How to Make New Years Day Menus 

Learn how to make New Years day menus; they are different around the world and even within the United States. Traditional dishes are prepared to symbolize good fortune such as fertility, wealth, prosperity, progress, good health and long life. In Spain and other grape growing countries, a fairly new tradition was started in the nineteen hundreds of eating twelve grapes at midnight. In most countries the traditions of eating certain foods were established long before the tradition of the grape growing countries.

How to Make New Years Day MenusHow to Make New Years Day Menus

When learning how to make New Years Day menus,  you will find most common foods to prepare are greens, fish, pork, legumes and peas. In the Asian countries the eat long noodles for the holiday. Green leafy vegetables like cabbage, kale and collards represent money so eating any of these would make you more prosperous. Pork represents progressing ahead so is eaten for wealth and prosperity. China believes that presenting a whole chicken with head, tail and feet at mealtime is a symbol of completeness; other countries believe you should not eat chicken because it scratches backwards and means a setback in your life. For a variety of reasons fish is served in many countries as a single New Years tradition or added with other foods for their good luck.

my sister donna

Many of you are asking how to cook ribs for your favorite holiday recipes. I am going to tell you about my sister, Donna and how to make her New Years Day menus from our family’s German cuisine. Donna will be cooking for some of her children and grandchildren. Her children are Doug, Connie, Kristie and Donna Jane.

Donna is my closest sister in age and was born in 1938. She and I share many good memories together going back to our childhood. Even though there was an age difference when you are a teenager putting up with a little kid, we were able to laugh and giggle together. We were always able to enjoy our holidays together especially when Mom and Dad cooked the New Years Day Menus.

Being from such a large family, Mom could not afford to buy for all of us at the same time. She tried to take turns doing something for each of us. One time I found this furry pink jacket that Mom had hidden. Of course, I thought this had to be for me since I was the youngest. I was so disappointed and mad at Donna because it was for her, but my anger didn’t last for long.

Donna was very beautiful and very smart as were all my sisters. When she was in high school she was in a beauty contest. To me she was the prettiest, wearing a bright yellow bathing suit and should have won. She was also in a spelling bee and I remember sitting with Mom and listening on the radio.

For my sixteenth birthday my sister had a surprise birthday slumber party for me in her empty mobile home which was sitting on our property. It was a great time and for the first time (according to Dad’s house rules) I was legally allowed in the presence of the opposite sex. Some of my girlfriends had arranged for a couple of the guys from school to pick us up and take us a ride to the local dive in their convertible with the top down. What a night!

As the years progressed, my relationship with Donna grew stronger. She has always been very good to me. When I started work at the nearby factory after high school, it was certainly great to know she was there also and many days we met to have lunch together.

When I am back home in Ohio for the holidays we usually have dinner at Donna’s home. I won’t be there this year but I am sure she will be cooking from the traditional New Years Day menus. She will tell you that she only does simple cooking but I will tell you that her food is always delicious. Like the rest of the family, she was born with the cooking basics and I believe that most of the time simple foods are the best.

New Years Days menus from our German heritage consist of pork recipes and sauerkraut recipes. It also has fish recipes but as far back as I can remember we never had fish for New Years. Donna will be combining a sauerkraut recipe with pork ribs for dinner. This is one of the easy holiday recipes, simply by placing the pork ribs in a large heavy roaster and cover with drained sauerkraut, salt and pepper. Add about ½ inch of water in the bottom of roaster, cover with a lid and place in the oven until the meat is tender and falling from the bones.

Donna’s New Years Days menus will always have a good bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and a tossed salad. Other side dishes will probably be corn, green beans or other vegetables. The holiday desserts could be leftover Christmas cookies and her favorite date bar recipe. I am sure she will still have around some of her chocolate fudge recipe which she is known for around the area.

DATE BARS RECIPE great to make ahead for a New Years Day menu

  • 3 Cups chopped dates
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups water
  • ¾ Cup soft butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 ¾ Cup flour
  • ½ Teaspoon soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Combine in a heavy saucepan the dates, ¼ cup sugar and the water; cook until dates are soft. You may need to add a little more water to get spreading consistency. Set aside to cool. Mix brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, soda, salt and oats. Press half of the mixture in the prepared pan. Spread with the date filling; top with the remaining oat mixture, pressing lightly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.


Donna’s New Years Day menus might also include an easy dessert recipe like the following refrigerator dessert.

  • 1 ½ Cups powdered sugar
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • Vanilla wafers
  • ½ Cup soft butter
  • Small tub cool whip
  • Maraschino cherries

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the pecans and pineapple and blend thoroughly. Fold in Cool Whip. Line casserole dish with half of the vanilla wafers. Cover with half of fruit and nut mixture. Place another layer of remaining vanilla wafers. Cover with remaining fruit mixture. Garnish with cherries. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Everyone always includes a special, rich treat in their New Years Day menu. This fudge comes out perfect every time.  

  • 1 Jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream (or 2 cups miniature marshmallows)
  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 2/3 Cup canned evaporated milk
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 12 Ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Cup chopped nuts

Combine marshmallow cream, sugar, butter, milk and salt in a large pan.

Bring mixture to a full boil stirring constantly; boil 5 minutes over moderate heat.

Remove mixture from heat; stir in chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts.

Pour into a buttered square pan; cool completely before cutting in squares.


Start your New Years Day menu off right with a good breakfast. Serve these biscuits with leftover Christmas ham; add some eggs and fruit for a great breakfast.

  • 4 Cups flour
  • 6 Tablespoons instant dry milk
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ Teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ¼ Cups water
  • ½ Pound thinly sliced cooked ham

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine first 4 ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly.

Stir in Parmesan cheese; stir in water with a fork until all ingredients are moistened.

Turn biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth.

Roll dough to ½ inch thickness and cut in rounds; place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned; serve hot with ham.

Makes about 15 biscuits.

SPECIAL FRIED FISH for the New Years Day menu

  • 1 Pound white fish fillets
  • 1/3 Cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 Cups finely ground tortilla chips
  • 1/3 Cup flour
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 3 Teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 Teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Cups milk
  • Oil for frying

Wash fish with cold water; pat dry with paper towels.

Combine and mix in a shallow bowl cornmeal, chips, flour, salt, paprika, chili powder and black pepper.

Combine egg and milk in a shallow bowl; dip fish in milk mixture and then roll in cornmeal mixture.

Deep fry in hot oil; drain on paper towels.


It is always good to have an appetizer recipe on your New Yeas Day menu for unexpected visitors; this one is delicious.

  • 7 Slices chopped bacon
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 Package blue cheese crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds

Cook bacon until ALMOST crisp; drain excess fat from skillet.

Add garlic to skillet and cook until bacon is crisp.

In a bowl beat cream cheese until smooth; add half and half and mix until blended.

Stir the bacon mixture, blue cheese and chives into the cream cheese mixture.

Transfer mixture to a 2 cup ovenproof serving dish; cover with foil.

Bake until thoroughly heated about 25 minutes at 350F degrees.

Sprinkle top with almonds; serve with crackers and party breads.


Pork Chops Recipe with Sour CreamPork Chops Recipe with Sour Cream

Sometimes for a change for my New Years Day menu I will fix pork chops like the following recipe.

  • 2 Tablespoons of oil
  • 6 Loin pork chops
  • ½ Cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Beef bouillon cube
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, brown pork chops in hot oil; add ½ cup water, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, garlic and bouillon cube.

Cover skillet and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until meat is tender; move chops to warm serving platter.

In a small bowl combine flour with ¼ cup water; slowly add to skillet stirring constantly.

Stir in sour cream and heat thoroughly; do not boil.

Season with salt and pepper; serve sauce over pork chops.


My family has always included some type of special potatoes in our New Years Day menus and all special occasions.

  • 10 Medium size potatoes
  • 1 Package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 Carton 16 ounces) sour cream
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ Cup chopped chives
  • Salt/pepper
  • Paprika

Boil potatoes until tender, peel and chop.

Beat in a large bowl the cream cheese and sour cream; add hot chopped potatoes and beat until smooth.

Beat in butter, salt, pepper and chives; pour into a well buttered casserole dish; dot with additional butter and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake 25 minutes at 350F degrees. Serves 8 to 10.

NOTE: You can prepare this dish ahead and bake before serving.



  • 2 Cups mayonnaise
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 4 Minced anchovy fillets
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons finely chopped chives
  • ¼ Teaspoon tarragon
  • 2 Teaspoons tarragon vinegar


  • 7 Cups fresh spinach
  • 3-4 Cups romaine
  • 3 Hard boiled eggs
  • 8 Slices cooked bacon crumbled
  • 1 Avocado peeled and diced (Dip in lemon juice)
  • ½ cup blue cheese

Combine and mix all dressing ingredients; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Wash spinach and romaine, drain and dry on towels; tear into bite sizes into a large bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix; serve with cold dressing.

About 12 servings.

Donna, I love you dearly and thanks for always being such a good sister. I wish I could be there with you to enjoy your New Years Day menus.