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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

Time 10 minutes
Yields Serves 10

Firecracker Vegetable Tempura Lettuce Wraps

Time 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Heavenly eggnog (plus variations)

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 12

Nam Prik Goong

Yields Makes about 1 cup

Deviled Crab Cakes With Spicy Creole Mayonnaise

Time 45 minutes, plus chilling
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Basic onigiri

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes 8 onigiri

Mint ginger beer

Time 4 minutes
Yields Serves 1

Beef lettuce wraps

Time 25 minutes
Yields Serves 4 as an appetizer

Pita bread

Time 40 minutes
Yields Makes one dozen pitas

Noggy Flip

Yields Serves 1

Homemade Sour Cream and Onion Dip

Time 15 minutes
Yields Makes about 1 1/4 cups

The old one two

Time 20 minutes
Yields Makes about 1 ½ quarts

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Deviled eggs with California white sturgeon caviar

Time 40 minutes
Yields Makes 12 deviled eggs

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

Time 4 minutes
Yields Serves 1

Mian Kam

Time 30 minutes
Yields Makes 12 appetizer servings

The Pinkerton

Time 3 minutes
Yields Serves 1

Smoky Eggplant Dip With Ginger and Tomato Chutney

Time 30 minutes
Yields Makes 3 cups

Not So Noggy Flip

Yields Serves 1

Shrimp artichoke lettuce cups

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ponche Villa

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Makes 25 cocktails

Persimmon Champagne cocktail

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 1

Bavel's hummus masabacha

Time 30 minutes
Yields Makes a generous 2 cups

The Golden Boy

Time 4 minutes
Yields Serves 1

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

Time 35 minutes
Yields Makes 8 (6- to 7-inch) flatbreads

Deviled eggs with chile flake and sea salt

Time 35 minutes
Yields Makes 16 deviled eggs

Citrus Hot Toddy

Time 5 minutes
Yields Makes 1 drink

Buckwheat blini

Time 40 minutes
Yields Makes about 5 dozen blini

Spicy Avocado Smash

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 12

Adult espresso nightcap

Time 5 minutes
Yields Serves 1