Housewarming Party !
This past Saturday Dave and I hosted our housewarming party. Nearly six months after our move-in, we finally got around to inviting our friends over to celebrate. In my next post I will present my decorating results, but for today I will be focusing on planning the perfect housewarming party.
My number one party-planning tip is to know your audience – if you cater to your guests, your event will always be flawless! I wanted our party to be casually chic, with good music, strong drinks, and tasty eats. A good place to start is cocktails, because what’s a great party without them? We stocked up on liquor for the boys (Jack Daniel’s, Marker’s Mark, & Canadian Club), an assortment of white wine for the ladies, and Bud Light for everyone, because if you don’t like Bud Light, you’re probably not our friends. Finally, to round out our selection, I decided to make some Red Sangria. With two pretty carafes begging to be used, I thought Sangria would be the perfect drink for their debut.
With our bar fully stocked, my next task was to settle on the food. I went back-and-forth on what to put on our menu, but ultimately I chose to keep it carefree. As a foodie it’s easy to misconstrue ‘fancy’ with ‘better’. Wanting to impress your friends, it’s natural to think that the more elaborate the eats, the bigger the splash. But the truth is, sometimes creativity can alienate your audience. A good hostess will try to appeal to everyone’s palates, and that’s exactly what I aimed to do.
My first decision was to choose cold appetizers. Preparing oven-ready food for a small dinner is one thing, but when you’re hosting a larger party, it’s best you don’t waste your night in the kitchen. Cold dishes are not only low-maintenance, but they are preferrable when you know guests will be fluctuating in and out throughout the evening. Nothing’s worse than entering a party and seeing an array of supposed-to-be-warm appetizers congealing on a tray. Three-hour old Spinach & Artichoke dip? I’ll pass, thanks.
I started by settling on the ultimate bar snack, roasted & salted mixed nuts. Served in a three dish tasting platter, they were the perfect nibble to have on hand. Next, I utilized one of my bamboo cheese boards to compose a colorful antipasti. Arranged with smoked gouda, salami, prosciutto, capicola, and plain pita crackers, it added a classy touch with minimal effort. Finally, I had to serve something homemade, so I prepared a simple chips & dips platter. Presented in a divided server, I whipped up my pre-tested Sundried Tomato Hummus along with a new recipe for a Blue Cheese Spread (below). Paired with sesame pita chips, it was the exact CwC touch my menu needed!
With the food & drink in place and an eclectic playlist on rotation, our housewarming party was exactly how I hoped! Simple but with personal touches, our friends had a great time and we did, too. And while our guests graciously gifted us with enough booze to last through 2013, I can proudly say that at the end of the night there was no leftover food to be found 🙂
Blue Cheese & Candied Walnut Spread
- 8 oz Low-Fat Cream Cheese
- 6 oz Blue Cheese
- 1/4 cup Skim Milk
- 3/4 cup Candied Walnuts
- Allow cream cheese and blue cheese to soften, ~10minutes.
- In food processor, use sharp blade to chop walnuts, then set aside.
- When softened, use food processor’s dough blade to blend cream cheese, blue cheese, and milk. When a whipped texture is achieved, remove and place in medium sized bowl. Mix in walnuts, stirring thoroughly. Cover with saran wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for 1 -6 hours.
- Once ready to plate, allow to settle for 5 minutes, then pair with crackers and serve.
>> For a stronger blue cheese flavor, use 8oz.