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We’re talking a New Years Eve Bash –  looking to Spanish wines and cuisine for affordable crowd favorites. And uber-organizer Carrie of Neatsmart is giving hints and tips about how to put away Christmas and get ready for the Big Night!

When they walk in the door, hand them a glass of Inexpensive Cava – hard to go wrong here

MY Favorite is Navarin – Rose or White about $17


Juve y Camps Rose or White Brut Cava about $18

You can-find-them-anywhere BEST Bets for Yummy CAVA:

  • Freixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut Cava about $12
  • Codorniu Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blanc $10
  • Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava $12
  • Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava $11

Carrie’s Organizing TIP ONE:

Take pictures of your decorated home – Take pictures of the various décor you have up in your home, like the mantle or items on your dining table. It’s easy to forget what goes where after a year passes by so if you take a picture, print it, and put it with the box of decorations, it will make putting it out next year even easier.

Pair the sparkling wine with this yummy Dip:


Smoky Cashew Dip

  • 1 Cup RAW Cashews that have been soaked in hot water and 1 tsp lemon juice for 2 hours and drained.
  • 2 Chilies en Adobo
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Chopped Cilantro and/or Toasted Cashews for garnish

Whiz in the food processor of blender until pureed. Serve with chips or crudité

OR Pair it with nuts – either nuts you toasted yourself, or some that you’ve bought like pistachios.

Carrie’s Organizing TIP TWO:

Take pictures of your Holiday cards –  A lot of people struggle with what to do with holiday cards. One way to use and enjoy them the whole year is to take a picture of the ones with photos and use that picture as that contact’s photo in your cell phone. You get to see the picture every time they call or text. Another option is to just have the digital versions of the photo in an album called “Holiday Cards 2017” that you can refer back to at any time.

Then kick off the evening with these Great Apps or Brilliant Starters:

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Manchego and Almonds

  • 1 Cup Shredded Manchego Cheese
  • 2 TB Capers
  • 2 TB Toasted Sliced Almonds
  • 1 – 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika (Hot or Sweet or combination)
  • 1 TB Olive Oil Mayo
  • 1 TB Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Jar (approx. 6 – 8) Piquillo Peppers, patted dry

Add the cheese, mayo, yogurt and paprika to a small bowl and mix well. Add in the capers and almonds. Season to taste with salt and stuff into the Piquillo peppers.

Pair it the crisp clean citrus of an Albarino

Gotas de Mar Albarino – Whole Foods about $17

Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

  • ¼ Cup Minced English Cucumber
  • ¼ Cup Minced Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 TB Thinly Sliced Shallot
  • 1 ½ TB Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 8 OZ Baby Bella Mushrooms, Quartered and Roasted (Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Black Peppered in 400F on oiled sheet pan until browned)
  • 12 – 16 Butter Lettuce or Romaine Leaves
  • ¼ Cup Asian Sweet Chili Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Minced Peanuts
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Parsley or Cilantro

Step One

Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, shallot, lemon juice and paprika together in a small bowl and set aside.

Step Two

Divide the mushrooms into the wraps and top with the cucumber mixture. Drizzle the chili sauce over the wraps and finish by Sprinkling with the peanuts and cilantro.

Pair it  with yummy Vina Real Rioja – about $12 Costco

Carrie’s Organizing TIP THREE:

Use bins with lids for holiday decor – You don’t have to get color-coordinated boxes or lids but keeping everything protected from dust and water with a lid is a must. I suggest clear bins so you can see what’s inside. You can also label the plastic bin with white duct tape and a sharpie. Keeping your holiday décor together is essential as well. If you have it spread out all over your house you will forget what you have and possibly waste money buying more next year.



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