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Recipes for celebrating the end of 2020

32 Recipes
Make Champagne Punch ahead of time for a stress-free party.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Cocktails and finger foods for your all-night happy hour

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If there were ever an occasion to raise a glass, bidding farewell to 2020 would be it. I mean, honestly, have you ever been happier for a particular year to come to an end? Celebrate with a cocktail or two — Champagne Punch, Champagne cocktails, eggnog cocktails, beer cocktails, mocktails — whatever feels right.

And while we’re thinking about Dec. 31, stay-at-home New Year’s Eve is a perfect opportunity to take a break from heavy-duty cooking and relax a little. Rather than preparing an elaborate, formal meal only to be hungry again just before the countdown starts, make an array of simple, flavorful foods that you and your housemates can graze on throughout the evening. My mother used to call it a dinner of hors d’oeuvres, a.k.a. all the fun dips and breads and finger foods that you’re usually not supposed to fill up on before dinner.

Think about assembling a platter of colorful crudités. Make some dips and spreads like Smoky Eggplant Dip With Ginger and Tomato Chutney, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip, Spicy Avocado Smash or Bavel’s Hummus Masabacha. Add some breads and crackers to complement. If you are feeling creative, make pita bread or mana’esh. Or pull some of that sourdough you made last summer out of the freezer.

Supplement that with some composed finger foods: Beef Lettuce Wraps, deviled crab cakes, onigiri, mian kam or deviled eggs.

As it nears midnight, how can you pass up a flute of “It’s the End of the Year as We Know It”? If beer is more your type of bubbly, try an Adult Espresso Nightcap or a Pinkerton. If you’ve had enough liquor by then, make it a Citrus Hot Toddy and leave out the booze. Whatever is in your glass, at midnight raise it high and kiss 2020 goodbye.

Champagne punch

Time10 minutes
YieldsServes 10

Firecracker Vegetable Tempura Lettuce Wraps

Time10 minutes
YieldsServes 4

Heavenly eggnog (plus variations)

Time20 minutes
YieldsServes 12

Nam Prik Goong

YieldsMakes about 1 cup

Deviled Crab Cakes With Spicy Creole Mayonnaise

Time45 minutes, plus chilling
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Basic onigiri

Time1 hour
YieldsMakes 8 onigiri

Mint ginger beer

Time4 minutes
YieldsServes 1

Beef lettuce wraps

Time25 minutes
YieldsServes 4 as an appetizer

Pita bread

Time40 minutes
YieldsMakes one dozen pitas

Noggy Flip

YieldsServes 1

Homemade Sour Cream and Onion Dip

Time15 minutes
YieldsMakes about 1 1/4 cups

The old one two

Time20 minutes
YieldsMakes about 1 ½ quarts

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Time15 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Deviled eggs with California white sturgeon caviar

Time40 minutes
YieldsMakes 12 deviled eggs

It's the End of the Year as We Know It

Time4 minutes
YieldsServes 1

Mian Kam

Time30 minutes
YieldsMakes 12 appetizer servings

The Pinkerton

Time3 minutes
YieldsServes 1

Smoky Eggplant Dip With Ginger and Tomato Chutney

Time30 minutes
YieldsMakes 3 cups

Not So Noggy Flip

YieldsServes 1

Shrimp artichoke lettuce cups

Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 4 as an appetizer

Ponche Villa

Time1 hour 15 minutes
YieldsMakes 25 cocktails

Persimmon Champagne cocktail

Time20 minutes
YieldsServes 1

Bavel's hummus masabacha

Time30 minutes
YieldsMakes a generous 2 cups

The Golden Boy

Time4 minutes
YieldsServes 1

Cracked wheat mana’esh (flatbread with za’atar)

Time35 minutes
YieldsMakes 8 (6- to 7-inch) flatbreads

Deviled eggs with chile flake and sea salt

Time35 minutes
YieldsMakes 16 deviled eggs

Citrus Hot Toddy

Time5 minutes
YieldsMakes 1 drink

Buckwheat blini

Time40 minutes
YieldsMakes about 5 dozen blini

Spicy Avocado Smash

Time15 minutes
YieldsServes 12

Adult espresso nightcap

Time5 minutes
YieldsServes 1