Latest recipes

Best Champagne Alternatives for a Festive and Affordable New Year’s Fête

Best Champagne Alternatives for a Festive and Affordable New Year’s Fête

There’s a reason Champagne is the go-to drink on New Year’s Eve. It's festive, bright, sparkling — just the thing to celebrate a special occasion. (No wonder December 31 is National Champagne Day in the U.S.) The problem is, if you’ve got a party going, you might end up spending more money on your midnight toast than you made all month. The average cost of Champagne has risen gradually since 2007 and runs the range of around $50–$55 per bottle — with specialty bottles costing easily three to five times that much.

Best Champagne Alternatives for a Festive and Affordable New Year’s Fete (Slideshow)

Celebrants in Italy, France’s neighbor to the east, love Champagne, but many prefer to hail the New Year for a fraction of that cost with prosecco, a sparkling wine that, on average, costs around 10 bucks a bottle. Another benefit, besides being budget-friendly, is that prosecco makes a great mixer for cocktails, so you can have your fancy-glass midnight toast and serve festive mixed drinks before and after, too.

Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, was practically created for tapas, the small plates popular all over the country. Small bites of meat, seafood, cheese, vegetables, and the like are all commonly paired with versatile cava.

Just because you’re pinching pennies, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice originality when it comes to serving drinks. Sparkling sake, espumante, and a unique Belgian brew are all options for an affordable bar that will have even your most selective drinkers at a loss for words.

After all, the Champagne region of France may have a hold on the grapes, but virtually any wine can be made to fizz. Stock up on these delicious sparkling — and inexpensive — alternatives to Champagne for an affordable and fun New Year’s Eve fête.

Prosecco

Prosecco is produced in the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy. Made primarily of giera (a grape also known as prosecco), it's widely served in Italy because it tastes good and is so affordable. Like Champagne, prosecco varies in sugar content; remember that brut is dryer than extra-dry. All versions are food-friendly, but even the brut version may seem a bit sweeter than its French counterpart. A small amount of prosecco undergoes its secondary fermentation in the bottle, Champagne-style, but most is fermented in tanks, which explains in part why it is less expensive than Champagne. The fruitiness and vibrancy of the grapes comes through vividly in a good prosecco, and it mixes really easily with fruit juices, purées, and even other liquors and liqueurs. Try mixing a $55 dollar bottle of Champagne with Midori and a Frenchman just might send you to the guillotine. Enrico Brut ($10) is a great prosecco that tastes crisp, lively, and bright. Other favorites include Lunetta from Cava, Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Frizzante, Zardetto Prosecco, and the widely popular Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco, all ranging from $10-15.

Sparkling Margarita

Margaritas are usually associated with the summer, but there is no reason you can’t shake things up with a ready-to-pour sparkling margarita on New Year’s Eve. They satisfy everyone’s craving for something bubbly, but also bring something more festive to the party. Brands like Sauza and Skinnygirl offer varieties of sparkling margaritas in tasty flavors like watermelon, classic lime, mango peach, and wild berry, so you can offer a variety of drinks without breaking the bank. Sauza’s sparkling margaritas are priced between $10.99 and $14.99 a bottle.


AULD LANG SYNE 2014

Before looking ahead, let's step back in time to the year 1997. It was on this day, December 31, 1997, when an American Hall of Fame pianist made his last appearance on this earth thereby no longer performing before live audiences.

Floyd Cramer was an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the "Nashville sound". He was known for his "slip note" piano style, where an out-of-key note slides into the correct note. Wikipedia

Click on the caboose and enjoy the scenery !

We are in the final hours of New Year's Eve reflecting upon the past year and waiting in anticipation the arrival of 2015 ! With New Year's Eve comes immense celebration: partying well into the night and even beyond the bew itching, magical midnight hour. Families and friends gather to "ring out the old and ring in the new!" amid the socializ a tion of dancing, singing, eating, drin king and wat ching or lighting fireworks. Many w ill attend a watchnight service , a late-night Christian church ser vic e.

E nrich the future . . .

As you move past midnight into the dawn of 2015, may your thoughts be affixed upon resolutions of joy, peace and happiness. Look to the future i n ways of enrichment for America: recovery and renewal! R e main attuned to changes that are wanted, more im portan tly needed , for hope , faith and courage to remain in the forefront of our nation.


$51-$100

Alley & Vine

Alameda&rsquos newest upscale spot is offering a four-course meal kit ($195 for two, $380 for four) that moves from seared scallops with Dungeness crab tortelloni and Champagne broth to roasted duck in a blood orange sauce. Extras, such as caviar with popcorn and wine pairings, are also available.

Pre-order by Dec. 29 for Dec. 31 takeout. 1332 Park St., Ste. D, Alameda. alleyandvine.com/new-years-eve-meal-kit

Parties of two can split a surf and turf lobster roll kit ($195 for two) from San Francisco tasting menu spot Birdsong. It includes a whole cooked lobster, dry-aged beef tartare and trout roe, which revelers can assemble onto Parker House rolls with lobster brain aioli and XO sauce. Extravagant additions like caviar cream puffs ($105+) and black truffle deviled eggs ($55) are also available.

Pre-order for takeout Dec. 31. 1085 Mission St., San Francisco. exploretock.com/birdsongsf

In Menlo Park, upscale farm-to-table spot Camper is closing out the year with a four-course dinner ($170 for two), including a cocktail hour with snacks and a choice of entree, such as tri-tip or a vegetarian fried chickpea cake. Keep celebrating the next day with a brunch box ($45 for two) stocked with pancake batter, maple syrup, eggs and bacon, and mimosas ($40).

Pre-order for takeout Dec. 31. 898 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. exploretock.com/camper

San Francisco tapas restaurant Canela is including party favors with its three-course New Year&rsquos Eve meal kit ($79 per person). Each course, however, comes with multiple bites or small plates. Starters include poached shrimp, mini Spanish tortilla bites and little lobster sandwiches, while the entree runs between salad, wild mushroom paella and lamb chops with salsa verde. Dessert is especially fun, with chocolate fondue and a sparkling wine gelatina.

Pre-order for takeout or delivery Dec. 30-31. 2272 Market St., San Francisco. canelasf.square.site

Che Fico's lasagna with bolognese gets a New Year's Eve boost from black truffle.

Truffles are all over the New Year&rsquos Eve menu at Cal-Italian spot Che Fico. There&rsquos tagliatelle ($150 for two), which comes with truffle butter, whole white truffle and a truffle slicer bolognese lasagna ($75 for two) loaded with black truffle and the option to add black truffle ($45) or white truffle ($85) to potato gratin ($35 for four). A giant rib roast meal ($285 for four) and caviar set ($185 for two) round out the offerings.

Pre-order by Dec. 28 for takeout Dec. 30. 838 Divisadero St., San Francisco. chefico.com

Oakland comfort food staple Chop Bar will be open with its usual menu and meal kits on New Year&rsquos Eve in addition to a special four-course menu ($90 per person, two person minimum). Diners can choose between hors d&rsquooeuvres or a cheese platter Dungeness crab toast or a citrusy green salad and four entrees, including a vegetarian Napoleon, smoked pork chop and pan-roasted duck breast.

Pre-order by Dec. 28 for takeout Dec. 31. 190 4th St., Oakland. oaklandchopbar.com

Oakland&rsquos only Michelin-starred restaurant is offering a tasting menu ($85 per person), that can be scaled for two and 10 people. The main attraction is seared ribeye in a rich Cognac-infused sauce, plus sides like truffled potatoes. Naturally, the restaurant&rsquos super-famous slow-poached egg yolk with smoked dates and levain will also be included.

Pre-order for takeout Dec. 31. 3859 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. exploretock.com/commis

Daughter&rsquos Diner

A six-course dinner ($79 per person) is on offer from this modern Oakland diner, with main atttractions of dry-aged steak with red wine jus, roasted chicken broth with truffled dumplings and a citrusy crab salad. Extras like Champagne and caviar with hash browns are also available.

Pre-order by calling 510-309-1943 for takeout Dec. 31. 326 23rd St., Oakland. daughtersdiner.com

A crab and citrus salad starts off Oakland restaurant Daughter's Diner's New Year's Eve dinner.

Chef Chris Yang&rsquos Asian street food-inspired pop-up Hen-Zhi is preparing a family-style meal kit ($120 for two) that eaters will reheat at home. It includes six courses, including shoyu-braised short rib, garlic noodles with Chinese sausage and pork belly ssam. Bigger groups can add on a huge short rib roast for $180. Delivery is available throughout San Francisco, most of the East Bay and parts of the Peninsula and Marin County.

Pre-order for delivery Dec. 30 or takeout Dec. 31 from a to-be-announced loction in Lafayette. henzhisf.com/shop

Left Bank Brasserie

The dishes on Left Bank Brasserie&rsquos four-course dinner ($85 per person) are also available a la carte, for those who wish to scale down or load up on starters like oysters ($18), cheese fondue ($14) and chicken liver mousse ($18). Diners can choose from mains of filet mignon ($59), lobster risotto ($51) or truffle-mushroom ravioli ($39).

Pre-order for takeout or delivery Dec. 31. Locations in Larkspur, Menlo Park and San Jose. leftbank.com

Meat lovers and vegetarians both get six-course tasting menus ($90) at this innovative wood-fired restaurant in Oakland. Beef Wellington &mdash or a mushroom-celery root version &mdash is the star attraction, along with a starter of lemony Dungeness crab or lemony burrata gnocchi with broccoli and date-sesame sticky pudding.

Pre-order for takeout Dec. 31. 3762 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. exploretock.com/mago

Maison Danel

For those curious about Maison Danel&rsquos Christmas offerings but are missing out, the French patisserie and restaurant is repeating the dinner special ($360 for four) for New Year&rsquos Eve. It starts with caviar and blinis, then goes into truffle chicken supreme with sides. A bottle of wine is included, but dessert &mdash whether it&rsquos a holiday-centric yule log cake or a lemon tart &mdash will need to be ordered separately.


18 Festive Quarantine New Year's Eve Ideas to Ring in 2021

Bring on the best party activities, glittery decorations, and bubbly champagnes.

New Year's Eve 2021 will look a lot different than last year's celebration. Instead of heading out for a night on the town, many of us will be settling in for an evening on the couch. And in lieu of ringing in 2021 with dozens of friends, our guest lists will be limited to the people who live in our households. But just because your 2021 holiday is different doesn't mean it can't be just as festive, celebratory, and meaningful as years past. With the right amount of planning, you can throw an incredible New Year's Eve bash right at home.

This year, holidays are even more important than ever. The past few months have been challenging for many of us, and New Year's Eve is the perfect day to reflect and reset. Seriously, what better time is there to look back on all you've accomplished and overcome than the last day of the year? Before the clock strikes 12, grab a favorite bottle of bubbly and get ready to celebrate with these festive quarantine New Year's Eve ideas. From setting a creative New Year's resolution to planning an incredible New Year's Eve brunch, you're bound to find a few celebratory ideas you love.

Brunch is the best meal &mdash and so you'll want to include it in your plans for the last day of the year. A festive dish, like these strawberry cheesecake flapjacks, will do the trick in a pinch. Oh, and you'll definitely want to pour a mimosa (it's never too early for champagne on New Year's Eve!).

Yoga is an easy way to start your day on a refreshing note. Find an online class &mdash you could try YouTube for a free flow or head to Eventbrite for a NYE-themed class &mdash or download a top-rated yoga app. Then, pull out your mat and get moving. Try a vinyasa practice for something firey and fast or a yin yoga practice for something slow and relaxing.


New Year's Eve is all about the bubbly, but that doesn't mean you can't kick your glass up a notch by mixing a fabulous champagne cocktail. This cherry bomb fizz requires just a dash of maraschino liqueur and a cherry garnish.

Here's a fun idea for New Year's Eve: Decorate a "Memory Jar" to keep over the next 12 months. Every time something incredible happens, write about it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. You can even include momentos like ticket stubs and cards. On New Year's Eve 2022, you can open the jar and take a walk down memory lane.


4. Get your Own Wedding Caterer

I hate typical wedding reception food. You get a choice of one or two plates of generic bland food usually pre-made by a mediocre chef at best. And the couple will usually end up paying $40, 50, or 60 a head for that, plus another $10 or so for silverware plates and linen. No thanks!

We went outside the box again on this one in order to keep our wedding cheap.

We were friends with the owner (through being loyal customers) of a Middle Eastern restaurant that we frequented while in school. We asked them if they catered and they did. Not only did this restaurant make great food, but it was astonishingly cheap. For less than $7, you would eat like a king.

We decided on a few different salads, veggies, kibbeh, hummus and pita, spinach pie, lentil soup, and a few offerings for more conservative eaters – chicken and rice. Everyone ate well and loved the food. And it cost us only $14 per head (linens, silverware, and plates included)! We paid an additional $50 for them to clean up everything and gave them a nice tip. Not only did we love the food, but we felt great about giving the money to our favorite restaurant.

For 100 guests, you would normally expect to pay $5,000 or more. For 25 guests, at $14 a head, we only paid $350!

It pays to think outside the box. If you go with the reception hall’s catering service, you’re likely going to get gouged. And the food will probably suck.

The food was great. And super cheap!


15+ Best Recipes to Make on New Year's Day for a Lucky 2021

Because we could all use a little more luck this next year.

Some New Year's superstitions say that eating the right foods at the beginning of the year can help bring you an abundance of luck. So if you're looking to turn things around (or keep them going strong) in 2021, you can do a whole lot worse than cooking up a big New Year's brunch filled with all the lucky foods.

Luckily (see what we did there?) our friends at Delish put together a list of lucky New Year's Foods &mdash and it's filled with delicious things. There are black eyed peas, of course, but also fish, noodles, pork, and even grapes, all suggestions from a variety of different cultures and traditions. While you could pick and choose, we say cover your bases and try as many lucky foods as you can! After a year like 2020, we need all the luck we can get.

Below, we've rounded up some best New Years Day lunch ideas that may throw some prosperity your way. We've got options here for lunch, brunch, drinks and dessert. The most well-known New Year's Day meal is, of course, the Southern tradition of collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread, but we've got recipes that'll give delicious twists on all of those, like a collard slaw and a spicy black-eyed peas stew. Check out our New Year's Day lunch recipes here, and if you don't feel like cooking, see if there's a restaurant open on New Year's Day near you that's serving up these lucky plates.


For a hint of velvet, go with this jumpsuit that's just trimmed with the festive material.

This dress has almost 1,000 5-star review on Amazon, with many noting that the fit is very flattering.

The only thing cheap about these looks is the price.

¡Kapow! Batman takes holiday in Benidorm in DC Comics anthology

¡Kapow! Batman takes holiday in Benidorm in DC Comics anthologyCaped Crusader battles villains across the globe in Batman: the World – but he’s in Spain to relax Batman with his coffee and mobile phone, perched on an Osborne bull. Photograph: TM & © 2021 DC COMICS

Pop it, a hit: how a rainbow, reusable bubblewrap fidget toy became a playground must-have

Pop it, a hit: how a rainbow, reusable bubblewrap fidget toy became a playground must-have. Pop its and other sensory silicone fidget toys have taken over TikTok and primary school playgrounds. Are they a passing fad, a concentration aid, or both?

Why don't you like this ad?

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

This Is the Scar-Fading Soap Everyone's Watching in Action on TikTok

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who've seen it work — for just $6.

Demi Lovato Debuted a Mullet on Their First Red Carpet Since Coming Out as Nonbinary

Plus the celeb-favorite blazer with no shirt.

PSA: This Sustainable Denim Brand Is Offering Deals as Low as $32

Stock up on jeans, jumpsuits, and dresses while it’s all discounted this weekend.

Shoppers Say This Bikini-Trimmer Razor Is 'Just Like Getting a Wax'

The $12 tool is helpful whether you prefer to go bare or buzzed.

The Best Outdoor Grills for Backyard Barbecuing

Nothing says summer like grilling up easy summer recipes with a perfect char. In the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab, we've tested more than 50 grills over the years to determine which are the best you can buy, including gas, charcoal, kamado, pellet and portable options.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream review – the Globe’s giddy return

A Midsummer Night’s Dream review – the Globe’s giddy returnShakespeare’s Globe, LondonGoody-bag props, party-hatted fairies and a donkey-shaped piñata sweeten the bard’s dark comedy in a revival of Sean Holmes’s vibrant 2019 production Sublimely ridiculous . Victoria Elliott and Sophie Russell in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/the Guardian


1. Choose the right venue

The venue is going to play a key role when you plan your corporate launch event, so make sure you choose somewhere suitable.

It should be large enough to comfortably fit all of your guests and in a good location that is easy to access.

Although you need to stick within your budget, try to choose a venue that will wow your guests as well as staying on-brand.

One option is to consider renting a tent or temporary structure, especially if some or your entire event will be held outdoors. That way, you can provide a stunning venue for your event while providing protection from the sun or rain.


Are you a gambler without realising?

If someone asked me if I was a gambler, I'd probably immediately say no. But actually, I am.

I am not a gambler because of matched betting, because as explained above that is not the same as gambling, but I am a gambler in other ways. You probably are too.

The word gamble conjures up something bad and an addiction, but many of us are gamblers. Here are a few ways I gamble, and you might too:

  • Raffles &ndash yep charity raffles, school fete raffles, it&rsquos a form of gambling &ndash you might lose your money!
  • National lottery &ndash I play every week and most people I know play regularly
  • Money pools &ndash I&rsquove taken part in these at either work or with friends to guess a baby due date, for example
  • Owning shares &ndash I have shares in the company I used to work for and there&rsquos the risk they could lose their value and I could lose some money or all of it
  • Buying scratch cards &ndash I rarely buy scratch cards, but every now and then, like twice a year, I get the urge and grab a couple for Ben and I for fun
  • Visiting the casinos in Las Vegas playing slots and roulette
  • Having a go on the 2p machines on the pier at Weston Super Mare

Many people I know also enjoy going to the races, especially as I live by Cheltenham, and betting money on horses for fun once a year!


Watch the video: Πλάνα από τον εσπερινό της εορτής του Αγ. Νικάνορα Ζαβορδα και τον Καθαγιασμό της Λάρνακας του Αγίου (December 2021).