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Deceptively simple dishes to make your mark this New Year’s Eve

Chef Danielle Turner shares tips to entertain with ease. (ABC7)

Hosting the perfect party often leaves little room to actually enjoy the big event, but Chef Danielle Turner of CookingClarified.com says anyone can master the art of entertaining with ease. She showed us a deceptively simple, but wildly impressive menu for your New Year’s extravaganza.

Easy Pantry Cheese Board

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Happy Farms Reserved Double Creme Brie Cheese, cut into wedges
  • 10 oz. Specially Selected Aged Reserved White Cheddar, cut into slices
  • 8 oz. Happy Farms Cheddar Jack Cubes
  • 12 oz. Little Salad Bar Spinach & Artichoke Dip
  • 8 oz. Appleton Farms Original Bite Size Dry Salami
  • Fruit, berries, strawberries, grapes, rinsed and patted dry
  • Savoritz 6 Cracker Assortment and/or Sliced Baguette

Spicy Peanut Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups

Makes about 12 lettuce cups

Ingredients:

  • Spicy Peanut Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4-5 cups cooked shredded or chopped chicken (pulled from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 green onions, chopped,
  • Chopped peanuts, options
  • Sriracha, optional

Instructions:

  • Whisk dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  • Place chicken, the white and light green parts of the chopped green onion in a large bowl. Add the Spicy Peanut Dressing and stir until chicken is evenly coated.
  • Arrange lettuce cups on serving platter. Fill cups evenly with chicken salad. Sprinkle with the green parts of the chopped green onions and chopped peanuts. Drizzle with sriracha and serve!

Chocolate Chip Walnut Espresso Cookies:

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Sift flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugars together on medium speed in the bowl of a mixer until fluffy, 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, and vanilla. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add sifted flour mixture to eggs. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet or drop cookies by rounded tablespoonsful onto prepared sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake 8-9 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Serves: 12 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup raspberry liqueur, like Chambord
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled champagne

Instructions:

  • Stir cranberry juice, orange juice and raspberry liqueur together in a large pitcher.
  • Add champagne then immediately pour into flutes and serve.

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