Friends and Food and Wine and Fun

Classic Cocktail--the Negroni
Food and wine and cocktails and music and friends. That's all you need for a happy and hip New Year's Eve party. Get ready: Send out the invitations; remove the Christmas decorations, but leave the lights, even the ones on the tree. Make sure you have enough stemware, ice, napkins, assorted glasses, mixers and basic liquor. Vacuum, put away the clutter and get your party playlist done. Now, what to serve for the food portion of your event.

I've got just what you need--a few easy to prepare hand-held taste treats from Food & Wine magazine. You'll want to read up and compile your shopping list in preparation for your end-of-year, new-year-chasing friends & food & wine event. I've reviewed some of their recipes for what I believe are stand outs with ease of preparation. See what you think.

Hogs in a Blanket
Not the usual Pigs in a Blanket, these yummy mouthfuls are prepared with puff pastry and Andouille sausage.

Avocado Toast and Oaxacan Sesame Sauce
Wow! A mouthful to say and much easier to prepare than you might imagine. All of the ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store.

Avocado-Hummus Dip
I love how the F&W folks describe this as a "mash-up" of hummus and guacamole, and I love that they use crudites for dipping. That's a plus for those of us on gluten-free or low-carb diets!

Soppressata Bundles
Genius roll-ups using deli meat. Awesome filling. Make them ahead!

Now, the cocktails. I'd stick with two classics: The Negroni and the Champagne cocktail. Add a few bottles each of a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Champagne (or any nice sparkling wine) and that's all you need.

And now...for the FUN. Click on over to Buzzfeed for 20 Insanely Simple Party Games. G-rated and pretty easy to grasp. Some are loads of fun, even for that one friend who always sits alone and observes.