Saturday, 31 December 2011

Feeding guests quickly and easily at New Year.

Dear Ann,

I have to feed unexpected guests quickly and easily this New Years eve. Any suggestions?

Two good ideas for this one : First one is to ask each of your guests to bring something to contribute to a buffet, but tell them what to provide, nothing too complicated. Ask half your visitors to bring something sweet and the other half something savoury. Include at least two vegetarian options. For example:


Chocolate cake
Fancy Biscuits or mini rolls
Fruit or fruit salad
Cheese and biscuits


Dips and bread sticks
vegetarian quiche
sausage rolls
Ready cooked chicken drum sticks
Hummus or cream cheese

You provide plenty of whipped cream to go with desserts and several french sticks sliced up.

Second option is a stew with dumplings or a chilli with quorn mince for vegetarians. Buy packet mix for dumplings to save time, drop them on top of the stew and cover for last 20 mins of cooking time. The good thing about these one pot dishes is that you can just ladle them out as people want them and they can be kept warm.

For dessert try scones with jam and whipped cream. make your own or buy ready made it doesn't really matter. Make sure you've got a good quality jam though and plenty of thick, whipped cream. Be generous! Your guests will love this.

Ask everyone to bring a bottle of what they would like to drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Hope I've helped out with these ideas.

I also write about places to visit and things to do in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.


New Years Eve

Dear Ann,

I'm on my own this New Year and feeling pretty miserable about it. What can I do?

You have several choices here: You can ignore the event completely and either have a special time for yourself with a luxurious bath, some favourite food, a good comedy film (no sentimentality) and go to bed early with ear plugs or immerse yourself in planning a new venture for 2012 based on something you've always wanted to do.

If you really dont want to be alone phone round friends and family, find out what they're doing, politely invite yourself somewhere and offer to help with the organisation in some way. Finally you can always offer your services to a local charity organisation for the evening. Just make sure that your transport home is arranged and paid for beforehand.

Hope this helps and Happy New Year.

I also write about places to visit and things to do in Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.