Monday, July 23, 2012

weekend update

happy monday!
i hope you all had a great weekend - mine was spent relaxing with friends and some good food!
here are a few snapshots:
left: a craft beer tasting cruise via living social - AMAZING. god, i love boats.
right: sunday dinners, round 1: a southern feast with friends

now, it's monday. i am sure this week will be lovely, but i am already excited for friday because we are hosting a housewarming/olympics viewing soirée in our new digs!
as you have probably gathered, i love planning parties and prepping the menu is one of my favorite parts of the process! while this can be daunting, i have a few tips that i stick to that streamline the process:
1. pick a theme
for the olympics, there are many routes to choose from: with london as the host city, you could opt for british-inspired munchies and libations. in honor of the USA, you could go with all-american fare.
for our party, we are making a number of things but have also asked others to bring a dish or drink to share, so we decided to make our menu all-inclusive. the olympics, after all, is a global event!

2. have options: not everyone eats everything
nothing is worse than going to a party and realizing that you can't eat any of the food! 
whether you or your guests are vegan/vegetarian or have dietary restrictions or food allergies, it's always a good idea to make sure there is something for everyone. 
when i plan menus, i make columns like so:
this way, it's simple to see what your choices are, whether you have overloaded in one category, and how best to balance things out (hmmm, perhaps a fish option is needed?)

3. make sure your options work for your prep schedule!
i have a full-time job and a somewhat lengthy commute, and this party is on a weekday. therefore, hors d'oeuvres that require hours of prep time are not good choices for me, and while i love to make as much as possible from scratch, i am fine with taking some shortcuts. 

some examples from my actual menu:
caprese skewers require minimal assembly time, and they are so fresh and delicious in the summer - i will add some basil from our garden, but literally all i have to do is put a tomato and a ball of mozzarella on a toothpick.
pigs in a blanket are my brother's favorite, so i had to include them. i would really love to make this pretzel crusted version via cupcakes and cashmere, but this is not the time for testing a new recipe so i will be purchasing frozen ones from trader joe's instead.
nutella s'mores are a delicious variation on the traditional recipe, and you can put all of the ingredients out buffet-style for people to roast over the grill and assemble on their own! plus, the nutella doesn't need to melt so it's spreadable instantly!

you get the idea. stay tuned for some more party posts this week!

(1, 2, 3, 4)

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