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I don’t know about you, but me? …. I am way excited to bring on the new year! I loved 2013 and look forward to what 2014 will bring! Years past (when the hubby and I were “young married’s”) we loved to go out to dinner with a large group of friends (sans kids) to celebrate the big event. Now? We have learned that our kids are growing up all too fast and we want to spend every second we can with them. Our perfect New Year’s Eve is spending it at home with our kids (At least the ones that want to stay home with us! And more and more they are wanting to… hooray!), playing all sorts of games, eating all kinds of great food, maybe watching a flick…. all cuddled up on our large sofa and making as much noise as we can at the stroke of midnight! It is truly a night of perfection to me. We usually get some extended family members stopping in at some point and we love it… the more the merrier! I look forward to this favorite night of mine every year. 

The food is an important part of the night as it is at every party! I want to share with you an amazing dip you can and should share with those lucky enough to bring on the new year with you! It is an amazing, baked artichoke dip I serve in a bread bowl along with chunks of yummy bread. It is a cinch to make so be sure to try this one out!

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You can find the recipe for this amazing dip HERE.

Another favorite of mine is a well put together cheese platter such as this one.

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What makes a cheese platter a good one? One with a variety of cheeses (hard, soft, mild, medium, sharp, goat, sheep and cow’s milk cheese varieties). Above, we picked some with dried apricots and cranberries in the cheese… nice sweet and savory combination. I like to add honey, fruit (grapes, pears, figs are all good choices), and nuts (I also added a little olive tapenade for my honey up there) on the platter to accompany the cheese. You should serve your cheese at room temperature so this is a great thing to have out for your shin dig. Serve with crackers or thinly sliced crusty bread. Another great addition is some aged, dry salami and or some cured italian meats such as proscuitto, coppa or bresaola you can place on a small cutting board right next to the cheese. These are perfect to snack on throughout the night and helps balance out all the sweets that we nibble on all night. 

There you have it! Some perfect additions I hope you will enjoy this New Year’s Eve. Since I won’t be seeing you on the big night (unless you happen to stop by) …. “HAPPY NEW YEARS MY FRIENDS!”