I recently co-hosted a party for my friend, Amy, who launched the official website for her jewelry line, Jouel. Her jewelry is awesome and you should check it out while the prices are still a steal!!! We threw an all-girls cocktail party with a subtle beach theme. We kept things very modern and simple and it was a hit!
Some tips for making your party fabulous:
1. Choose dishes that can be done mostly ahead-of-time
2. Keep it easy. Parties are not the time to experiment with new, complicated dishes. I personally try new dishes if I feel confident with the techniques involved, but I try to keep flavors simple and clean.
3. Check out your local restaurant warehouse. You can find modern, sleek serving pieces that are much more interesting than paper plates.
4. Know your audience! For instance, if you are having a girls' night, keep the dishes light, which we did for this party. Then throw in one rich dish. We did a cake for dessert..but it could also be a great cheese plate, a store-bought decadent chocolaty thing, or something fried--but just keep it to one thing and the rest light. If, however, you are throwing a super-bowl party, it's okay to keep things a little heavier--but remember to add some light dishes as well. Balance is key.
5. Clean lines. Try to clear off whatever you can from the surfaces of your house. The less clutter, the better it will look.
6. Have a signature drink. This is an especially important rule for parties with women. We served blueberry martinis and I couldn't believe how quickly they went. Plus they're pretty.
7. Stick to a color scheme if you can. We decided on "beach" colors, so we stuck to white, tan, blues, and greens. It just makes a more pleasing aesthetic. If you can pull off monochromatic (all white flowers, white tablecloths, etc), even better. It's so classy and chic.
8. Accept help. No matter how much I plan ahead, there are always some things that simply must be done last-minute. Let people help you when they offer! It may go against your Martha Stewart nature, but you will be so much more happy and relaxed.
9. Encourage roaming. I set up stations around my place so that people have to move around for different kinds of food or drink. First of all, it gets people out of the kitchen (except those who are helping you, of course!!!) but secondly, it encourages conversation and a better energy to the party.
10. Whatever happens, it is EXACTLY as you planned it. Never let on that something did not turn out as you wanted it. (I admit I do not always stick to this rule, but I should!) Half the time, people would have no idea if you didn't tell them!
Clean lines, modern presentation, lots of color.
Easy cold soup a great party dish. Garnish nicely and it's a sure hit.
Shrimp are good hot or cold. Marinade simply and grill, roast, or broil. Tropical salsa is interesting and another do-ahead.
Tomato-Watermelon Salad with Feta and Almonds
(This whole recipe looks fantastic but we used only the recipe for the salsa)
Printable version here.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup
1 day ago