Welcome the New Year with easy party ideas

New Year’s Eve is nearly upon us! While Ryan Seacrest keeps the party going in Times Square, you can create your own countdown-to-midnight celebration with good food (featuring Carotino Red Palm and Canola oil, of course) and these easy yet festive ideas.

Your décor:

Sparkle! Choose shiny silver or gold decorations to make your party shimmer.

Shine! Light up the room with votive candles or tea lights. Set them in cut glass or crystal holders, and atop mirrors to reflect the flames.

Create a stunning color scheme! Black works well with silver, or you may also want to accent the decorations with a bright secondary color such as red, gold or even turquoise.

Add some whimsy! Strategically arrange balloons with the same color scheme in the corners of the room.

Your table:

Use clear plastic serving bowls and platters from the party store. You don’t need real crystal or china to set a beautiful table. Choose a paper tablecloth and napkins in your color scheme to tie in the table with the rest of the room.

Add some glimmer: Sprinkle small amounts of metallic confetti around the serving pieces. Just be careful not to use too much or it could wind up in the food.

Create a fun centerpiece: Fill a glittery top hat with noisemakers, champagne flutes and other party items.

Your heart-healthy buffet menu selections:

Vegetarian Chili

Chili Chicken Bean Pot

Healthy Lentil and Beef Burgers

Salmon Fish Cakes

Macaroni Cheese with Tomato and Onion

Hot and Spicy Spaghetti

Chocolate and Banana Financiers

Pumpkin Pie with No Fat Merengue Topping

Oatmeal-Nut Crunch Apple Pie

Round out this menu with trays of sliced fruit and crudités, served with a variety of healthy dips.

No matter what type of celebration you plan to host, versatile Carotino is the ideal choice for your party menu. Even if you are just a party-goer this New Years, surprise your hosts by bringing one of these great desserts. They will certainly appreciate it, and the recipe will be a great conversation starter.