This year I am hosting a New Years Eve dinner party, cooking for 11 people (at last count) and to be perfectly honest – I am terrified.

My main worry is making enough food, what if I underestimate and everyone is still hungry and there is nothing left? What if it burns? What if people won’t eat it?

I have chosen to host my first dinner party on the one night of the year that people want to be “perfect”. Arrgh.

Menu planning I found difficult. Over the past year I have been saving recipes perfect for a dinner party, but when it came to actually choosing it was more problematic then I had envisaged.

The constraints:

  • One main course. For ease, enough said.
  • Vegetarian, with optional meat add-in. Vegetarians always end up with their own special dishes, which seems to mean more effort for the host, but I also feel it’s a bit of a shame for the guest too.
  • Buffet style. I have no room for a sit down dinner for 11.
  • Something I have made before. I don’t want to be trying out recipes for the first time on guests.
  • Cocktails, it is New Years Eve after all.

I decided to go with a Mexican theme, as there is so much you can do with it. At first I was going to go overboard making my own guacamole, salsa and wedges for sides, but in the end I decided to keep it simple and just buy them ready made (it works out as cheaper too).

I am not going to go for a starter, and instead am going to serve tortilla chips and assorted dips. This means that people can eat a little from when they arrive, taking the pressure off me to have the food ready right on time.

As a main course I am going to make Fajitas, people will be able to help themselves to wraps, vegetables and pork. The vegetarians just stick to the veg, and the rest of us add the meat. Sides will be kept simple with more dips and potato wedges.

Desert is going to be made by a friend so I don’t need to worry about that too much. Although I am so tempted to make either a Christmas Stollen, since I missed out on the Fresh from the Oven challenge this month, or a pear and chocolate cake. I’ll see how I am for time when I get up tomorrow morning, while it’s probably my last chance to make the stollen, making bread is a long process and I have a lot of other things to do.

Cocktails are going to be kept simple, Gin and Tonic with Lime Sorbet, and maybe another with Cava. I guess if I had gone with the Mexican theme I should make margaritas, but starting the evening with Tequila is never good!