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Our New Year’s Eve Tradition: A Kid-Made Snacky Dinner

Ready to rock it on New Year’s Eve? Try out our family’s tradition with New Year’s Eve appetizers that kids can make.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

For as long as I can remember, our supper on New Year’s Eve has been a variety of appetizers accompanied by fizzy drinks. As a mom with lots of littles it was an easy meal for me to prepare that was fun for me and easy for them to eat. I could indulge myself with Jalapeño Poppers and Garlic Brie Bread while the kids lived it up with Pigs in Blankets.

And since every item on the menu is eaten without utensils, clean up is usually a breeze.

Now that my children range in age from 6 to 17, they are able to do more in the kitchen, often independently. A few years ago, we decided that each member of the family could choose an appetizer or finger food to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Bonus points if he or she could prepare it all on his or her own.

We’ve had some very tasty New Year’s Eves as kids experiment with Beer-Battered Shrimp and Homemade Fried Eggrolls. This year, the FishKids have toned down their choices a little bit.

Here’s what’s on our menu this year:

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Fruit Kabobs

This is pretty easy. Just buy a variety of fruits. FishChick8 insists that she’ll do all the chopping and slicing. String them on bamboo skewers. Kids love to do this.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Pigs in Blankets

While you can use canned crescent roll dough and regular smoked cocktail sausages, it’s a bit healthier to make a homemade dough. This year I’m healthifying it just a notch more and using Aidells healthier mini sausages if I can find them. If I can’t, we’ll just wrap the dough around slices of larger Aidell Chicken and Apple Sausage. Once you make the dough, kids can easily wrap pieces around the sausage. You can leave some sausage without blankets for folks who want to go gluten free or avoid the carbs.

Grab the recipe for Homemade Pigs in Blankets.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Garlic Brie Bread

This four-ingredient recipe is super easy. All you need is Brie, sourdough bread, olive oil, and garlic. Brush the bread with garlic-infused oil and toast. Cube the cheese and fill the bread bowl. Bake until melty. Serve with toast dippers. This is super simple for kids, particularly since they could love to brush and cut. Offer a plastic knife to little ones.

Grab the recipe for Garlic Brie Bread.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Chips and Salsa

We love our chips and homemade salsa here. Yum-O. It’s so easy to make your own, though in winter, I usually use canned tomatoes for better flavor. While you may need to do some chopping, kids love to run the food processor or stir the ingredients together.

Grab the recipe for Salsa with Fresh Tomatoes or Homemade Salsa with Canned Tomatoes.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Pizza Bagels

These are particularly fun when you make them on mini bagels. They stretch farther and are cuter for a cocktail/mocktail party. Kids love to top their own pizzas.

Grab the recipe for Pizza Bagels.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Popeye Burgers

Make itty bitty burgers and it’s really fun. Folks can fill up on your “appetizers” without feeling like you’ve deprived them. Go as simple or as complex with your condiments or simply make them “house style”. These are particularly tasty with spinach in the meat patty. Kids can help form the patties and assemble the cooked sliders. You can serve some of the patties “lettuce-wrapped” if you’ve got folks who need to pass on the bread.

Grab the recipe for Popeye Burgers.

New Years Appetizers that Kids Can Make - Ready to rock it on New Year's Eve? Try out our family's tradition with New Year's Eve appetizers that kids can make.

Easy Veggie Tray

If I chop a veggie tray on any day of the week, my people will eat it all. Well, maybe except the celery. I’ve got a tray on the table now that just has celery. Kids can very easily mix up a sour cream dip (try this one or this one) or hummus for a dairy free option and arrange the vegetables. Slicing is super easy when you do it this way.

Shrimp Cocktail

Sorry, no picture on this one. We’ve never made it in daylight. I’ll have to change that this week. It’s super easy to make. Buy cooked and peeled shrimp or steam the uncooked kind yourself. Make your own cocktail sauce: mix together ketchup (I use the healthier kind), prepared horseradish, a little lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Picture and recipe forthcoming.

What’s on YOUR New Year’s menu?

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Comments

  1. i grew up with an appetizer NYE celebration and it’s my favorite! My mom would bring out all her fancy serveware and we always had a blast! I’ve continued it and this year my brother and his girlfriend are visiting and get to share it with us:). We will be having: chips and onion dip, a veggie tray, a relish tray, shrimp cocktail, potstickers, meatballs and some trader Joe’s frozen dessert options:)

  2. Stephanie M. says:

    Jessica, your menu looks awesome and having a bunch of appetizers is always wonderful and what better night of the year to have them than on New Year’s Eve. However, on Saturday, we had our annual family Christmas party and I served so many appetizers, I think most people had to force themselves to eat dinner. We just finished up the last of them today. So, rather than have them again, my husband and I are getting Chinese. We always stay home on New Year’s Eve because by then, we are finished with parties and get togethers. While we eat in our “jammies”, we watch the Twilight Zone marathon. What a quiet, peaceful, unstressful evening! 🙂

  3. In regards to an earlier post about cookbooks you use, thank you thank you for listing The Kitchen Counter Cooking School. I got it from the library and after the 2nd chapter I had already ordered a copy from Amazon! Such a fun read and so much practical information. I had never heard of this book and am so glad I will now have it in my cookbook library. I have all of the Artisan bread books and they are great as well. And I have your books 🙂 I actually did the same thing with your freezer book. I had checked it out from the library and was reading it while waiting in the ER with my husband this past Jan. By the time we got home, I had ordered a copy! And my husband was fine.
    My daughter and I made so many batches of Fishmamma spice mix to give to our friends for Christmas.
    So, to sum it all up—thank you for so many things! Especially for the time and effort you put into your blog.
    I’m anxiously awaiting the pantry challenge too.

  4. Appetizers are on our menu, too! My husband asked for pigs in a blanket too. What is it about this treat that’s so special and addicting? Since he requests so little in regards to meals, I was happy to oblige. Happy New Year!

  5. Great suggestion! I decided to let the kids lend a hand, and we had a great time (and they were super shocked that I actually let them help — a New Year’s miracle!) It was delicious and the only thing we had to buy was a bottle of ginger ale and some bread. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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