve the next day. Garnish with sliced oranges.



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