December 14: Party Time!

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I love to throw a good party. You may have noticed that it doesn’t take much of a reason to have a party around here.

Today I have tips on how to make your next grande fête a party to remember.


Presentation is everything

So you’ve gone to the trouble to clean the house, gather/prepare food, invite guests. Why slack off now? Presentation is the easiest part of the affair, and makes a huge impact!

If it comes in a bag, box, container, etc. by all means TAKE IT OUT and put it in something PRETTY.

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Yes, it may just be a casual menu but take the chips out of the bag and put them in a bowl. Or basket. Or anything!  Rarely will something be left in its original packaging at one of my parties. Even condiments look more appealing when placed in a pretty bowl than in the jar.

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Box wine is great for a party, but even wine looks better out of the box. These glass decanters can be picked up at the restaurant supply on the cheap. Plus it gives an element of intrigue. I also use my decanters for milk/juice when serving morning meals.

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And if you entertain often, the restaurant supply is the place to go for wine glasses. You can get them in bulk for less than a small set will cost at a regular store. Plus they are quality, dishwasher safe and durable.

The tableware can benefit from a smidge of effort in the presentation area too.

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Take the napkins out of the plastic packaging, and give them a twirl! Here’s a link to a bartending video on how to twirl nicely.


Become a Collector

Start a collection of interesting bowls, trays, baskets, etc. of all sizes. Tiny, medium, huge. The more the merrier! I can’t get out of IKEA without adding more to my stash. This can easily be done on the cheap – yard sales and thrift stores are great sources. Your presentation materials need not be expensive to make a statement.

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Forego fancy linens – a lovely piece of fabric makes a great table covering. Sewing isn’t necessary. Trim the edges with pinking shears, use iron-on seam tape, or if the occasion is right – let it fray!

Extra Special


Pick your Battles

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You need not be an incredible chef to pull off an affair to remember. If you are preparing the cuisine, stick with recipes you know. While it is best to try out a new recipe before the party, I have been known to throw caution to the wind. But keep your adventures limited to one or two items that you could do without, in case they are a dismal failure. It happens even to the best of us.

There is also no shame in purchasing ready-made food. With lots of great local sources for delicious treats, on occasion I have been known to outsource too.


Relax

Parties are supposed to be fun for everyone, and that includes YOU. Snafus happen! You just have to laugh it off and roll with it. My mantra is “if worse comes to worse, we can always order pizza”. I’ve not had to resort to pushing the pizza button yet, but there’s a first time for everything.

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Every party hostess needs a pretty tea towel, and we love these Knit Stitch Towels from designer Debbie Bliss.

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Today we’re giving a Knit Stitch Tea Towel away to one lucky winner. Simply tell us which color you’d like to win in the comments:

  • Denim
  • Taupe
  • Coral
  • Duck Egg

You have until midnight tonight!


I’m also sharing the recipe for my #1 party beverage. It started as a refreshing summer drink, but has become a staple at all of my parties. It is always a huge hit!

Honey-Peach Tea Fizz

  • 8 regular size ginger peach tea bags
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup honeytea
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Steep tea bags in boiling water. Stir in honey and sugar until dissolved; cool completely. Combine tea, chilled ginger ale and fresh lemon juice. Serve over ice.


And Jenna was kind enough to share her recipe for these delicious seasoned oyster crackers. She brought a bowl with her last Saturday and I may have made a pig of myself. Boy were they good!

IMG_3947Jenna’s Most Delicious Oyster Crackers

  • 24oz oyster crackers
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pkg ranch salad dressing dry mix
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 200º. Line a large baking sheet with sides or jelly roll pan with foil.In a very large bowl, combine all ingredient. Spread in an even layer over the baking pan. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store in a jar or covered in a container. For extra toasty crispy crackers, increase heat to 210º degrees.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “December 14: Party Time!

  1. Thanks for the recipes. I love your Honey-Peach Tea Fizz and now I can make it at home! The coral towel would be lovely.

    1. Congratulations Ashley! You’re the winner. I have your prize aside for you. Please pick it up by January 31, or it will be put back in the prize hopper.

  2. I love the taupe. Thank you so much for the recipes I can’t wait to make the peach tea fizz and those oyster crackers.

  3. Oh man, my mom used to make those seasoned oyster crackers, and I, too, have stuffed myself on them before!!! They are yummy!

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