Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is the last time to indulge before you get back to eating right, exercising and losing those extra holiday pounds. So why not make the last party of 2010 a little healthier by adding some fresh, frozen and dried fruit from Sam’s Club?
I’ll explain my ideas for healthing up some traditional New Year's Even party fare like champagne cocktails and stuffed dates below. But first I want to share with you Sam’s Club’s Twitter contest that will get you cooking more healthfully in 2011.
Get a #jumpstart with Sam’s Club “New Year’s Eve Resolutions” Twitter contest
What resolutions are you making this New Year’s Eve? Share your New Year’s resolution on Twitter with Sam’s Club from December 27, 2010 to January 1, 2011 for a chance to win a 14-piece Cuisinart Cookware Set (valued at $149.98) from Sam’s Club. It’s a gorgeous cookware set that should inspire you to cook more healthfully in 2011!
Here are the details on how to enter the contest:
- To enter, you must become a follower of Sam’s Club Twitter page.
- Then tweet your response to the contest question: “What New Year’s Resolution Have You Achieved?” use the hashtag #jumpstart. You MUST mention @SamsClub in your tweet to be counted as an Official Contest Entry.
- One entry per person.
- Each contest entry will be judged based on the clear relationship between the tweet and the following criteria: Originality (40%); Pertinence to Theme (40%); Difficulty (20%).
- The Sam’s Club “New Year’s Eve Resolutions” Twitter contest starts at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on December 27, 2010 and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on January 1, 2011 (“Contest Period”).
- There will be ONE winner selected from readers of the four participating blogs:
- Read the official rules here. (PDF document)
Health up your New Year’s Eve with fruit!
As a Sam’s Club food ambassador, I was asked to highlight their Cook’s Brut champagne. After all what isn't more traditional for New Year's Eve but champagne?
Depending on the liquor laws in your state, you can probably buy Cook’s at your local Sam’s Club. At my Sam’s it was $5.99 per bottle – very affordable if you’re expecting lots of people at your party! Since it’s not an expensive champagne, have fun by adding some healthy goodies to your glass.
(Note: you can also do this with Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, which is sold in four-packs at Sam’s Club. This is a perfect way to make “mock-tails” for the kids and designated drivers attending your New Year’s Eve party, too.)
I used a Shannon® Crystal Four-in-One Cake Dome, which is available at Sam’s Club for $19.91, to serve the champagne and fruit. You can turn it upside down, fill the dome with ice, and use it as a champagne bucket. Then place the sliced fruit, pomegranate arils, berries, mint and sugar cubes in the upside down pedestal. Purchase a second Shannon Crystal and use it for traditional New Year's Eve party fare like chips and salsa, popcorn, or sliced veggies and dip.
Some champagne cocktail bar tips:
- I “sugared” the mint with some stevia. Rinse the mint leaves and shake off the excess water. Sprinkle the mint with the stevia (keep piling it on!) and let dry. Add a sugared mint sprig to your glass and pour in the champagne. Let sit for a few minutes before taking a sip. Not only is it pretty, but it’s pretty delicious, too.
- I used frozen berries and Dole’s frozen sliced strawberries and mixed fruit since it was cheaper than the fresh fruit Sam's had on sale. (Fresh fruit is fine, too, especially since Sam’s has gorgeous strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries available at many of the Clubs.) You can also use the frozen fruit to make smoothies (with or without alcohol) for your New Year’s Eve party. Or make a smoothie the day after your party for a healthy drink with some yogurt or protein powder. Note: frozen fruit gets a little “juicy” so you may want to defrost it at room temperature, pour off the juices, and then put it out for champagne cocktails.
- My Sam’s Club was selling pomegranate arils (the little seeds inside the pomegranates). These are so pretty in a cocktail glass with champagne, sparkling cider or seltzer water.
- Sugar cubes – I know, I know, not healthy. (Wish I could find stevia in cube form!) However, sugar cubes soaked in bitters is how you make a traditional champagne cocktail. I served the sugar cubes plain, but you can include a bottle of bitters on the side so guests can “bitter” their own sugar cubes. Using vanilla or almond extracts to add to the cubes could be fun, too!
Stuffed Medjool Dates
One way to health up your New Year’s Eve is serve small bites and portions at your party. Sam's Club has a lot of traditional dips like guacamole and hummus to serve up with crackers, chips or sliced vegetables. You can also do "small bites" with the gorgeous Medjool dates that are sold at Sam’s Club this time of year.
Make the stuffed Medjool dates a day or two ahead of time – just store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before the party. They’re so easy to put together that you can get your kids to help make them, too.
Take a pairing knife and gently slice the side of the date to remove the pit. Then open up the date and gently stuff with cheese or something savory like prosciutto. I used Athenos Feta, slices of Via Del Gusto Parmesan from Wisconsin, Salemville Amish Blue Cheese Crumbles, and a small knot of Fiorucci Riserva Prosciutto – all of which I purchased at Sam’s Club. (Your club may have different brands of similar styles of cheeses and meats.) I also used Haystack Mountain Applewood Smoked Chèvre, which isn’t sold at Sam’s. (It's one of my favorite local Colorado cheeses.) Sam's does sell other types of chevre, however. You could also use cream cheese and add a walnut, almond, pecan or cashew for a little crunch.
Each date is so large it’s actually two bites. And while these aren’t low fat with the cheese and meat, the pairing of sweet and savory is worth every calorie - and they really fill you up!
A take on the traditional - healthy party appetizers
Here are some more ideas for traditional party appetizers - all with a healthy twist!
- Caramelized Pear and Onion Flatbread
- Healthy yogurt based party dips
- Holly Clegg’s Feta Crumble Dip
- Shrimp in Pepper Rings
- Curried Deviled Eggs
- Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs
- Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
- Shrimp Cocktail Margaritas
- Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs
- Grilled Tofu Kabobs
- Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizzas
- Smoked Salmon on Flatbread
Connect with me and Sam’s Club this week on Facebook!
On December 28th, I’ll be on Sam’s Club Facebook page answering your questions about healthy New Year’s Eve party ideas. Hope you’ll drop by and ask some questions!
For more information and club locations visit samsclub.com. For recipes, instructional videos, daily tips and deals, visit the Holidays Made Simple site or download the Sam’s Club mobile application to your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. You can also find Sam’s Club on Facebook or on Twitter @samsclub and @samsclubdeals.
Disclosure: as a Sam’s Club Food Ambassador I receive compensation for my time and efforts. Please note that prices and product availability will vary per store.