kawarthaCHOW – Easy Entertaining for New Year’s Eve

Tips to keep your sanity for the big night, and an recipe for easy cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

New Year's Eve toast
Your New Year's Eve guests will toast to you!

If you’re like me, you’re probably exhausted by now, and the thought of entertaining on New Year’s Eve might be a little overwhelming.

We all want to get together, enjoy family and friends, a glass of wine and relax. But the problem is that, if you’re the one that’s hosting, relaxing may be difficult.

I find that a few hours work done ahead of time and spread over a few days can make your celebration much more fun for you and your guests.

You’ll be the hero ringing in the New Year!

The first step is to plan a menu. Remember that everything doesn’t have to be served at once. Spreading food out over the course of the evening is a good idea and it keeps people interested.

Pre-make and freeze what you can. You will need about three pieces per person per hour, plus crudite, cheese and crackers.

Always have water and a non-alcoholic option included with your alcoholic beverages.

If you have space or the garage is cold enough, make platters up ahead of time and mix the hot hors d’oeuvres on baking sheets (if you use parchment paper, it will make clean up easier). This way you have a small mixture coming out of the oven to serve and you won’t have too much at once.

It’s important to remember food safety: even with hors d’oeuvres, keep hot food hot and cold foods cold!

Easy Cheese-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon


  • 1 (10 ounce) package pitted dates
  • 1/2 lb bacon, sliced into quarters
  • Grand Perdano or Parmesean cheese


  1. Partially cook bacon in oven, but do not brown (about 10 minutes at 350° F)
  2. Stuff each date with a sliver of Grand Perdano or Parmesean
  3. Wrap each date with a strip of bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick
  4. Broil on low 3 minutes, turn dates, and continue broiling 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until browned
  5. Drain on paper towel, serve warm