New Year’s Eve In: An Appetizer Menu

New Year’s Eve In: An Appetizer Menu

Check on your hypochondriac friends. We are not okay.

Omicron’s symptoms are pretty close to that of allergies, which I suffer from year round, and therefore I think he’s a jerk. I had a COVID-19 test scheduled for this morning, a just in case measure before I see my elderly parents and also family visiting from California. I’ve had a gremlin lodged up my right nostril since the day after Christmas, and while he’s likely just an angry bout of allergies, I keep reading about people with mild cases of the sniffles and positive COVID tests. (I really need to get off Twitter. It’s worse than WebMD.)

I’ve taken a handful of COVID tests, both before and after vaccination, and they’ve all been negative. There’s no reason this time should be different, but I am still worried about dismissing a real threat and infecting my family, so I pushed down all my fears of being the girl who cried COVID and sought available testing. After striking out with COVID testing at local CVS pharmacies and the local urgent care, I found a testing site near my old neighborhood in Canton. It had terrible reviews, but it was listed on a government website, so I figured it was legit and probably just had stressed out staff with a terrible bedside (carside?) manner. I was able to snag an 11 am appointment with an ease that should have alarmed me. I answered a view questions, then had a time confirmed, and then did a pre registration that involved adding my insurance card and drivers license numbers in both image and text box forms.

After driving nearly 20 minutes and getting lost in the most generic office building area (I really should not have been that lost. It was a 2 minute drive from my old house and directly behind my cat’s veterinarian office), I found the office/testing site. It had a handwritten sign on the door saying it was out of tests and to try their other location in another city. Suddenly the 1-star review of “They weren’t even there” I had read online made more sense. I started trying to work out if any attempt at identity theft can be accomplished with one’s driver’s license number and insurance policy number (no idea), but then met another couple who also registered online and had been to this site before. Apparently it is a legit testing site (they’d been here on an occasion when there were tests) and they had been trying to find testing since Christmas Eve, and this was common elsewhere.

So I’m tired. And sniffly. And torn about whether to go to my parents’ house.

It’s probably allergies, right?

Anyway, back to the post topic, which is New Year’s Eve appetizer recipes.

As there is a very infectious disease raging, may I make a suggestion for your New Years Eve? Stay home. Have a dance party with your significant other, your kids, or your dog or cat. (If you have a dance party with your dog, please, please get this on video and send it to me.) Open a bottle of bubbly, whether it’s fancy champagne, cava, prosecco, or a non-alcoholic bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider (the best non-alcoholic bubbly in my opinion) and all make all of the appetizers.

New Years Eve Menu:

  • Air Fried Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Garlic Aioli
  • Everything Peppers
  • Ginger Lime Shrimp

Air Fried Artichoke Hearts with Spiced Aioli

In full disclosure, I got the idea to air fry frozen artichoke hearts on a Trader Joe’s Facebook group from a lovely woman named Maria, so only the aioli is my own recipe. Since grocery availability varies by region, I feel I should add that Trader Joe’s is the only place I have reliably found frozen artichoke hearts.

  • 12 oz bag frozen artichoke hearts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Spiced Aioli

  • 5 oz plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. Mix together aioli ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Toss artichoke hearts (do not thaw) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in a single layer in your air fryer.  
  4. Set air fryer to 400° and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Variation: You could also bread the artichoke hearts. I prefer to keep these simple and unbreaded.

Everything Peppers

  • Sweet mini peppers
  • Whipped cream cheese (or regular cream cheese softened)
  • Everything but the Bagel seasoning
  1. Wash, halve, and deseed mini peppers.
  2. Fill mini pepper halves with cream cheese.
  3. Top with Everything seasoning.

Variations: If you don’t like cream cheese, try filling the peppers with either guacamole or hummus and some diced veggies. If peppers aren’t your favorite, top cucumber slices with cream cheese and Everything seasoning.

Ginger Lime Shrimp


  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Juice of 1 lime (approx. 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 16 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
  1. Mix together all ingredients for marinade in a large bowl.
  2. Add shrimp. Let marinate in the refrigerator for anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Drain shrimp and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake shrimp for 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Place on toothpicks or skewers for easier serving.

Variation: For a spicier version, add either red pepper flakes or a deseeded hot pepper (jalapeno or serrano) to the marinade.

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