New Year's Eve Comfort Food Appetizers! Only The Best.

Posted: Dec 27 2015

We handpicked out favorite New Year's Eve comfort food recipes for your party or potluck! These decadent, easy and delicious recipes will be completely gone by the time he countdown is over! No leftovers or half eaten plates here, guaranteed. 


Puff pastry totally rocks my socks.  I’m finding myself day dreaming about what else I can stuff inbetween those dreamy layers of buttery flaky goodness.

It’s no fuss.

It’s amazingly easy.

And it tastes. so. good. 

And let’s talk about the filling, shall we?  Castello Aged Havarti.  Delicious… buttery with a slight crunch. The pear chutney is out of this world good… like serve-it-straight-up-with-some-crackers-and-call-it-a-day kind of good.  And then some thyme, toasted walnuts, and honey?  That’s a huge flavor party right there and it will surely be a hit. 

Serves: 18 Bites
  • 2 sheets ready-to-bake puff pastry sheets
  • Pear Chutney (recipe below)
  • 1 (7-ounce) package Castello Aged Havarti Cheese, sliced into bite-sized pieces*
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped**
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
for the Pear Chutney
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 pears, ripe but still firm, ¼" dice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  1. Defrost puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Roll out puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into 9 squares (18 squares total between the two sheets). Place squares on a piece of wax paper or parchement paper (this will prevent sticking).
  3. Place a piece of havarti cheese, a spoonful of pear chutney, a few chopped walnuts, a very light sprinkle of fresh thyme, and a drizzle of honey in the center of each puff pastry square. Although it's tempting, don't overfill or else it will be very difficult to seal edges.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush egg wash around the perimeter of each pastry square and carefully fold dough over filling to create triangles, pinching edges closed to create a good seal.***
  5. Generously brush the top of each puff pastry bite with egg wash and sprinkle with Kosher salt and chopped fresh thyme. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown. Devour immediately.
for the Pear Chutney
  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, season with Kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in pear, thyme, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Season with Kosher salt and cook until pears are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. If pears are not tender and mixture is too dry (starting to stick to pan), add a little water and continue to cook until pears are tender.



We also have Mexican Rice with these meals, which is another recipe my kids LOVE (score!)

The recipe I’m sharing today is one that we have recently become obsessed with. They are very similar to the chicken taquitos we make all the time, but they have cream cheese, salsa, and baby spinach mixed in with it too. I know I’ve shared this before, but my husband LOVES cream cheese, so I was 100% sure that he would love these taquitos. Well, he loved them and so did I, so we’ve had them a few times this last month. What I love is I made the cream cheese and chicken mix and froze the leftovers in 2 bags so I could make them 2 other nights. That worked out great for some of those crazy busy days. I just pulled one bag out in the morning to let it de-frost and it was perfect by dinner!

Another thing I love about this recipe is that they are great to make as the main dish or even an appetizer. Either way, I know you’ll love these Cream Cheese and Chicken Taquitos because they are DELICIOUS!

Cream Cheese and Chicken Taquitos
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 6 ounces ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cups sour cream
  • ½ cups salsa
  • 1½ cups colby jack cheese
  • 1½ cups chopped baby spinach, stems removed
  • 12 6 inch corn tortillas
  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  1. Heat ½" oil in a sauce pan on medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, co-jack and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Once oil is hot enough (place hand over pan, above oil, to feel heat), add a few tablespoons of chicken/cream cheese micture to the center of a tortilla and spread out. Roll up and set seam side down in oil using tongs. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled, rolled and fried.
  5. Set on paper towels to drain.
  6. Serve warm and ENJOY!



The easiest roasted shrimp cocktail ever made with just 5 min prep. Yes, it's just that easy! If you're ever in need of a super easy and quick appetizer, look no further! Very delicious and almost unbelievable that this recipe is so easy. 


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
    • Place shrimp in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
    • Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
    • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired



    I am sure it must be law or something but we all know that you absolutely cannot have a Christmas party without cocktail sausages. There’s something so moreish about them which guarantees that they will be snapped up quicker than any other party snack served.

    This cocktail sausage recipe is no exception and is so quick and easy to prepare. The glaze can be whipped up in a matter of seconds and the sausages will pretty much take care of themselves in the oven, allowing you to get on with enjoying the party with your guests.

    Click for recipe:


    Everyone will love these Pretzel Bites, kids and grown ups. Pretzel bites are fun to make and fun to eat!They are perfect for dipping and snacking. I think I will make these again on Sunday for our big Super Bowl party…and you should make them too!


    Yield: A lot! Around 5-6 dozen



    Soft Pretzels:
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
    3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
    2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
    Vegetable oil
    3 quarts water
    1/2 cup baking soda
    1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
    Coarse sea salt

    For the cheese sauce:
    ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
    ½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
    ½ cup milk
    8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated


    For the Pretzels: Combine the 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

    Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

    Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Bring the 3 quarts of water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

    Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

    Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.

    To make the cheese sauce:
    Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    *If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. I don't measure. I just guess until the consistency is right.*

    Recipe makes a lot of bites-perfect for sharing!

    They’re the best, and really only, reason I’ve found to enthusiastically welcome the purchase of ground chicken. So hurry. Get to this.



    These were unbelievably good, quite possibly my new favorite meatball recipe; they pack a lot of flavor from a few ingredients and can I say this? I hope it sounds as good to you as it does to me: They taste … cheesy. Like you’d snuck a whole lot of melty goodness in there, even though there is none. In my book, that’s a high compliment.

    These make for an excellent main course, but I will definitely be making miniature versions of them for a party, hopefully one day soon.

    Gourmet suggests you serve these with pepperonata, a marinated roasted red pepper antipasto. We enjoyed it, but don’t think it’s in any way mandatory to get the most out of your meatballs. One cooking note, should you choose to make it at home: I’d suggest roasting the peppers whole — rather than in strips — and peeling them before slicing them for the dish. Perhaps it’s just a personal preference, but I found the strips of still-attached roasted pepper skin annoying to eat, and easily avoided. You can find the pepperonata accompaniment over here.

    baked chicken meatballs
    i snuck one

    Serves 4, or more as appetizers or sliders

    3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
    1/3 cup milk
    3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped (you can swap in Canadian Bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 small garlic clove, minced
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 large egg
    1 pound ground chicken
    2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided*
    3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.

    Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. (Alternately, as in “I thought of this after the fact”, I’d bet you could render the pancetta for a couple minutes and cook the onions and garlic in that fat, rather than olive oil.) Cool slightly.

    Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs and arrange in another 4-sided sheet pan (I used a 9×13 roasting dish).

    Stir together remaining tablespoons of tomato paste and oil and brush over meatballs (the paste/oil does not mix in any cohesive manner, but just smoosh it on and run with it) , then bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes (though mine took a good 5 minutes longer).

    * I accidentally added a heaping tablespoon of the tomato paste into the meatball mixture the first time I made it, and ended up liking it better than without it. I’d use the tomato paste on top too. It’s good both places.








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