Ring in 2015 with a fun, progressive feast of foods from around the world. Serve as timed courses on small plates, buffet-style. Start with Russia and end up with Canada at midnight to symbolize the dawn of 2015 as it passes across our wonderful Mother Earth.
Olive’s made it easy with lots of suggestions for countries and ready-made food to pick and choose from. You don’t have to serve it all or run yourself ragged buying exactly what I suggest – let my ideas conjure your own neighborhood favourites.
Call ahead to pre-order wherever possible or stock your freezer well in advance to avoid last-minute disappointment.
If you want to decorate, set out a collection of vintage alarm clocks (from around the house or your local thrift shop) with alarms set for each course. If the clock is not working, set the time on the clock to match the time of the course and place it beside the course. Or make your own paper clocks using a printout.
Photo credit: funinthemaking.net
A vintage globe with a retro peace banner would make a charming centrepiece. Add some sparkle and glitter wherever you can. Click on the photo for a link to this DIY peace banner.
Photo credit: hellolidy.com
6:00 pm Russia
Start the night off on the other side of the planet, in Russia. If you are welcoming your guests with a cocktail, Sable & Rosenfeld has a great line of pickled cocktail garnishes – and you don’t need a cocktail to enjoy them. Available in grocery stores and specialty food markets. Click here for locations. I love the Garlic & Dill Tipsy Cocktail Stirrers.
Garlic & Dill Tipsy Cocktail Stirrers Photo credit: Sable & Rosenfeld
Serve simple but luxurious smoked salmon with slices of buttered black bread. Starsky Fine Foods sells a gorgeous vodka-infused smoked salmon. Click here for locations.
Vodka-infused smoked salmon.
7:00 pm Japan
Keep it simple with a bowl of freshly boiled edamame (green soybean pods widely available in the frozen food section of your grocery store). Lightly boil according to package directions, drain well and toss with crunchy sea salt. Serve in a pretty bowl with a side bowl for discarded pods. To eat, place the pod in your mouth while holding the opposite end; use your teeth to gently squeeze the beans into your mouth and then discard the empty pod.
Photo credit: loblaws.ca
Or order a tray of ready-made sushi. My favourite, local take-out sushi is Mac’s Sushi (Erin Mills Town Centre and other locations). I love their Spicy Crunch Vegetable Rolls.
Photo credit: Mac Sushi Spicy Crunch Vegetable Rolls
8:00 pm China
Hot or cold spring rolls make easy finger good. Fresh or frozen options abound in your local grocer. I love the store-made Handmade Vegetarian Spring Rolls at Mississauga’s Michael-Angelo’s (Erin Mills and Folkway). Crispy on the outside and stuffed with a generous filling of shredded cabbage and other veggies – so fresh tasting. Call ahead to pre-order. Pick up in foil tray and reheat gently.
9:00 pm India
Banish boring bbq meatballs from your party and spice up the night with meatballs simmered in an Indian-spiced sauce. Costco sells delicious chicken meatballs in a spicy tikka masala sauce: Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Foods Masala Meatballs. Call your Costco ahead to make sure they stock them.
Sukhi’s Masala Meatballs
Olive’s taken a shine to Vij’s Delhi-Licious Kettle-cooked Potato Chips made by Neal Brothers Foods Inc. and wonderfully spiced by Vikram Vij, owner of world renowned Vij’s Indian Restaurant in Vancouver, BC. Great balance of spicy, salty, sweet. I found them at Goodness Me (Mavis and Bristol).
Vij’s Delhi-icious Kettle Chips
10:00 pm Middle East
Pick up your favourite Middle Eastern dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, or muhammara and serve with pita triangles for dipping. Adonis sells really good, ready-made versions of all three plus wonderful, fresh pita (baked in-store) to serve with it. If you can’t get to Adonis and have a hard time finding the less common muhammara, you can make my recipe ahead.
11:00 pm Europe
Lots of choices for Europe and United Kingdom. Here are just a few suggestion.
Starsky Fine Foods has lots of delicious, ready-made Polish food including pierogies, delicate crepes stuffed with cheese and spinach, or Victorian Salad (Polish potato salad with peas and carrots that you could serve on endive spears).
For Italy, I have an easy recipe for Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers…
Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers
…and for Spain, you could switch out the peaches for pears in my Peaches with Serrano Ham, Creamy Blue, & Honey.
Peaches with Serrano Ham, Blue, & Honey
French ideas include pâté. I adore Spirit Tree Estate Cidery’s luxurious Pâté with Ice Cider & Shallots sold in a charming ceramic pot.
Spirit Tree Cidery’s Pâté & Evelyn’s Crackers
Sweet ideas include French macarons (I love the ones from Whole Foods),
Macarons from Whole Foods
or marzipan from Belgium (available at the Cheese Boutique).
Beautiful Neuhaus marzipan squares.
or even Dutch syrup waffles from your local grocer.
Dutch syrup waffles.
You will likely be popping champagne, so a cheeseboard featuring Canadian cheeses that work well with champagne would be your easiest choice. Ask the local experts at Cheese Boutique (Toronto), Mill Street Cheese Market (Georgetown), or Cheese Shoppe on Locke (Hamilton) for advice. My Cheese Market directory lists all of their contact info.
You could also consider serving cold PEI lobster salad in shooter glasses or on individual spoons, crackers, or puff pastry (click photo for recipe suggestion).
Lobster salad on puff pastry. Photo credit: themeaningofpie.com
Finish off on a sweet note with the quintessential Canadian dessert, butter tarts.
Butter tarts from Kate’s Town Talk Bakery.
However you wish to celebrate it, have a healthy and happy 2015!