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With New Year’s just days away, I am gathering all the decor (silver & blue this year!) for my table and planning my menu for New Year’s Eve.

We usually tend to shy away from the crowds, choosing instead to stay in and celebrate as a family. But whether you are hosting a large shindig, a few friends, or just family (and after the lavish meals of Thanksgiving and Christmas) an appetizer spread is a nice way to go.

One way to give your appetizer buffet more impact is to give it a theme.

We have a seafood-loving family and since shrimp cocktail is a holiday staple for entertaining (right up there with cookies, crudités and cheese plates) why not a seafood selection?

Here’s some fun ways to put a unique spin on shellfish appetizers – some great recipes from Whole Foods Market:

·         Deviled Eggs with Shrimp – Deviled Eggs are a big favorite in our home! And shrimp makes a delicious and dramatic garnish for stuffed eggs. Cooking the shrimp only until they are opaque keeps them sweet and tender.

·         Two-bite Shrimp Pancakes with Satsuma Relish – Try these delectable bites with wild shrimp highlighted by a simple citrus topping.

·         Seafood Cucumber Stacks with Lemon Cream and Chives – These refreshing hors d’oeuvres are delicious with shrimp or crab, so pick your favorite!

·         Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip – Enjoy this savory dip, a mixture of delicious crab and artichokes in a creamy base, with other classics: crackers and crudités! Wonderful!

·         Mini Crab Cakes with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce – Fry up these succulent two-bite treats up to two days ahead and refrigerate between layers of waxed paper. Give each a dollop of pepper sauce just before serving.

·         Crab Canapés – These are great placed atop baguette slices or pretty crackers and broiled.

Additionally, did you know when you buy seafood at Whole Foods Market, you’re helping to support more sustainable fisheries and aquaculture?

Their shrimp and crab are sourced from farmers and fishermen that meet the company’s quality standards for farmed and wild-caught seafood, including preservatives, a suite of requirements to protect the environment, and traceability from farm and fishery to store.

What are you serving on your New Year’s table?

All photos used courtesy of Whole Foods Market.