welcome back my friends to day 4 of our speakeasy-themed new year's party kit. together with kyla from house of hipsters and grace from the big reveal, we're bringing you everything you need this week, one day at a time, to build the perfect new year's bash. today you get to stay with me (yay!) for an easy party snack recipe and some classic card games.
when we originally had the idea for this party, we envisioned mounds of fur throws and pillows, a tented canopy with twinkle lights held up by birch poles, luxe velvet drapes and elaborate vintage furniture. that's how you roll when you throw a sponsored party with someone else's money. in real life, you keep things simple. no one wants to go broke turning their house into a secluded woodland fairy tale for just one night. (i think the implication there is that i'd consider doing it if i could keep it that way forever...)
so instead of another decor post about how you can sew your own fur pillows (who wants that fuss? not me!) or ruin your ceilings draping fabric all about (can someone give my husband a hug of empathy and understanding on that one?) i decided to stick to the essentials: food and games.
first up, the eats:
while this isn't a complete menu, it will get you on your way with some tasty treats to go with your cocktails. this recipe was given to me by my sweet friend andrea hayden, who thought she was giving me a gift when she brought them to me, but in reality was creating an obsession that might or might not have kept me up some nights.
these are a timeless party hit: candied nuts. (hold the nut jokes kyla and grace!) this recipe is seriously soooooooo delicious. they take no time at all, you can make them days ahead of time, AND they make your house smell amazing. that's a win in all categories if you ask me. perfect yummy easy party fare.
C A N D I E D N U T S
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3 cups nuts *
* pecans are a classic choice for candied nuts. my store didn't have pecans (apparently everyone in the world is making nut-based snack mixes this week), so i used 1 cup of almonds, 1 cup of mixed nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts), 1/2 cup walnuts, and 1/2 cup macadamia nuts. i really liked the variety in the end; even with the coating, the individual flavors of the nuts stood out.
1. in a small mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves until well blended. set aside.
2. whisk egg white with water until extremely frothy (i used the whisk attachment on the kitchenaid for at least a minute or two)
3. add nuts to the egg white mixture and stir until nuts are coated.
4. pour sugar mixture over nuts and stir until nuts are coated.
5. spread nuts on foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.
do NOT burn these. it doesn't taste good.
make sure you line the pan; these stick big time.
recipe adapted from damn delicious and averie cooks
next up, the games:
now that you have something simple to nosh on, (sorry, do you hate that word? i love it. but i'm guessing it's one of those words that some people find grating on their soul), can't you just picture sitting back at a table full of friends, all of you looking fabulous, channeling the cool glamour of the 20's, playing cards? it's really the perfect, easy activity if standing around and staring at each other isn't your kind of new years. here are some of my favorites, and some that i'd love to learn:
C L A S S I C C A R D G A M E S
M O D E R N C A R D G A M E S
i'm personally a raging fan of euchre (yes i do have it on my phone and yes my husband and i do play it with just the two of us against "fake chris and katie" on occasion). but you just can't go wrong with any of the above classics. a bonus of a classic is that if the instructions for dummies are still lost on you, chances are at least one of your guests will know how to direct the crowd.
as for the more modern games, i used to play canasta with some dear california friends and it is an absolute blast. for this and any other game (like euchre) that require a small four-some of players, you can set up different tables and do tournament play.
nertz is one of the most fun games ev-er, and is perfect for a huge crowd. the more people you have the better and it ends up being like twister and solitaire combined (i know! the ultimate game)! be warned you'll need one complete deck of cards per party guest, and they all need to have different backs. if you go this route, have fun with it and find some crazy cards to send everyone home with as your party favor.
i'm so happy with how our party kit is coming along so far. i try to keep things realistic around here (for the most part!) and i really feel like this party is do-able for anyone in real life. are you inspired to try yet?? we have two more days to convince you!
and if you do end up using any or all of the things in this party kit, we would absolutely LOVE to hear about it. email us, tag us on instagram, tweet us, post pics (#wildwoodspeakeasy!!!)...stalk us in any and every way possible. it would make our day. if you've missed anything so far, catch up below. and i'll see you back here tomorrow for more!