potlock party

How to Host an Impressive Potluck Party

 

Just because your aunt, mom, or best friend can whip up dinner for twenty-five guests without breaking a sweat doesn’t mean that we all have such impressive party super powers. When it comes to designing your very own potluck party, remember that you shouldn’t spend all of your energy stressing out about what might happen – or whether you’re going to end up with twelve trays’ worth of devilled eggs. Instead, use the following tips to celebrate in style.

1.    Control Your Need to Control

If you’re hosting a dinner party, then you have every right to overthink everything from the entrees to the desserts. However, if you’ve picked a potluck party – then remember that you’re not responsible for controlling what everyone else decides to bring along with them. Sure, you can suggest that certain people bring certain dishes, but don’t chase all the fun out of the experience with strict rules and regulations.

2.    Let Everyone Know about Dietary Restrictions

If you’re aware that certain people in your party can’t eat particular foods, remember to keep the other guests informed so that they know to think about this when constructing their own dishes. Make it clear that allergies should be considered with the highest degree of safety in mind.

3.    Pick, or Don’t Pick a Theme

Finally, if you’re hosting potlucks on a regular basis, you might find that picking out a theme is a great way of mixing things up. However, you don’t necessarily need to do this all the time. Remember, it’s all down to your personal preferences. If you do decide that a theme is right for you, here are some you might pick from:

  • Book club recipes – Ask people to bring meals prepared from the pages of their favorite cookbook.
  • Global street food – Encourage your guests to bring along a dish inspired from somewhere they went on their last vacation, or most exotic travel experience.
  • Mom’s recipe – Ask your friends and family to bring along a favorite recipe from their past, hopefully with the help of their mom’s cooking prowess.

Image Source: Pixabay

wine and cheese

3 Classy Tips for Wine and Cheese Parties

Now that the weather’s starting to get a little colder – what better time is there to throw a few laid-back parties within the comfort of your own home or office. Turn up the class with a selection of delectable cheeses, and chase away the chill with the warm blush of a delicious rose, or a dry glass of white wine.

Gather your invites and use these tips for some of the most impressive cheese soirees your friends will ever see.

Tip 1: Picking the Wine

Let’s face it, if you get the wine right – it’s hard for the night not to be a success. Delicious wine, good company, and a hefty dose of alcohol is enough to leave even the pickiest of guests with a smile on their face. The best options to serve alongside cheese include fruity, dry reds, such as:

  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rose

On the other hand, if you want to shake things up and have a selection of reds and whites to choose from, you can also stock up on:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Chill the white wine for as long as possible, but only place the red in the fridge about an hour before your guests arrive. Make sure they’re all allowed to settle at room temperature for a couple of minutes before serving.

Tip 2: Choosing the Cheese

You can’t leave your wine to stand alone – otherwise you lose your opportunity to class your party as a fancy get-together. Be a little adventurous in pairing your liquid choices with some sumptuous cheeses, carefully balancing a mix of textures and tastes. Variety is key – so that your guests can have something to choose from if they don’t like the first cube they try:

  • For creamy and soft, try brie or goat’s cheese
  • For pungent and strong, pick livarot and taleggio
  • For rich and subtle, select fontina or manchego
  • For intense, offer stilton, gorgonzola, or cambozola

Tip 3: Accessorizing

Finally, when you’ve got the wine and cheese properly picked out, then you’ll be able to think about the other treats you might want to offer alongside them. For instance, you might pick a range of olives or grapes to add alongside your cheeseboard, or stay simple with a selection of crackers and some delicious cured meats. The most important thing is to have fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Image Source: Pixabay

halloween themes

3 Unique Halloween Themes to Dazzle Your Guests

That spook-tacular time of year is almost here once again – and that means one very important thing: It’s time for you to start planning your Halloween party! Whether you’re planning an incredible bash of your own, or you’re looking for an exciting way to help out with your friends’ get-together, the last thing you want is to be restricted to the same old ideas and plastic skeletons.

Following, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite unique Halloween ideas – to give you the inspiration you need for a truly dazzling evening.

1.    Murder-Mystery Party

There’s nothing quite like a murder-mystery soiree to get the excitement brewing on Halloween. You can even ask a friend to take a moment out of his or her busy schedule to act as a temporary “body”, for the initial shock factor to wow your guests.

You can add to the atmosphere with candy blood slides to mystery-based party games, and even hand out prizes to those who manage to solve the riddle by the end of the evening. There’s plenty of murder mystery scripts online today if you’re feeling uninspired – but keep in mind that a few of them are up to seventy-pages long.

2.    Halloween Cocktail Contest

What’s more important on Halloween than finding time for some deliciously sinful drinks and treats? Rather than handing a bunch of pre-made beverages to your guests, the “contest” aspect of this theme will get them to show off their own creativity, and ensure that everyone’s engaged during your bash – rather than simply sitting on the sofa and waiting for time to pass.

All you need to make this idea a success is a few exciting recipes, plenty of booze, and Halloween extras to add a touch of “horror” to your delicious drinks.

3.    YouTube Clip Carousel

Finally, why not make the most out of everyone’s love of YouTube and create a playlist of incredible Halloween-themed videos to keep your party guests entertained if they want to take a break from booze and dancing. If you’re holding the bash at home, you can always have your YouTube clips running in a different room to provide a great “chill-out” space for tired party-goers.

If you can’t think of a lot of videos to include yourself, make sure to create a Facebook group for your Halloween event and get people to input their own suggestions – just make sure videos are all three-minutes long or less – or you could end up with some clips that last forever.

Image Source: Pixabay

mocktails

These 6 Delicious Mocktails are Perfect for an Alcohol-Free Party

If you’re hosting a party for those in the recovery community, or you’re trying to make the most out of your wedding as a pregnant bride, there’s plenty of reasons to plan an alcohol-free event. Though most people assume that parties need to have some sort of alcohol available if they’re going to go off without a hitch – the truth is that there’s a range of delicious mocktails out there that can provide the same sense of luxury – without the hangover.

Following are just some of our favorite recipes designed to keep your bar inspirational, and your guests happy.

mocktails

1.    The Dark Invader

Ingredients:

  • Ice
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Blackberries

To make this brilliant beverage, combine the blackberries, syrup and juice in a cocktail shaker and mix well. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least thirty seconds, before straining into a cocktail glass. Garnish with extra blackberries for an additional ounce of flair.

2.    Cherry Bomb

Ingredients:

  • Grenadine
  • Lemon/Lime Soda
  • Lime Juice
  • Maraschino cherries

Pour the soda, lime juice, and grenadine into a large mixing glass and stir until all of the ingredients are fully combined. Pour over plenty of ice in a low ball glass, and garnish with cherries.

3.    Ginger Lime Fizz

Ingredients:

  • Limes
  • Seltzer water
  • Squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer

This particular mocktail doesn’t require any professional mixer knowledge. Simply toss all of the ingredients into your biggest, fanciest pitcher and serve ice cold to your guests.

4.    Virgin Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • Sparkling water
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime juice

Combine all of your ingredients into a glass and stir together well. If you want to save time, you can use a pitcher instead – just be sure to garnish each glass you serve with a small slice of ginger, and a sliver of lime.

5.    Coconut Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • Lavender syrup
  • Water
  • Coconut water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice

Place the sugar, lemon juice, water, and coconut water into a pitcher and mix well until all of the sugar granules dissolve. Pour your lavender syrup into the concoction, and stir well for one of the prettiest mocktails you’ll ever see.

6.    Sparkling Raspberry Flutes

Ingredients:

  • Frozen raspberry lemonade
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Cold water
  • White grape juice (Sparkling)

In a small pitcher, mix your frozen lemonade with three cups of water. Fill an ice cube tray with raspberries and the raspberry lemonade mix, and set inside of the freezer, then move the remaining drink mix to the side for later. When everything is ready to serve, add ice cubes to each glass, and add a teaspoon of raspberry lemonade, followed by plenty of sparkling grape juice.

Image Source: Pixabay

networking event

The 5 Things You Should Never Do at a Networking Event

It might surprise you to learn that many people avoid networking events like the plague – even if they are a great way to meet people who could expand the success of their business. Some people stay away because they’re shy, while others claim they simply can’t find the time in their busy schedule to meet with other industry experts.

However, the truth is that proper networking can do incredible things for your company so long as you don’t go out of your way to irritate the other attendees. Following, we’ll cover some of the things you absolutely shouldn’t do at any networking event – if you want to earn good results.

networking event

1.    Drink Too Much

Alcohol might be the way you loosen up your tongue for a night out with the girls, or the lads – but it’s not a way to meet people from a professional point of view. Leave the alcohol at home, and find a way to build your courage that doesn’t give a bad impression of you, and your business. One drink too many and you could end up embarrassing yourself beyond repair.

2.    Scan the Room While Speaking to Someone

It’s really impolite to look around the room as though you’re bored, when you’re in the middle of talking to someone. Scanning the area for people who might be more interesting than your current companion is going to give a terrible first impression – even if you are feeling a little exhausted with the conversation. Once the conversation has reached a natural end, you can tell the person it was nice to meet them, and move on – but not a moment before.

3.    Hand Out Your Resume

If you’re looking for a job, then you can start handing out your business cards during conversations with people at a networking event. However, that doesn’t mean that you should bring copies of your resume with you. A resume makes you look unprofessional and desperate in a place that’s bound to be full of important individuals relevant to your business.

4.    Try to Find Romance

A networking event is a social occasion where you can meet new people within your business or industry – it’s not a place to look for Mr., or Mrs. Right. If you think that someone you see is really cute or attractive, then you can follow up later to ask them for coffee – don’t lose your professional air by attempting to hit on them at the networking event itself.

5.    Ignore the Organizer

Finally, make sure that you thank the meeting organizer for inviting you before you leave. Organizing a great event is a tough and time-consuming task, so it’s worth showing your gratitude – otherwise you might not be invited again.

Image source: Flickr