Party Like It’s 2008!

If you haven’t heard today is one of the biggest days of the year for partying – next to office Christmas parties and of course, your release from jail on DUI charges.

While many prefer the cold crisp nighttime air to bring in the New Year, others plan to hold joyous small gatherings inside pre-heated buildings.

Me, I’ll go wherever alcohol is offered free to me.

As a service to those who still are planning their parties, I’m here to offer some ideas to make the night go by a little smoother. You see I love holding my own small get-togethers. I usually end up playing bartender at mine (by choice). But there’s just something about having family, friends, good food and wine and lively conversation that makes every gathering much more memorable.

These are my own suggestions I have learned over time. Yes, I started out by reading everything I could get my hands on, but now I do my own thing. And so can you.

1.      Pick a theme:

·        Obviously this one is easy this time, but usually I try to do something different each time. For instance, one included side dishes containing alcohol, yet then my cocktails tasted like food items. Aw – sneaky, yet oh so cool twist huh!?

2.      Remember everyone is different:

·        This notion is important; not everyone drinks alcohol. Some may not like the taste of it, some are designated drivers, some may be allergic, whatever the reason make sure to serve other types of drinks such as soda or juice.

·        The soda idea actually brings up another unforeseen quandary – not everyone likes diet, so serve both regular and diet.

3.      Finger foods over larger dishes.

·        I served grilled pina colada shrimp, roasted nuts and some other items. The point is it makes it much easier for guests to mingle with smaller foods. Also, smaller portions allow for more selection on the guest’s part; they don’t get stuck with one food.

·        Look through cookbooks one month before to see what’s out there. Maybe it will spark something in you. As time gets closer though, start narrowing down your selections to just a few. My boyfriend and I decided to cook four different dishes each – so guests had a total of eight dishes each to choose from.

4.      For God’s sakes write down/copy your recipes or tack them to a cabinet while cooking. You don’t need to be looking it while you’re talking with your guests.

5.      And most important to me: just have fun, but also polite. You invited these people into your home to share a few special moments with you. Enjoy the time, but also treat it with the respect it deserves.

See those weren’t hard and they’re pretty easy to follow.

Happy New Year!

(or I’ll just see you tomorrow!)