Ring in the New Year in style without spending a fortune. With these frugal appetizers, easy main course selections, and show-stopping
desserts, you can mix and match the dishes for a buffet or seated dinner.
Make an inexpensive bottle of champagne into a spectacular cocktail with sugar cubes and a dash of bitters. With the money
saved, you can splurge a bit on some showy party appetizers to nibble as the New Year makes an appearance.
Fancy as it looks, this is basically a low-cost ricotta cheesecake nestled in a pie crust (store-bought works fine) and topped
with sautéed onions. Bake the cheesecake in advance and caramelize onions on the day of the party. Serve with crackers. (Hint:
If you entertain a lot, buy crackers in bulk at a warehouse store and keep them in the freezer until you need them.)
Take a frugal cut of meat like flank steak and dress it up for the holiday by rolling it up with goat cheese and garnishing
it with a sliver of dried mango. It's simple yet stunning, yet saves money since meat is an appetizer rather than a main course.
Black-eyed Pea Cornbread Cakes With Jalapeño Sour Cream
Black-eyed peas go upscale in these crispy cornbread cakes dressed with spunky jalapeno sour cream. Serve them as a main course
or shape them into smaller cakes for appetizers at a tapas-style party. They're a fun, home-style alternative to expensive
Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes, and Basil
Risotto is an elegant entrée and this one needs only small amounts of fresh mozzarella and basil to make it special. Worried
about the cost? Italian Arborio rice, while pricier than the plain white variety, is easy on the pocketbook compared with
a meat main course.
No-cook noodles plus a layering of inexpensive ground beef, sausage, tomatoes and bechamel sauce make this lasagna rich yet
simple to make. And by using inexpensive cuts of meat and skipping all the cheese, the price per serving is downright friendly.
Créme brulee is a perfect end to special celebrations, and when you make it with 2% milk instead of cream, this cinnamon-orange
scented version is light on the pocketbook and the waistline. Make it in advance and finish it under the broiler just before
Most of the ingredients for this dense, one-layer chocolate cake are probably already in your pantry. And using cocoa in the
batter instead of premium chocolate keeps the price down. If you don't have time to make the cooked icing, whip up heavy cream
and add a splash of your favorite liqueur.