After a week in the countryside, celebrating Christmas and spending long hours lounging in front of an open fire, I'm now back home. I could say I'm happy to be back home, but that would only be half true. I'm happy to be back home, but I'm less happy to be back in London. So I'm still cocooning in my own little world, refusing to acknowledge the big city outside my front door. I guess the time between Christmas and New Year is one of "feeling in-between" anyway, for resting, making plans, yet not quite knowing where we stand. Maybe that's just me though...
So, tomorrow will be New Year's eve. It's hard to believe that 2014 has passed so quickly! We will be having a quiet evening at home with the family and I'm really looking forward to it. Whilst I know that the 31st December is a big night for many and that it's generally celebrated in a big and loud way, I tend to feel more reflective and prefer to spend it with just a few people. To be honest, I tend to feel that most New Year's eve parties are pretty overrated anyway. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be celebrated at all though and of course food does play a big part. My traditional New Year's Eve meal is a cheese fondue sitting in the middle of the table for everybody to gather around. It's just something I've done for many years and which has become my very own tradition. However, that might not be suitable for everybody especially if you have more than six people gathering in your home. In that case, canapés are possibly the easiest and most versatile food you can offer your guests. It's easy to create variations that will be suitable for all guests and are perfect if you don't want to serve up a big meal.
I have put together five different little canapés which mainly require "assembly work" and not much cooking. A little parma ham, a bit of smoked salmon, and lots of cheese should keep all guests happy. These are of course just some ideas and there are many, many more possibilities and variations. If you're interested in finding out more though, you can find my recipes here.
When it comes to presenting the canapés, I like to keep things fairly simple with a hint of festivity. I don't "do" much glam and glitter, but I love fairly lights for a festive and pretty feel - especially on long and cold winter nights. And I like to try and "repurpose" items for interest like the tiered fruit basket which is great for holding napkins and other small items. A bit of marble always looks great and contrasts beautifully with the dark wood and the small copper bowls. As for drinks, I like to serve a simple, crisp Prosecco which works well with these small, savoury bites, though I would of course not object to a sip of Champagne either...
I'm not sure if I'll manage to post again before 2015, so just in case I don't, I'm wishing you all a very happy last couple of days of 2014 and a great start into the new year. I hope next year will be filled with adventures and happiness for all of you.
Love, Carole xo
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, however, ideas, styling, photos etc. are mine.