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New Year's Eve Dinner for Two

Stay in and miss the crowds with this elegant date night menu

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When I was younger, I loved going to New Year's Eve parties or out to eat, but now I prefer to skip the crowds and hassles. Give this menu a try and you'll agree that staying at home with a delicious dinner just for the two of you is the perfect beginning to a new year.

Champagne and spiced nuts

Dave Scantland
Nothing says New Year's Eve like a glass (or two) of champagne or sparkling wine. Served with a simple, light appetizer like these sweet and spicy walnuts, it's a great beginning for the evening. If you'd like a more substantial starter, try crisp crab rangoon or roasted marrow on crostini.

Shaved Fennel Salad

Dave Scantland
This crisp, refreshing salad sets the stage for the dinner to come. Paper thin fennel, celery and red onion, tossed in a simple vinaigrette, are a delicious accompaniment to the rich duck breast (Or, if you like, serve it after the entree, French style). Another delightful first course is savory roasted red pepper soup.

Seared Duck Breast

Janet A. Zimmerman
Pan-roasted duck breast makes an elegant yet easy entree for two. It can be seared ahead of time and finished in the oven whenever you're ready to eat. Serve it with a red wine butter sauce and sweet potatoes and beets for an unusual but delicious side.

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

Dave Scantland
What could be a better way to ring in the New Year than with creamy, rich chocolate mousse for two? More champagne, of course! (If chocolate's not your preference, end your New Year's Eve dinner with tangy lemon bars or intriguing spice cake.)

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