I've planned a lot of menus in my day and get tons of emails from readers and friends asking me to help them plan a menu for a specific occasion. I can throw a menu together in no time flat, and so can you if you take a look at my helpful tips and pointers. All week I am giving you a few more pieces to the puzzle. I see an empty dinner plate as an artist would look at a blank canvas. It's important to think of every aspect of the dishes from the texture, color, and aroma to the techniques of cooking that you use and the variety of ingredients. For today's menu planning tips, read more
Love, love, love. February was all about love... but what if you're like me and single (without anyone to love)? Love yourself of course! This week I am planning a love themed party that is all about you celebrating your self love. Write yourself a lovely note, make yourself your favorite dishes and pair them with your favorite drinks. Taking the time out to really take care of yourself is important for your mind, body, soul, and overall well being. This party, that I am calling celebration you (or celebration me, if you prefer), is like getting your beauty sleep. On Friday I am going to be home alone (woo hoo!) and will take complete advantage of the evening.
This afternoon I will make sure that everything is clean and organized so when I get home from work tomorrow - with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in my hands - I can slip into something comfortable and relax. I'll light my favorite soothing scented candles and turn the heater up high so the house is cozy and warm. To really make myself feel glowing inside, and beautiful on the outside, I'll give myself a few at home spa treatments between dinner and dessert. I consulted BellaSugar and she helped me come up with simple scrubs and soaks that can be made from everyday ingredients. For these easy at home spa recipes, read more
On Monday I gave you a few of my menu planning tips and today I'm going to fill you in on some more of my successful secrets to planning the perfect dinner party. Don't feel overwhelmed if you are hosting a dinner any time soon, read through my advice, take a deep breath, and start planning. If you missed Monday's post, read the suggestions and check out today's tips - just read more
I love making a cake as much as I do eating one, and have decided that there is no better way to celebrate myself than to make myself a fancy and scrumptious cake. The cake will be the final extravagant touch to an intimate dinner party I am hosting. I'm celebrating how wonderful I am by making a meal that I will enjoy all by myself. Why? Because I deserve it! I am challenging you to host this party of one with me reader! I've already decided I will start the night with candied walnuts followed by crab cake salad and a goat cheese souffle. No party is complete without a super self-indulgent dessert and I'm going to make a cake I've never made before: Red Velvet Cake! If cream cheese frosting is a favorite of yours check out this recipe, read more
This week I am hosting a special little event for myself. Yes you read it correctly, I'm throwing myself a party that has nothing to do with my birthday and everything to do with pampering myself! I've canceled my Friday night plans, told my parents to go out to dinner (my treat) and will turn off my cell phone for a little solo time celebrating the most important person in my world: me. I plan on enjoying a luxurious dinner, followed by a little home spa action, a movie and a magazine. Today I am assembling a dinner menu that will start with a crunchy sweet treat and will be followed by a main course of one of my all time favorite dishes (Crab Cakes With Herb Salad) paired with an experimental recipe I've been wanting to make for weeks now (Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffle). The whole idea of this party is to choose a menu that suits you. So make your favorite dishes or those recipes you've been dying to try. For the recipes to my meal, read more
Party, after party, after party, man sometimes, even I, PartySugar, get tired of all these parties. So every now and then I like to throw a party that is the equivalent to getting your beauty sleep. This party celebrates the most important person in your life: you! So cancel your plans and roll up those sleeves, it's time to plan an evening in which you pamper yourself! Yesterday I advised you to write yourself a note to remind you that this Friday you're taking care of yourself by throwing a personal party for one.
I know this concept may be a little crazy for some of you, but seriously a night that lets you relax at home alone does wonders for your well being. And with my half birthday, St. Patrick's Day, and my sister's birthday all in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to need my party energy! This party is all about you and your preferences, so if you hate to cook, order in from your favorite restaurant. But if you're like me, take some time to plan out a decadent special menu that you wouldn't normally have. The party starts the second I arrive home on Friday and I want a sweet snack ready and waiting. To see what I'm making myself, read more
Ok, so you've decided to host a dinner party. You open up your cookbooks when panic strikes. What on earth are you going to make at this dinner? What will the menu for the dinner consist of? Whether you've hosted a million dinner parties, or are thinking about hosting your first, menu planning can be a scary and worrisome task. Courses, themes, special dietary needs, wine pairings... there are so many aspects of choosing a menu it's important to take the appropriate amount of time to plan your meal. Don't wait until the night before your scheduled event to wander aimlessly through the supermarket wondering what you should make. Even if you are hosting a last minute impromptu dinner, you should take a quick 5 minutes to organize your meal. It may sound crazy, but I actually enjoy menu planning. You could too, if you keep a few pointers in mind. I'll be giving you a few menu planning tips all week so pay attention! For today's helpful hints on menu planning, read more
Lately I have been reading a lot of books about wine and they all say the same important message: the best way to learn about wine is to taste as many and as much as you possibly can. Thats why I am forming a wine club. By inviting a small, intimate group of friends to each bring a bottle of the same varietal of wine, I hope to refine my palette and ability to judge aromas, flavors, and finishes. The first meeting is coming up (perhaps meeting isn't the best word to describe event, it's more of a party) in which we celebrate a love and appreciation for wine while learning about what we are drinking. I know education and alcohol rarely go hand in hand, but in this case they do. I began preparing for this party on Monday when I made invitations that can be changed each month. On Tuesday I talked about the menu, on Wednesday tips for successful sipping, and yesterday the look. Today I must come up with a soundtrack for the get together so come party with me. read more
I've invited a group of friends to my house to taste and learn about wine once a month and the club's first meeting is coming up! I'm very excited to take an educational experience and translate it into a party. Together, in a non-threatening environment, we will discover and discuss, sip by sip, new varietals of red, white, or sparkling wine. After all the best way to become an expert on wine is by drinking it! Although the wine is the focal point, I will be offering a few small savory and sweet bites to cleanse our palettes between tastings and to fully appreciate the flavor of the wine. I encourage you to come party with me by starting your very own wine club! To see what wine I'll be tasting at the first meeting and for essential wine club tips, read more