Ideas for a simple, last-minute New Year’s party

So you’ve decided to throw a last-minute New Year’s Eve party. Go ahead: Pick up the phone and call or text a handful or two of friends. It’s not too late. You can still pull off an elegant soiree, if you stick with the simple. Might we suggest a light menu of fondue with dippers? Add some dried fruit, nuts, perhaps some salami or prosciutto, cookies and sparkling wine, and you have a perfectly nice New Year’s nosh. We’ve resurrected a simple fondue recipe that The Star adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe in 2009 for you (see below).We’ve also found fondue pots, champagne flutes, appetizer dishes and napkins in two price ranges. Any and all will make your guests feel special as they ring in 2014.

Fondue pots

↑ Trudeau 3-in-1 Electric Fondue 11 Piece Set, $99.97

Function Junction (2450 Grand Blvd., 816-283-3033)

Nostalgia Electrics Mini Stainless Steel Electric Fondue Pot, $19.99

Bed Bath & Beyond (multiple area locations, bedbathandbeyond.com)

Champagne flutes

→ Riedel Sommeliers Sparkling Wineglass, $68 each

Williams-Sonoma (4764 Broadway, 816-561-4358; 5204 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-345-1989)

Boxed Zoom Flutes, 6 for $14.95

Crate & Barrel (4601 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-469-5100)

Appetizer dishes

→ Chance Appetizer Plate, $9.95 each

Crate & Barrel (4601 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-469-5100)

Threshold Vassaio Melamine Roped Appetizer Plate, Floral, $1.99 each

Target (multiple area locations; target.com)


White Buffet Cocktail Napkins, 4 for $4.99

Cost Plus World Market (three area locations; worldmarket.com)

Black Tie New Years Beverage Napkins, 100 for $6.67

Party City (multiple area locations; partycity.com)

Classic Cheese Fondue

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons flour

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon cherry brandy

In a plastic zip-top bag, coat the cheeses with flour and set aside. (You can prepare this ahead of time.)

Over medium heat, add the garlic, wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Add the cheese gradually, until all is melted and incorporated. Once smooth, stir in the cherry brandy. Add additional seasoning to taste.