New Years Resolution: Entertain More

If you’re riding high thinking about the holiday parties you threw this past holiday season (like we are), don’t fear the non-party crash: there’s always a reason to entertain guests at your home!

 

Ice Skating Party

Embrace the Michigan winter and gather your friends and family together for a trip to the ice rink (and there are many to choose from in the area: Yost Ice Arena, Veterans Memorial Ice Arena, Ann Arbor Ice Cube). Once you’re all red faced and solid on your skates, return home for a fun seasonal spread. Some food ideas:

  • Hot Chocolate Buffet-marshmallows, flavored whip cream, flavored spirits (such as Baileys or Grand Mariner), edible stirring sticks, and cinnamon
  • Sugar cookies-in the shape of mittens and ice skates
  • Fresh Popped Flavored Popcorn-cinnamon cayenne with roasted almonds, garlic chive butter, salted caramel with chocolate bits

What is great about this party is it involves a physical aspect that not only gets people on their feet during a season when most stay dormant, but it also serves as a team building tool for your guests. Once you fall down with someone, you’re bonded for life!

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration

Many people head out for a two person reservation at a crowded local restaurant for this annual holiday of love. Why not change it up and invite your friends–couples and single people alike–to celebrate the love in your home.

  • How Well Do They Know Each Other Games-Similar to the Newlywed game, pair couples and friends together for a rousing game to see who really knows eachother inside and out
  • Create Flowers-Roses are beautiful, but don’t last forever. Dedicate a table for DIY flower projects (tutorials for flowers from: cup cake papers, tissue paper, paper towel and paper napkin, among the 1000s you can find on pinterest)
  • Chocolate Tasting-Set up a buffet table of chocolates with different percentages of cocoa (or chocolate liquor), and differing countries of origin. Compare and contrast tastes similar to a wine tasting. Go above and beyond for your guests and set out fun information sheets about chocolate (for example: did you know white chocolate isn’t technically considered chocolate since it contains no coca solids)

 

Pot Luck Gathering

With all the food blogs and easy recipe access we have, everyone can cook like a professional! Let everyone flex their creative muscle in the kitchen, and bring the tasty results to your party. If you have a friend who doesn’t get along with the kitchen, they can always bring the wine! A few different themes you can build off of for your culinary guests:

  • Around The World-let your guests choose a specific country, and have them cook a dish that encompasses the cuisine. By the end of the night you’ll feel jetlagged
  • By the Region-Select one country (Japan, Italy, France, etc) and assign each guest a specific region to influence their dish
  • Iron Chef Style-Pick one ingredient, and make sure everyone creates a dish that involves or highlights it. Whatever it is, make sure it can be used for everything from soups to desserts
  • Think Local-Task guests with sourcing the majority of their ingredients from local farmers and sources. The dish that traveled the least amount of distance wins!
  • Beer Dinner-Select a different microbrew (preferably from Michigan) for each guest and have them create a dish to pair. During the event itself, set out the beers with small tasting glasses (or even shot glasses) along with the dishes for a strolling style tasting.

 

Weather Juxtoposition

Earlier we mentioned embracing the weather with an ice skating party. Well here we’re telling you the opposite: celebrate like it’s 6 months from now! in the middle of the season, anyone could take a break from their surroundings (especially during a 2 week span of 90+ degrees in August!)

  • Christmas in July-Break out the holiday lights and the candy canes! Create your guest list, and pair up secret Santas. Can’t find a tree? Decorate one in your yard.
  • Luau in February-Mix up some tasty and light cocktails that utilize island flavors such as coconut, rum, pineapple, and mint. Grab grass skirts for everyone and play cool island tunes all night long.
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