New Year’s Day Open House Party Recap

New Year’s Day Open House Party Recap

A friend once told me that you should only do things on New Year’s Day that you want to do all year long, so by that logic – obviously we had to throw a party!

All we really wanted was to host everybody we love, eat some good food, drink some good drinks, and share a sense of community to kick off the new year – as cheesy as that might sound. We didn’t want to edit the guest list at all and encouraged everyone to bring any out of town guests or friends they might have with them, so we decided to make it an open house/drop in-style party for several hours in the afternoon.

We told people to “come as you are.” And “as I am” to me meant embellished and in full make up and knee high cowboy boots, so sue me.

I really and truly LOVE to have friends in my home and these last few years have been such a bummer in that regard – so I was ESPECIALLY excited to have everybody over and I just wanted everyone to feel honored and special and…also share some of my weird southern superstitious foods for luck and money and prosperity and growth and all that stuff. Oh and Greg and I are big believers in the hair of the dog, so we had the bar up and running, too.

Greg set up a camera and filmed me as I put together my appetizer/grazing/small bite station/whatever, and watching myself manhandle food in superspeed was pretty hilarious.  I edited it down and dropped it in a little tiktok for your amusement:

We made some strategic day-of hiring decisions that made a huge difference in our ability to relax and have fun. We had a seriously amazing team of highschoolers running art projects (including the fireworks watercolor resist paintings!) and maintaining order in the basement/backyard with the kids… 10/10 recommend.  And for any large party I always call “Hire a Hostess.” – they basically send you a body double who takes care of everything you would be doing – refilling drinks, replenishing trays, cleaning up as the party goes, you name it.  I’ve also hired bartenders and servers in the past – they’re incredible.  Stacie, the owner, really hooked me up this time with Michelle.  She was like a gorgeous Mary Poppins who had the answer to everything and thought of everything I didn’t.  She got there about an hour before the party, helped me with last minute set up items, and then there was nothing left for me to do but hand the proverbial keys over to her and enjoy myself!  By the time the party was over, my kitchen was already spotless, but she stayed another 30 minutes to make sure everything was put away, so I could just enjoy my evening instead of cleaning all night.  Game changer.

As promised, here’s a complete menu broken down by what I made vs. purchased. I’m all about minimal effort with maximum impact.  I love to cook and bake, but I only want to spend time on the things that make a difference in the grand scheme of things.  I feel good about the choices I made… except 100% next time I would have Sweet Cheats make my cake balls (or “cruffles” as they call them) because mine were not nearly as good and sucked up a TON of of my time. Anyway!  Check it out:

  • What I Made:

    Caramel brownies – Boxed brownies, homemade caramel.

    Oreo brownies – same thing just with Oreos

    Cake pops – HATE. Never again. I forgot.

    Neiman Marcus $250 Cookies – another throwback. Anybody else familiar with these alleged $250 cookies from some chain letter in the early 90’s?  The story might be bogus but the cookies?  The cookies are legit.

    Chocolate Pecan fudge (I used the buttered pecans that Shepherd Center brought us for the holidays – they are INSANE on their own, I ate half of them the day they brought them over.)

    White chocolate Nutella fudge – I had never made fudge before, I had NO idea how easy it was.

    Sparkle cookiesfrom the other day.

    I semi-home made the cheese board by cutting out stars and hearts from my cheese slices with fondant cutters and pre-folded my salami roses and rivers to make for easy day-of assembly.

    HOT TAKE – I don’t love those enormous salami roses you make in the wine glasses. I put them on a handful of boards and everybody picking apart the same rose made me feel like I was watching vultures eat their prey. Sorry for the visual. I made small bite roses and will absolutely share how I did this.

    Also for the cheese board I used Rosemary cheese crackers– my mom’s take on cheese straws. They’re spicy and perfect and I’m sure she will let me share the recipe with you.

    Grape Jelly crock pot meatballs (can you let me know in the comments if you know wth this is? I thought everybody ate these at parties growing up?)

    All my weird superstitious NYD foods: black eyed peas and collard greens – but I totally forgot the cornbread, whoops.


  • What I Bought

    • Lay’s potato chips – put ‘em in a fancy bowl
    • Enormous nugget platter from Chick-Fil-A.  I also like Publix’s popcorn chicken and the frozen Bare brand nuggets from Costco.
    • Partake cookies – For my allergy friends.  I save my coolest, most whimsical tiered platter for these.
    • Everything else I got from Costco
    • Mac and Cheese – from the prepared foods section.  I scoop two of them into my own casserole dish, crack some black pepper on it, and cover with a mountain of additional shredded cheddar.  I’ve been asked for my recipe several times.
    • Macarons – they have a box of 36 assorted in the freezer section.   I like to dust them with edible glitter.
    • Pirouline wafers – duh.  I’m obsessed with these.
    • Coffee biscuit cookie things
    • Mini pancakes – served them with some berries and whipped cream – huge hit
    • Bakery croissants
    • Charcuterie materials – the cheese blocks are enormous and the meat selection is extensive. (Quick tip:) I like to make at least one section of the board totally vegetarian – ie not even touching any of the meats
    • Mixed nuts
    • Fruit: today I did grapes and raspberries.
    • Bloody Mary Bar stuff: Celery, lemons and limes, mini gherkins, olives
    • Cucumbers and lemons for the water dispenser

Overall, 2023 starting out strong to quite strong.  Sending love to all of you far and wide.

xo, LC

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