Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dinner party idea - a 60s theme

I'm always on the search for new dinner party ideas because occasionally it's great to do something different. And when it's different, it usually becomes memorable.

Have you ever thought of hosting a themed dinner party? That is, rather just the regular dinner party you can base your night around an era, a colour, a type of food or even a country.

I’ll give you an example – you could host your dinner around a 60s theme.

When I think of the 60s I think of hippies, beads, rose-colored glasses, peace signs, psychedelic lights and lava lamps.. you get the drift?

"Boring" was not a word that you could use to describe the 60's – in fact the saying goes that “if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there"!

But if you have a 60s theme for your dinner party, “boring” is not a word that your guests will use about this idea and I guarantee they will remember this night! Be certain to have a camera to capture some shots or hand some disposable cameras to your guests as they arrive and send them some photos afterwards as a memento! Just to make it really memorable!

When planning your night consider your friends and who would love to be invited – you tend to know straight off which friends would be open to a bit of fun while it’s just as easy to identify the other friends who wouldn’t like it as much. Who do you know that loves to dress up?

You may like to get hold of some swirly colourful sixties designs to use as background on your invite or you could send an image on your email invitation – like an Andy Warhol work. Alternatively, you could buy some Campbell’s soup cans, place an elastic band around each and attach an invite to the cans. Imagine that sitting in your letterbox!

Consider using some 60s slang in your invitation. They used a different lingo then - words like “groovy”, “baby”, it’s a gas, blast, cool cat, choice, don’t sweat it, dude, fab, flower power, hang loose, hip, neat, come to my pad, wicked, etc. You could ask your guests to come “decked out” for the occasion. Dig the idea?

When people think of the sixties they often think of hippies but there was much more to the 60s - like Martin Luther King Junior’s "I have a dream" speech, JFK’s assassination, the Vietnam War, and the first man to walk the moon AND psychedelic music! There are so many images that come to mind that you could use as invite backgrounds, props around your dining room or placed on your dinner table! Imagine a lava lamp in the middle, colored light bulbs creating atmosphere, etc,

If you have access to a laminator, you could even print off some Pop Art images, laminate them and use them as your place mats.

I’d suggest playing some 60s music during the night like The Velvet Underground, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and The Who. I could go on and on.

Films of the era that you might like to have silently playing in the background as your guests mingle include – Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Fair Lady, The Pink Panther, Dr Strangelove, Easy Rider, Doctor Zhivago, The Graduate.

Recipes from around the 60s era include:

Appetizer – Prawn Cocktail, Salmon Mousse, Sausage/cheese balls, Artichoke dip, Buffalo wings,

Main – Fondue, Steak Dianne, Beef Wellington, Swedish meatballs, Chicken Kiev, Macaroni Cheese, Quiche Lorraine, Trifle, Chicken Maryland, Ratatouille, Chilli Con Carne

Dessert – Baked Alaska, chocolate fondue, banana split.

Recipes are readily available for free on the net so when you know what you'll be serving a Google search will get you some quick results..

This could really be a fab night for you and your guests. It really is worth the effort.

So, there you have it – the basics of hosting a 60s themed dinner party. Visit my blog for other dinner party ideas if you’re interested. http://www.dinnerpartyideas.blogspot.com

You could even give your guests a gift on the evening - their own pair of rose- colored glasses. They'll continue to see the world differently as they leave your house with their momento of the evening!

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dinner party idea - movie theme

If you love the movies, well maybe this could be the next dinner party idea you try.

You can go as laid back as you like with a dinner party - invite some guests over, hire out "Breakfast at Tiffanys" or another movie and make your own pizzas and popcorn!

Here's the film:

And here's the popcorn!:

Now all you need to do is order the pizza!

The Hostess with the Mostess

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Place card idea for your next dinner party

This dinner party idea is about a nice way to seat your guests so that there's no confusion about where people are meant to sit.

It's about place cards at where you'd like your guests to be seated around the dinner table.

I saw a nice way to do this recently in a magazine article. The suggestion was to buy tiny tastefully decorated boxes and to break up some lovely bites of quality chocolate or Lindt chocolate balls and place them within the box.

Then, hand write your guest's name on a small cardboard place card and have this visible from the box - sticking out of the box, stuck to the front or whatever you think looks the smartest.

Luxury chocolate gift

If you want to share your own ideas for creative place cards, feel free to let me know. This doesn't have to be used just for a formal dinner party, it's a nice touch to provide your guest with a small gift as they take their seats.

In the meantime, take a look at these place cards that will make a smashing impression on your guests. Hand-beveled gold edge for a unique look. Designed for your handwritten words (not computer printable). Pearl White Kid Finish®. 100% cotton paper.

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Saturday, October 20, 2007

World recipes for your next dinner party

I wanted to share this dinner party idea resource with you that I stumbled upon.

This excellent collection of free world recipes really helps when you're planning a dinner party theme based around a country or region in the world.

The website is called the World Hearth Circle of International Cookingtarget="_blank". When I first saw the name I thought it was World Health but it is in fact World Hearth.

The collection of recipes has been gathered by Laura Law and Storm Wilder. There are apparently over 3,000 recipes in the collection - not bad for us dinner party hosts/hostesses..

They say: "This international obsession began in about 1993, with our first version of MasterCook. Many of the recipes were gathered from cookbooks. In that case, the cookbook is names and if possible, linked to that book on amazon.com. This means the original recipe was gleaned from the source listed, but I can't promise I haven't changed it. That is the way I cook. I try it their way the first time then make adjustments. "

To find a recipe they suggest the easiest way is to browse by category but you can also search alphabetically.

I like what they say about ingredient searches too .. "you can search by ingredients. Say you have a bottle beer that's about to go bad and you want to find out what you could do with the beer before it goes bad. Well, simply enter 'beer' into the the Ingredients box on the top of every page and click Search. This will show you a list of all recipes, in any category, that contain the word 'beer'."

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The World's Largest Formal Underwater Dinner Party

I am always on the lookout for new dinner party ideas and this has to be one of the most unique I’ve ever heard – not something you’d probably attempt in your own swimming pool if you have one but interesting nonetheless.

500 guests attended “The World’s Largest Formal underwater Dinner Party” on September 22nd in a Guinness World record breaking attempt. Funds were being raised for six charities. A free three-course gourmet lunch was provided. Portions of course had to be small, with each course consisting of a single mouthful, coated in a protective layer of jelly.

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

In the meantime, you may want to check out the Unreal price on these wet suits - Tilos 3/2mm Titanium Fullsuit. The 3/2mm Titanium Chest Full Suit features: 3mm Body/2mm Sleeves & Legs Titanium Coated Neoprene, Adjustable Velcro Collar, Back Key Pocket, Flat-Stitched Throughout Suit, Back Y.K.K. #10 Metal Zipper Head, Prebent Coral Strip Rubber Knee Pads. This 3/2mm Titanium Chest suit is a great suit at a price you can afford. Be comfortable and look good at the same time.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Halloween Dinner Party Idea

This dinner party idea is to celebrate special occasions - like Halloween.. If you want to throw a dinner party in the next couple of weeks, you have plenty of time to prepare.

Here are some fabulous Halloween recipe ideas thanks to Razzle Dazzle Recipes!

Stay tuned for more ideas soon. In the meantime, check out this Scary Music CD - you may want this playing as your guests arrive.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Friday, October 12, 2007

Meet someone new at your dinner party

This dinner party idea comes from a member of the new Dinner Party Club, Elena Guest. To join the Club, just send me an email.

Elena likes to occasionally throw a dinner party where she invites her friends and asks each one to bring someone new - someone she's never met before.

Chances are, if your friends like someone enough to bring along, then it may be an opportunity to make new friends and to build networks.

Thanks Elena for sharing your dinner party idea!

Stay tuned for more ideas soon. In the meantime, check out these great wines
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The Hostess with the Mostess

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Dinner Party Must - tracking

As Featured On Ezine Articles

If you enjoy hosting dinner parties, chances are you do it on a fairly regular basis. You may have a range of friends that you invite repeatedly but there could be a long gap between reunions with of each of these guests. The usual drill is that you'll invite them, eventually they may invite you back and then it's your turn again.. It could be several months before your guests return to your house.

If you're like me, you may have had several dinner parties in between. If your memory is like mine, then this can pose a problem if you want to make sure you prepare a different menu for the night.

I want to share with you a great tip on how to make sure you don't serve the same meal to the same guests when you next invite them to dinner. It's sometimes hard to remember - especially if you haven't had the guests over for some time. My suggestion is that you keep track - keep records. Buy a dinner party notebook or create a spreadsheet and keep a track of the date, the friends you invite, what you served as hors de vours, what you served for each course and even the wine that you served with the meal.

This has helped me enormously. Over a period of time, I have served some of my favorite recipes that have proved to be a huge hit with my guests. Once I know they're a smash, I tends to repeat the recipe with another guest. In the past, I have had to try hard to remember whether I have already served the particular meal to my friends.

We have a number of people we invite for dinner so I really have had to think hard to remember what I served the last time my guests came. It may be six months or a year since I had the guests to dinner so I really do want to cook something unique for them.

That is, until I started keeping records. Not only do I now know the last time I invited a particular guest to dinner but I now also have a record of everything that was served on the night. So, of course I make it completely different. You can keep all sorts of records - like the foods a particular friend can't eat or doesn't like. This will really help you in the preparation when you invite the same guests back later.

Imagine a friend invited you to dinner and without you even having to remind them, they remembered that you can't eat seafood - they bring it up - not you. You think, "wow.. wasn't that lovely of you to remember that". These small touches make your guests feel important.. special - that you cared enough to remember. Little do they realize that you are actually so organized that you have kept track.

When I host a dinner party, the aim is to make my guests feel special.. pampered even and spoiled. A small tip like this can make all the difference. I love good food and good wine and I love to socialize. Dinner parties give me the opportunity to indulge both my passions. I love dinner parties so much that I host a blog which provides ideas for your next dinner party. They provide such a great way to catch up with the important people in your life. People love to be invited to dinner parties because they can enjoy an excellent event of great food and company and all it costs usually is a bottle of wine - and maybe a taxi fare home. But it's not about the money - it's just great to be spoiled by your hosts.

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

In the meantime, you might want to check out this record keeping book with numbered pages. List you guests at the index and then you can keep write page numbers next to their name on the table of contents page as you invite them to dinner.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A formal or informal dinner party?

A poll on my dinner party idea blog showed that almost 53% of participants preferred an informal dinner party over a formal dinner party - while 38% didn't mind whether it was formal or informal. Only 8% of those surveyed said they preferred a formal dinner party.

To me, that means informal is definitely the favorite..

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

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The Hostess with the Mostess

Monday, October 8, 2007

Repeat your dinner party idea

If you have a number of regulars you invite around for dinner consider this dinner party idea - repeat your menu.

OK, you serve a great three course meal and your guests are very impressed. Why not serve the very same meal to your next group of guests? If you've been experimenting with new recipes, the next time you prepare the meal will be easier and then again, easier after that. And quicker. You know what you've got to buy, you know how long each course takes and you'll have seen and tasted the end result.

This has worked well for me personally because I don't have to spend hours trying to come up with a sensational menu - I know my whole meal was great from the hors de vours to the dessert!

I always like trying new dinner party ideas and this helped during one of my peak dinner party periods!

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

In the meantime, you might want to check out this record keeping book with numbered pages. List you guests at the index and then you can keep write page numbers next to their name as you invite them to dinner.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Holiday Dinner Party Ideas

I like this guy's holiday dinner party idea - especially if you're having a number of people over for dinner. He suggests serving an appetizer and dessert .. skip the main. Great.

What I like about sharing dinner party ideas is that while the idea you are reading or seeing right now might not cut it for you, it may spark off another idea for you .. a bit like brainstorming.

Stay tuned for more dinner party news soon.

In the meantime, check out the Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook:

The Hostess with the Mostess

Friday, October 5, 2007

Celebrity Chef Dinner Party Idea

Thank you to one of our readers, Jacq Love, who has sent me the following dinner party idea:

"Using a book from a celebrity chef (eg Kylie Kwong), you choose a
series of recipes or they may have a chapter with dinner party

If you were hosting the party you could either do it all
yourself OR you could get each couple to bring the ingredients for
1-2 dishes and then cook them in turns.

The surroundings could easily be matched with the type of chef eg Kylie Kwong's Chinese Banquet could be decorated with paper lanterns and other Chinese features."

Thanks again Jacq for your interesting dinner party idea!

Here is one of Kylie's cook cooks:

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

The Hostess with the Mostess

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why you should share your best dinner party idea

If you are looking at this right now, chances are you love a great dinner party and what's more, you've got your own interesting dinner party ideas.

I'm always astounded when I see where in the world my visitors come from - you come from everywhere.. today I had visitors from Mozambique to Milan to Malaysia to Melbourne to Memphis! And that's just the places that begin with M..

No matter where we live we have something in common. We love good food in good company thanks to dinner parties.

I've been trying to give some of my own dinner party idea but if you are like me, you are also happy to share your ideas. Why not help someone else in the world astound their friends by doing something amazing that they may have never thought of and vice versa.

Rather than just leave a comment, I want to add your idea to a whole page post. I will include your name and where you live along with your dinner party idea. When the Google spiders have done the rounds, just search your name in Google and your name will be in lights.. well, maybe not lights but you'll get the credit.

I see from the searches people perform that Italian dinner party ideas are really sought after. Do you have one to share or any other dinner party ideas that others may enjoy hosting?

Please send me any of your ideas to

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas in the meantime.

In the meantime, have you seen these table conversation starters?

The Hostess with the Mostess

Monday, October 1, 2007

How to throw the best dinner party ever!

As Featured On Ezine Articles

It's not hard to throw a great dinner party. It doesn't even have to be time consuming nor do you need to slave over the stove for hours. But when you do throw a great dinner party not only do your guests leave feeling on a high but you feel great about yourself - you feel a sense of achievement!

The main secret to throwing a great dinner party instead of just the regular variety is to put thought into your dinner party and to be well prepared.

Who will you invite? Will all the guests get along? Where is the best place to host the dinner - at your house in your dining room? In your back garden? Or even in your front garden? The ideas are endless and again, you have to be prepared. Like if you have the party outdoors then consider that the weather might become a nightmare.

When you invite people, check to see what foods they don't like or can't tolerate.

Ask with enough notice so that you have plenty of time to prepare your menu. Make sure you have the plates, cutlery and glasses you need - it's nice if they match but then to have each person using something different also adds intrigue.

Consider a theme that you might use - food from a particular country, a colour or even a type of food - like a mango dinner party. You have lots of room to be creative.

Think about whether you can set the atmosphere - candles, music, colour, cushions, anything that fits with your theme and creates a great environment.

When people arrive will you offer them a cocktail or a pre-dinner drink of some sort? Will you have a plate of finger food that people can nibble on till the food is served.

To throw a three course dinner party really sends the message that you have gone to a lot of trouble. Consider a menu that can be prepared days ahead and do a little each day if you don't want to spend all day cooking. Or you know what? You can even cheat - pre buy an entree and/or dessert and take some pressure off.

Buy wine to match the food. Yes, people will usually bring a bottle but be prepared in case the bring a red and you are eating white meat or they've brought a white wine and you've cooked red meat. You can ask the liquor supplier for advice about the type of grape that will go with the particular dish you are making. And serving a dessert wine with your dessert or cheese platter always impresses.

Make sure there is plenty of still or sparkling water so people can be sensible with their drinking - especially if someone has driven.

Stay tuned for more dinner party ideas soon.

In the meantime, you might want to check out this coffee - at the end of the evening it's great to offer people decaffeinated so they don't stay awake all night:

The Hostess with the Mostess