Even the most seasoned hostess can get overwhelmed when cooking for a crowd. There's just something intimidating about creating a menu that must be enjoyed by everyone. So, what exactly constitutes enjoyed? Track the leftovers. As any Southern hostess knows, it's never a good sign when there are too many leftovers.
When planning the menu for any upcoming dinner party, there's a scenario we can all relate to, and it looks something like this: We obsess for days, sometimes weeks, over the delicious five course menu that usually starts with light and festive appetizers and ends with a decadent double-layer chocolate dessert. Of course there's an entree squeezed in there–a Standing Rib Roast or Jubilee-Black Pepper Glazed Ham or Pork Roast–that takes center stage. And that glistening meat is usually surrounded by sides. Oh, those sides! Heaping piles of potatoes. Platters of seasonal greens. Baskets of warm, doughy biscuits. Everyone dives into the sides. Everyone loves the sides. They're unique and unexpected. They're like special treats.
Related: Spectacular Thanksgiving Sides
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Since New Year's Eve is one of those occasions that we know we must celebrate but really don't want to, we decided to plot out a fun and unconventional dinner party. We're skipping the first course–and the last course too. Instead, we're having an all-you-can-eat get-together that's made up of our favorite sidekicks. We're pretty confident there's something for everyone...and we doubt you'll have leftovers:
New Years's Eve Party Menu
Macaroni and Cheese: No, this is not for the children. This ooey, gooey, cheesy, made-from-scratch recipe will certainly be a hit. Everyone will dig into this dish. Get recipe here.
Smashed Baby Red Potatoes: Smashed, mashed, baked, hasselbacked–potatoes offer so many options. Keep it simple wth these easy baby potatoes. Get recipe here.
Tee's Corn Pudding: We believe it's always important to have a classic on the table. Which is why we're serving this always popular creamed corn recipe that has been on our table for years. Get recipe here.
Slow Cooker Green Beans: We decided to use our slow-cooker for the greens, and made these delicious beans that are complemented by chunks of bacon. Get recipe here.
Related: Oh Snap! 36 Green Bean Recipes
Orange Chile Glazed Carrots: It's a wise idea to have a few veggies for guests. And we like the vibrant taste and color that these carrots bring to the table. Get recipe here.
Citrus Kale Salad: Salad is always a good idea. But the typical salad just won't cut it for a holiday. 'Tis the season for taking advantage of the juicy fruit of the region. We've sliced Ruby Red grapefruit and navel and blood oranges, and topped on a bed of healthy greens. Get recipe here.
Yeast Rolls: Bread basket is a must. Melt-in-your-mouth rolls that can be made the night before. Get recipe here.
And don't forget:
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch: We suggest something fruity, fizzy, and festive. Get recipe here.
Dessert: End the year with your favorite desserts. We like serving a classic cake and a platter filled with assorted treats like Cranberry Shortbread Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Lemon Meringue Tarts.
WATCH: How to Make the Hummingbird Cake