Red Carpet Ready Cocktails posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Food and Beverage, Recipes

With only one day til The Academy Awards, we’ve compiled a list of a couple of our favorite Oscar’s inspired cocktails that are both easy to make and extra delicious!

The Moët Golden Glamour (created in 2010 for the Academy Awards as Moët & Chandon is the “exclusive champagne” for the parties). This Celeb-worthy champagne cocktail  can quickly become a favorite for any occasion, but it is very elegant and fitting for an Oscar viewing party. The mix is really pleasant and the flavor combination of passion fruit and vanilla is one that will please any palate.

 Moet Golden Glamour

golden_glamour

Ingredients:
4 oz Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne
1/4 oz
 Navan liqueur
1 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Juice

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a champagne coupe.
Top with fresh sprig of
 mint for garnish.

 

Red Carpet

This cocktail is only around 158 calories per serving – to ensure that you look fab on the red carpet!

Red-Carpet-Voli

Ingredients:
2 oz Raspberry Cocoa
1 oz POM
1/4 Lemon Juice
½ Packet Sweetener
2 Blackberries
2 Raspberries

Method:
Shake all ingredients and strain. Garnish with berries.

As always, please drink responsibly and be sure to provide your guests with non-alcoholic choices as well.

Have other fab cocktail recipes you’d like to share? Leave us a comment!

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The Oscars: Black Tie Affair Anywhere! posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, Uncategorized

There are many awards shows today but none compare to The Academy Awards with all their glitz, glamour and of course, gold! From decadently dressed stars to sentimental speeches, the Oscars are a favorite among movie buffs and fashionistas alike. This year, don’t just watch this 85 year old tradition alone in your PJ’s-have a glamourous black tie party with your friends instead!

It’s All in the Invite

Setting the mood for any party starts with the invitation. Show your guests what to expect by incorporating your color theme and any specifics like what to wear or bring. Get them excited with your choice of words and attention to detail.

MFC-Solid-Gold-CompositeDress To Impress

Encourage your guests to dress for the occasion! That means suits for the guys and cocktail dresses or evening gowns for the ladies! State in your invitation that you will be giving a “Best Dressed” award to get the excitement going and allow your guests to vote. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?

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Red Carpet Ready

Whether you live in a million dollar mansion or a quaint little condo, welcome your guests in Hollywood style by having a red carpet at your front door! These can be rented from party supply stores or can of course be purchased if you plan to make your Oscar parties a tradition. If you REALLY want to go all out, hire a professional photographer and have them snap pictures of your guests as they arrive like the paparazzi. This will instantly set the mood and have your friends feeling like they are the true stars of the evening!

And the Winners Are…Red and Gold!

Continue the theme of your invitations throughout the party by adding decorative touches of red and gold everywhere. This color combo is very Hollywood and will instantly transform your home from homely to glamorous. Use red roses for centerpieces and gold place settings and napkins to tie it all together. When paired with inexpensive sparkly fabric and your best china and crystal, the glitzy atmosphere will be sure to impress!

Oscar-Party-Decor-

Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

Now that you’ve wowed your guests with gorgeous invites, decorations and a red carpet, keep the surprises coming with the perfect treats and drinks. Since you want the focus of your Oscars soiree to be on the Oscars themselves, keep your cocktail and drink menu simple with decadent finger foods and a signature drink. And if you really want tokeep the theme going, name the drinks you serve after the evening’s nominees. After all, who wouldn’t want a tall glass of Bradley Cooper? 😉

Here’s one of our favorites that’s both simple to make and gold in color to blend perfectly with the rest of the decor!

brandy-cocktail-ck-1853933-l (1)

Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cups pear juice
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 10 lemon rind twists

Preparation

  1. 1. Combine 1/4 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add ginger. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain sugar mixture through a fine sieve. Discard solids. Chill sugar mixture 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  2. 2. Fill a large martini shaker half full with ice. Add sugar mixture, juice, and cognac; shake until chilled. Strain 1/2 cup mixture into each of 10 martini glasses. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon twist.
Have other party ideas you’d like to share? Feel free to leave us a comment!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

 

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Serve with Love: Valentine’s Day Cake Recipe {In loving Memory of Heidi Peterson Brown} posted in: Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Recipes

My friend Heidi Peterson Brown sent this post to me for one of her favorite holidays. She was always sharing her heart…her love, of  life, for family and friends, and of food with others. Anyone who had the good fortune of knowing Heidi knows that among her many admirable qualities and talents, she truly had a servant’s heart, serving God and everyone she encountered with love.  So today, this post is shared in memory of a beautiful soul who truly knew how to love.

Valentine’s Day gives us so many opportunities to love! It is the only day set aside in the year for us to show those who are special to us how much we care. What better way to show someone you love them than showing them your heart?

We found a wonderful recipe for a strawberry heart cake. It is beautiful and oh so delicious!. Whip it up and set the table with red dishes and pink napkins. Use the cake as your center piece.  It will make a beautiful dinner event that will not be soon forgotten.

And neither will you dear friend. Love you to the moon and back.

Strawberry Heart Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
1 package white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry gelatin
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 package (10 pounces) frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
½ cup cold water
1/2 cup butter, softened
5 to 51/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Red hot candies, optional

Directions:
In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, gelatin and flour. Beat in oil and eggs. Drain strawberries reserving ½ cup syrup for frosting. Add berries and water to batter; mix well. Divide batter between two waxed paper lined 8 in baking pans, one square and one round. Bake with love at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes (square) and 35-40 minutes (round) or until cake tests done.

Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. In a small mixing bowl combine butter and reserved syrup. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Place square diagonally on a 20 inch board. Cut round cake in half. Frost cut sides; place frosted sides against the top two sides of square cake, forming a heart. Frost sides and top of cake.  Decorate with red hots if desired. Serve with love.

Yeild: 12-16 servings



XOXO,

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Happy National Brownie Day! posted in: Entertainment, Food and Beverage

‘Tis the season for family get together’s, office holiday parties and Christmas festivities with friends!  If you are looking for a great holiday treat to make any party merry and bright, you are in the right place – we have listed 3 brownie recipe’s from three of the most well known chef’s below!  You and your party guests will fall in love with these brownies!

Paula Deen’s Decadent Brownies

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute (recommended: Egg Beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon vanialla extract
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a 2-quart bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and stir to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.  While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and sugar and stir with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows; they will soften but not melt completely. Spread the frosting over the warm brownies. The frosting will set up when the brownies are completely cooled. When cool, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and store in the refrigerator in a plastic container with a snap-on lid.

Julia Childs’ Brownies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Sift the flour and salt together and set aside.  Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently and keeping a watchful eye on the pot to make certain the chocolate doesn?t scorch (Alternatively, you can melt the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over, not touching, simmering water.) Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for half a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

Put the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs into a bowl and mix or whisk by hand just to combine. Little by little, pour half of the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don?t set from the heat. Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer and whip the remaining sugar and eggs until they are thick, pale, and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Using the rubber spatula, delicately fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture.  When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients. Pour and scrape the batter in to an unbuttered 9-inch square pan.  Bake the brownies for 25-28 minutes, during which time they will rise a little and the top will turn dark and dry.  Cut into the center at about the 23-minute mark to see how the brownies are progressing.

Rachael Ray’s Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 9-inch x 9-inch pan with foil. Grease the foil with butter.
Melt the chocolate and butter and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is a uniform consistency (you can use a double boiler, but I just put a small bowl in the microwave and stir and check every minute or so to make sure it doesn’t burn). In a separate medium size bowl, beat the egg and sugar until it’s a light yellow color and creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and stir. Add the vanilla, flour and salt, mix until combined and pour into the pan.

Bake at the 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean. I start checking at 18 minutes – do not overcook.  You can jazz the brownies up with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you’d like, but they are equally delicious straight up.


We’d love to know which brownie recipe looks/sounds most delicious to you!  Leave us a comment below!  And if you have a brownie recipe you want to share with us, we’d love that too!

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T’s Favorite Things 2012 posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Fashion, Food and Beverage, Great Products, Health & Beauty, Travel, Trends

The Christmas holidays are just around the corner! You may be wondering what unique gifts are out there that would be great for gift giving this year! At Tanja & Co, we are here to help! After researching (shopping!) and reviewing, we’ve selected our favorite gifts to give (and receive) this year!

So Chill


We absolutely adore these Skybar Wine Chill Drops! They allow you to cool your wine one glass at a time without waiting for the entire bottle to chill in the refrigerator! You simply remove the Chill Drop from your freezer, place one in your glass and pour!

$49.50 | Frontgate

Energize


As an event planner, I’m on the road – a lot! I LOVE this Smart Charger – if you have one, you’ll never be out of power again when you’re away from home or during an emergency! This would make a great gift for your friends and family who are always on the go – buy one for them, and one for you!

$29.50 | Frontgate

In the Bag

An everyday carryall that truly fits all of your essentials, the Michelle Tote, in metallic pebbled leather, is stylish and functional. Not only is it beautiful, but it has enough space for magazines, gym clothes or a spare pair of shoes, which make it ideal for work or weekend!

$395 | ToryBurch


Shake it Up!

Relaxed, soothed muscles and soft skin are only a soak away! European Dead Sea Salts, Epsom Salt, coconut oil and sweet fragrance combine to leave you relaxed, detoxified and smelling sweet. It only takes a few shakes of these salts to turn bath time into a sweet escape. Choose Dreamsicle, Lime Cooler, or festive White Chocolate Peppermint flavor. Each 8oz. shake serves 2-3 luxurious and beautifying baths.

$13 | Feeling Smitten

Chow Down

For those on your gift-giving list who have furry children, these Harry Barker Toile Food Bowls are sure to make a great choice! They are stylish and durable and pair beautifully with the rest of the Toile Food Storage Collection.

$24 & up | Harry Barker

Just in Case

Design a custom case for your beau of bff using your own photos, colors and graphics. Dress electronics in your personal style, or mask it in your favorite mantra.

Start at $40 http://custom.case-mate.com

Stacked

These ovenproof, stackable, porcelain dishes open all kinds of new possibilities in the kitchen.  As a girl on the go, I truly appreciate the time-saving design – store, cook and serve all in one dish! Less time, Less mess. But the true genius of these pieces is that you can cook several courses at once! Christian Bjørn’s brilliant design allows oven heat to flow freely in all dishes. These chic pieces are workhorses and a must have in one’s kitchen arsenal.

$99 and up | allmodern

Crossed Up

Every girl on the go needs a cross-body bag. Now I love my satchels and totes, but there are times when I need my hands and arms free or my chosen ensemble for the evening calls for a smaller clutch. The cross-body bag is versatile, great for keeping essentials at your fingertips when shopping or at the airport and can double as a clutch for an evening out on the town.

$348 | Saks

Let’s Play Ball

Here’s a toy you can feel extra jolly about buying for your wee tot. Inspire your budding artist or architect with the playable ART Ball,  a set of  interconnected wooden balls joined by specially designed connectors allowing it to be easily manipulated into an endless number of patterns and creative configurations.

From $29.95 | beyond123

Drop It Like It’s Haute

These statement earrings are sure to become a favorite in your BFF’s jewelry box. The embellished drop design features a brass flower and crystal tear drop  suspended from a twinkling, emerald-cut glass stone in a warm amber tone – oh so elegant. The perfect accent for an evening look or as an unexpected accessory to glam up your daytime dress.

$350| ToryBurch

Color Me Happy

A dazzling set that features 16 mini nail colors plus a full-size jewel top coat. This polish set will get you ready  for any occasion with a mix of Sephora by OPI’s bestsellers, trend shades, and basics. It’s an ideal gift or little personal treat for yourself.

$49.50 | Sephora

Heavy Metal (heavy on style that is)

Handspun from aluminum and glazed to obtain the depth and multi-color of dupoini silk. These piece would work great in any number of places in the home.

$100-200 | Beyond Blue Interiors

Brush Up

Apply your makeup with finesse using this pristine, limited edition brush set dipped in a rich, gold finish.These innovative brushes were designed by French designer, Phillipe De Mao, and feature elongated, tapered handles displayed in the included base. Bonus, these will look glamorous on your vanity.

If this gift is for a fashionable girl on the go, I also love the deco dazzle set which comes with a chic black and gold clutch.

$68 | Sephora

Scentillating

One of my longtime personal favorites, Givenchy’s Hot Couture. Like runway fashion, this fragrance is glamorous yet sophisticated. Through sensuality and warmth, Hot Couture creates an elegance that can only be equated with couture fashion. Sweet raspberry nectar, magnolia, and ambered vetiver combine to bewitch us with vibrant, confident, and passionate femininity.

$67 | Ulta

Unleash L’Artiste

Do you believe in magic? Well, if you didn’t  – you will now.  Little artists can create like Picasso – minus the mess!  The Magic Light Paint Palette lights up to match the color of whatever paint you use, but only shows up on the special magic paper. Dip the brush in the color palette, it lights up in the selected color, and “paint” away.

$19.99 | Crayola

All Tied Up


This smart, silk bowtie crisply piped in white, gives it serious graphic appeal. Can we say dapper?

$162 | ahalife

Haute Cocoa

Jacques Torres makes this haute cocoa with real chocolate – never cocoa powder. The result is a thick, rich, creamy hot chocolate bursting with flavor. This combo includes both the Classic and Wicked mixes  – perfect to suit both your naughty and nice moments.

$36 | JacquesTorres

iStylin’

Use this stylus just as you would a real pen within the Studio Basic app—take notes, make maps, draw diagrams—and make your iPad even more indispensible.

$159 | ahalife

Put a Ring on It

From catwalk to sidewalk, this three-stone cocktail ring really rocks! Shimmering stones and a Dorado striped crystal provide the perfect amount of bling to go with just about everything.

$88 | henribendel

Bring it to the Surface

For the techies in your life, you’ll definitely want to consider checking out surface, the latest from Microsoft.  Not only does it have some really great features (including a kickstand!) but it has an amazing design, too!

Connect for Pricing | Microsoft

Pip is Hip

Instead of giving someone the traditional popcorn in a tin, give them something a bit different, such as this Pipcorn Crate!  We love the design of it, and it comes backed with  four family size bags of limited edition holiday flavors!

$88 | Pip Snacks

Touchy Feely

Cult British nail brand Ciaté® brings decadent luxury to your fingertips with its latest in nail art innovation – The Velvet Manicure.  This chic mani is created in a two-step innovative kit. Featuring luxurious crushed velvet, this kit was inspired by excessive layering of exuberant textures, which was featured in fashion shows around the globe. The result? A truly unique, sophisticated, strokeable finish.

$19 | Nordstrom

Down to Business

Ensure that your friends and fam are set to make their best impression. Be armed with plenty of business cards on your next networking venture with this Leather Card Case. The opportunity for a great first impression was never classier!

$35 | Leatherology

Bag It Up!

Make sure your jet set friends travel in style with these  adorable travel essentials. It’s the things that we often do not buy for ourselves that we wonder how we ever traveled without.

$38 | hendribendel

Chic Tieks

Who doesn’t love a good, comfy pair of shoes that are also incredibly stylish? Tieks are designer flats you can fit in your purse and wear all day, every day!  Stylish.  Comfortable.  They are available in a full array of styles and colors. LOVE!

$100 | tikes

Cheers!


Lolita has the most adorable hand-painted stemware with a special recipe on the bottom of each glass!  We love the holiday glasses they have featured!

$24 | Lolita

This Little Piggy went to Business School

Personal finance education needs to start young and this fun piggy bank makes that easy!  The Money Savvy Pig piggy bank has four chambers, one for each of the four money management choices a child should be taught from the time they are small –  SAVE, SPEND, DONATE, and INVEST.

$16.99 | Money Savvy Generation

Let’s Make-Up

We love this perfect petit palette for a chic, on-trend look for your holiday engagements – the Guerlain Liu Eye & Lip Calligraphy Palette!!  This is definitely a gift you’ll want to buy two of – one for a friend, and one for you!

$79 | Nordstrom

In Your Face


Love. Love. Love these! Custom one-of-kind bangles. The contours on these chic bracelets are hand-carved  from a photograph you provide to reflect the unique contours of your face  or the face of your love or BFF. These bold bangles are available in a number of haute hues and beg to be worn by the armful!

$350 | Cameo By RUX

Equipped

Snuggly-chic is what your friends and fam will  be when equipped with one of these sumptuous sweaters. Equipment’s line of  cozy cashmere sweater styles are available in an array of happy hues and classic neutrals.

$268+ | Equipment

Make a ‘State’ment

Care for a Florida-shaped flapjack or Texas-sized biscuit? This cast iron art is a functional example of design concept meeting utility. Cast iron skillets shaped like a different state from the Lower 48 (sorry, Hawaii and Alaska). Each skillet also comes with a custom made magnetic hanger that will allow you to display your pans on the wall. Dedicated foodies can create different geographical compositions using the artful pans.

$450+ | Felion Studios

If you have any other great gift ideas, please leave a comment and share with everyone as many of us still have shopping to do.  Also, be sure to check out our favorite things from 2011.  We’d love to know what gifts you plan to give (and would like to receive) this year!

Happy Holidays!

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Celebrating Election Day posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Holiday Decorating

Today is Election Day here in the USA!  At Tanja & Co, we are excited to celebrate our right to vote!  We’ve put together some really great ideas for celebrating election day and wanted to share them with you!

Let Freedrom Ring!

When you think of America, you probably think of Red, White and Blue!  So, be sure to decorate for Election Day with these festive colors!  If your political party has a mascot (think elephants or donkeys), find cute ways to incorporate these into your décor!  And, be sure to fly your American Flag high!

Election Day Treats

Don't Bite My Head Off!

If having guests over to watch the election results come in, serve simple Americana foods!  We love the idea of adding a festive touch with some adorable cake pops from Candy’s Cake Pop’s (pictured above)!  We also have pinned some really cute patriotic treats on our Election Day Pinterest Board!

Celebratory Cocktails

Let's Celebrate!

As adults, we all have the right to vote….and the right to enjoy a nice cocktail too!  At your Election Party, why not serve some delicious festive cocktails?  We’ve pinned some really great recipes for Election Day cocktails here!

All In Favor of Music Say ‘I’!

If your atmosphere and guests are open to music (not advisable for those hosting die-hard information hounds), we suggest fun tunes similar to Party in the USA!  Other great songs would be the National Anthem and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”.  If music isn’t right for your crowd, be sure to tune TVs to your election coverage of choice in every room guests will be in during the evening – because this audience typically doesn’t like to miss one minute of commentary and poll updates.

Regardless of any party affiliation, we can all celebrate this wonderful country we live in, and send out our best wishes for a positive and prosperous future!

Happy Voting!

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Happy National Candy Corn Day! posted in: Food and Beverage, Holiday Decorating, Recipes

Did you know that October 30th is National Candy Corn Day?  At Tanja & Co, you know we love celebrating unique holidays and are really excited to celebrate this one!  Yesterday on Facebook we posted about doing a Candy Corn manicure in honor of this fun holiday!  Check it out here in case you missed it!

Today, we wanted to offer a few more ideas on things you can do to celebrate National Candy Corn Day!  See below for 3 ideas for celebrating all things Candy Corn!

Have a Candy Corn Cocktail!

We love this recipe for a Candy Corn Cocktail!  If you are a fan of pineapple, you will want to be sure to check it out!

Decorate with Candy Corn!


On Pinterest, we’ve posted some really cute Candy Corn Candle displays!  Check them out – they are all so cute and would make great decorations for both Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating!

Take a Bite of Candy Corn Cake!


What’s a party without a little cake?  We’ve pinned some adorable Candy Corn Cakes here.  Which cake looks most delicious to you?

We’d love to know how you plan to celebrate National Candy Corn day!  Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook page!

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Go for the Gold with this Tasty Cocktail! posted in: Events, Food and Beverage

If you’re hosting an Olympic Viewing Party, why not serve your guests tasty Go for the Gold Tea. Below is the recipe for this summer cocktail that is sure to be a big hit with your party guests:

Go for The Gold Tea

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 tablespoons lemon-lime carbonated beverage

1 tablespoon light rum

1 tablespoon tequila

1 tablespoon vodka

1 tablespoon gin

3 drops Original Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and pour into a 12-ounce highball glass filled with ice; stir. If desired, garnish glass with a wedge of pineapple or lime. Serves 1.

We plan to try this at our own Olympic Viewing Party!  For more great Olympic Viewing Party Ideas, be sure to check out our blog posted recently as well as check out ideas we’ve been sharing on Facebook!

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Menu Suggestions for Your Olympic Viewing Party posted in: Food and Beverage

Hosting an Olympic Viewing Party?  You’ll want to be sure to serve a well known London staple, Fish ‘n Chips!  We LOVE this recipe and plan on trying this at our own Olympic Viewing Party:

Better Recipes Fish ‘n Chips

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 cups beer

2-1/2 – 3 pounds cod, cut into individual pieces about 3-by-5 inches

Oil for frying fish

Malt vinegar, available for guests to add to taste.

French Fries, prepared – for the “Chips”

Directions:

1.  Heat about 2 inches of cooking oil in a skillet or pan, or electric skillet to 375 degrees.

2.  In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Gradually stir in the beer and stir until smooth.  Dip fish pieces into the batter, drain briefly, then put into the hot fat, cooking only what will fit into the pan, not touching each other.  Cook for about 4 minutes, turning once, after each side is golden brown and crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm in the oven until all are cooked.

3.  Serve prepared fish with hot French fries and sprinkle with malt vinegar.  It’s fun to serve the British way, placed in a cone of newspaper.

Serves 4-6.

And because you’ll need something to sip on too, be sure to fix your guests a delicious cocktail, such as The Brambleberry!  For a great recipe on this low calorie cocktail, click here!

We’d love to know what you plan on serving at your Olympic Viewing Party!  Share with us in a comment below!

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Ideas for Hosting an Olympic Viewing Party! posted in: Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage, How Tos

The heat is on, the torch has been passed and the streets of London are filling up – the 2012 Summer Olympics are officially here!  If you won’t be making the jaunt across the pond to London to view the games up close and personal, the next best thing is to host a party.  Inspired by the games, we’ve put together a viewing party worthy of a gold medal. 

Invitations

To get started, you’ll want to send out invitations to your party.  Create invitations that have a traditional, non-location vibe such as the Olympic Rings, or opt for site specific stationery featuring one of London’s many touristy attractions!

There are some really festive, fun and practically done printables available online – enter your event specific deets, print and send. These printable invites feature popular host sites such as the London Towers, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. Click here to see our faves designed by Paper Perfection.

Need ideas for a cover greeting?  How about “Let the Games Begin”, “Join the Dream Team” or “You’re Invited to the Official Party of the 2012 Summer Olympics!”.  Get creative and have fun with it!

OK, let’s talk experience….

Sight

Arena

If you prefer hosting away from your home, sports bars and lounges offer a great atmosphere – particularly because they typically have several teles (what they call TVs across the pond) that will be broadcasting the Olympics. If you opt to host at home, consider the great outdoors!  If you have a swimming pool, that’s even better!  Consider hosting a pool party while watching the swim competitions. Either way, be sure to setup a tele or two outside. This way guests can enjoy the games…even while lounging on a float.

You’ll want to be sure to show your pride for Team U.S.A. (or your respective country) in official colours. Deck out your venue in red, white, and blue, of course! Hang a U.S. flag as a focal point in the space, affix colored hula hoops together to create the Olympic Rings, and setup a tiki torch to represent the Olympic Torch. You may also opt to represent all competing nations by displaying multiple country flags.  Another idea would be to purchase an international flag banner that you could use to accent the bar or food display.

Decoration Tip: Making your own Olympic Rings is easy.  Buy a red, yellow, green, blue, and black hoola hoop, lay the rings on the ground and arrange in the layout of the logo, tape them together using clear tape, display, and let the games begin!

Sports equipment fitting to the summer games is also great for décor.  However, the Olympics aren’t only about sports competitions. The games are also about celebrating different cultures, so keep this in mind when considering décor. Use the idea of celebrating other cultures by incorporate miniature flags from the different countries represented in the games. Another idea would be to create different centerpieces inspired by a various countries. For example, use Matryoshka Dolla (traditional nesting dolls) to represent Russia, a small branch tree with miniature Chinese paper lanterns for China or a USA flag soccer ball on a stand for team USA.

Since the Olympics are being held in London this year and most of us can’t make it across the pond to watch the games in person, consider bringing Londontown stateside! Deck your space out with large decals of the Tower of London, Big Ben, double-decker buses, and red telephone booths on your walls. Don’t forget to put out small pails of mini flags of various countries so guests can cheer for their favorite team!

Taste

Food and Drink

When many people think of eating in London, pub grub is the first thing that comes to mind – which translates perfectly for this type of event. Among the most popular item, Fish & Chips. Here’s a sample menu to consider for your Olympic Viewing Party:

Fish ‘n Chips

Hot Hounds (sausages/dogs – we like to serve up minis for easy eats)

Crispy Potato Skins
Hummus of Olympic Proportions with assorted crisps and crudités

Olympic Rings or lollipops

Gold Medal Cookies

Pair the menu with themed cocktails.  A few libations that we recommend: Go For The Gold and The Olympic. For drinks that give a nod to the English, try the London Cocktail, The BrambleBerry, or a tea cocktail. We also recommend offering apple cider, ale, stout…and even a grog if it suits your fancy. And of course stock bottled water and soft drinks (or sports drinks for a sports-appropriate twist). Another fun idea: Offer Flaming shots at a specific point in the evening (we recommend this only for events staffed with a professional bartender).  For a list of flaming shots recipes, click here.

What to wear:

There are several great options for party attire. You can encourage guests to dress to suit the particular event you will be watching, costumed as though they are competing, such as a swimsuit for swimming, or running shorts and sneakers for the running races (you get the idea).  You can ask guests to come as their favorite athlete, to wear team colors, etc. For an extra special Team USA touch, you yourself (the host) can even dress in the official Team USA opening ceremony uniform by Ralph Lauren available at Bloomingdales!

Sound

Once you’ve put together your look and taste of the Olympics, now you need the sound for the finishing touch. You can put together your own soundtrack, or better yet, use the official playlist for the Olympics’ opening ceremony leaked (although officials won’t confirm its accuracy), and your ready to go.

To view the unofficial official playlist, click  here!

You’re now ready to compete in the best summer party Olympics!  And stay tuned! We’ll be sharing some of our fave recipes that we will be serving at our own viewing party.

Go Team!

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