First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Today is the first day I pulled out my computer in 5 days! I honestly cannot remember the last time I have ever done that. It felt so great to unplug and really enjoy quality time with my family in Arizona. We are headed back to Dallas today and I am excited to start prepping for a little New Year’s eve get together at our house.
With a little help from La Vaquita, I am sharing my three go-to appetizer recipes that will be a hit at any get-together and how to host a stress-free New Year’s eve party.
When it comes to hosting, my number one rule is to keep it simple. There is nothing worse than have a stressed out party host. In order to eliminate any stress from the equation, I always follow a few key rules.
Two days before I host a party, I always head to Central Market (or any local grocery market) with my list. I get all the ingredients for the appetizers and main course. I try and find the pre-chopped vegetables to eliminate my time in the kitchen the day of.
When it comes to appetizers, I have three go-to recipes: Guacamole, Queso, and Crostinis. I always add a little seasonal flare to each but these simple apps are always a hit at every party.
Guacamole with La Vaquita Crumbles and Pomegranate Seeds
5 fresh avocados (you can tell if they are fresh my gently pressing your thumb on the side and the seed at the top is still in tacked.)
1 package of Cherry Tomatoes (sliced in quarters)
1 white onion finely chopped
1 diced jalapeño
2 small fresh limes
1/2 tbs of kosher salt, add more to taste
1 package of La Vaquita Quesco Fresco (you can buy at HEB, Walmart or Kroger)
1 fresh pomegranate or package of seeds
In a large bowl, place cut and peeled avocados and use a fork to smash. The consistency doesn’t need to be totally smooth. Then add in tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and the juice of 1 lime in the bowl and mix evenly. Squeeze 1/2 of the other lime on top to keep the avocado from turning brown. Before guests arrive sprinkle La Vaquita Queso Fresco Crumbles on top and a few pomegranate seeds for color. The crumbles add the perfect texture that is fresh, bright and mild.
1 package of La Vaquita Oaxaca (or Melting Cheese)
1 block of Velveeta
1 ripe vine tomato (roughly chopped)
1 diced jalapeño
1 can of chopped green chilies (I like the spicy kind)
1 chopped onion
In a crock pot, take La Vaquita Melting Cheese and all of the other ingredients and set to low. Stir occasionally. That’s it!
When it’s done, I take a small bowl of queso and sprinkle a little of the La Vaquita crumbles and chopped jalapeño on top.
Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Crostini with La Vaquita Panela and Crumbles
1 Butternut Squash Cubed (I buy the pre-cubed at the store to make it easy)
1 pomegranate (seeded)
A package of fresh crostini (I like the bite size)
1 package of La Vaquita Panela
1 tbs of olive oil
salt and paper to taste
Pre-Heat the oven to 450 degrees. On a cookie sheet, spread the butternut squash and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. While the butternut squash is roasting, thinly slice the La Vaquita Panela Cheese and place on the crostinis. Once the butternut squash is done, let cool for a minute and transfer into a large bowl. Toss with the La Vaquita crumbles and a little salt and pepper. Spoon onto the crostini and then sprinkle pomegranate seeds for a little festive color.
USE PAPER AND A GREAT PLAYLIST
I really love hosting parties, but if I am being honest, cleaning up is not my favorite activity. Last year I was introduced to the brand Harlow & Grey. They make modern party goods (think: marble plates with a gold rim) and everything is disposable. Talk about the ideal situation for minimal cleanup!
A playlist can make the party! Be sure to have some of your favorite tunes set and ready before your guests arrive!
Are you hosting a party for New Year’s eve? I would love to hear what you have planned to ring in 2017!
xox- a dash of details
*this post was created in collaboration with La Vaquita Cheese.