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Posts Tagged ‘Winter Party’

snowman

Wanting to get together with friends and family in a fun, relaxed way? Here are a few winter party theme ideas:

* Snowman Party – The fun can snowball in a hurry with a creative theme. Use a simple menu like Snowman’s Soup (Potato Soup), Snowman Rolls (shape biscuits or rolls into a snowman shape). Cut your favorite white cheese with a small snowman cookie cutter, and place on top of  nice green salad for Snowman  Salad. Finish the meal with a snowman shaped dessert, easily made by stacking varying sizes of cupcakes, covering in white frosting and finishing with coconut or by dipping Nutter Butter Cookies in melted white chocolate and adding a face and a hat with frosting. Use snowman decorations left over from the holidays to highlight the theme. You can even make an easy centerpiece out of white styrofoam balls (available at craft stores) placed in a pretty glass bowl.

* Snowflake Party – Get the kids in on the decorating for this party. Have them cut as many snowflake as they can and hang them all around your serving and gathering area. Chiffon, organza or even tulle can be a great and affordable way to carry out the theme, especially when you combine white and icy blue. Layer white lights under the chiffon for a warm glow. For this party you could make snowflake soup (tomato soup with a sour cream snowflake floating in each bowl – fill a sandwich bag, clip a corner and pipe it on!) and snowflake sandwiches (grilled cheese sandwiches made by alternating a dark bread like rye with a lighter bread like sourdough or white. Cut out snowflakes from each then put the cut out of one bread into the cut out area of the other.)  Serve Candy Cane punch (1 liter cranberry or strawberry juice, 2 liters of lemon-lime soda, 2 quarts peppermint ice cream. Just before serving, put chilled  juice in punch bowl, scoop in ice cream, top with chilled soda. Garnish the bowl with mini candy canes) with snowflake sugar cookies for dessert.

* Skating or sledding party – use mufflers and mittens for your decorations. Use mitten shaped invitations to spread the word. Serve hot cider and hot chocolate (if you are serving hot chocolate make sure you have fun add ins read like marshmallows, crushed peppermint, mini chocolate chips and long peppermint sticks to stir with), snack mixes, and something simple like  mac and cheese with warm bread and salad. Make ice skate brownies for dessert. Cut a small skate shape our of cardboard for a template then cut out brownies, flipping the template over for half so the skates or heading different directions. Frost with white icing, make laces from red icing and the skate heel from a touch of chocolate frosting. Add a mini candy cane on the bottom for the skate blade.

* Winter Animals  – this theme works well and is most fun for younger children. Using the theme of animals that make you think of winter, it can be a really fun meal for little ones. Penguins can be made from hand-boiled eggs with olive heads and arms (use a whole black olive for the head and the tip of a mini carrot for his beak. Cut an olive into quarters lengthwise for arms and use tips of mini carrots for the feet. Toothpicks will anchor on the head and limbs. Be sure someone removes the toothpicks for younger ones before eating!). How about polar bear sandwiches? Just cut bread slices in the shape of a polar bear. You could do peanut butter, grilled cheese, meat, whatever you want. Serve milk as “artic punch” and have popcorn balls for reindeer cookies for dessert.

* Escape to Paradise – for the adults who are tired of gray skies and freezing temperatures, tell everyone to come dressed in their tropical best. Turn up the heater, play the luau music and put out a feast featuring “warm, sunny” foods and drinks like tropical fruit salad, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken and veggie skewers, crab pasta salad, orange-avocado salad atop mixed greens and tropical sunrise drinks (orange juice and ice with a dash of pomegranate juice). Make sure everyone has a lei to wear. A parting gift to each guest could be a votive that smells “tropical” like pineapple or coconut, as a a fun reminder of the evening. Tie it in a circle of tulle with a bright ribbon and it makes a lovely little gift!

She Who Needs to Escape… or at Least Plan a Party

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We woke up to a fresh layer of snow yesterday morning.

It is approximately the second time this winter we’ve had snow. By late afternoon, it was mostly melted off.  I secretly did a little dance of joy because I hate driving in the snow. If I could sit home, curled up by the fire and watch the winter wonderland from inside the house, it would be awesome.

Slipping and sliding my way into work gives it a whole different and much unappreciated meaning.

While I was carefully driving to work yesterday, I was thinking about winter party themes. You could have a lot of fun with the whole snow theme in general, but here are a few ideas.

• Snowflakes – use them in everything from your invitation to your decorations. You could even use them as stencils to decorate brownies with powdered sugar.

• Snowball – use shaved ice as “snow” for some fun beverages. Make mounds of “snow” out of cotton batting for decorations and have “snowballs” made from styrofoam balls. Serve foods that go with the snowball theme (like meatballs in a white sauce, round bread rolls and vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut for dessert).

• Mittens- have a mitten contest, passing out prizes for the ugliest, prettiest, strangest, etc. Play games making people wear their mittens to play (like trying to unwrap and eat a piece of candy, etc.)

• Winter Elegance – go all white or cream. Use white on white decorations, white table coverings, white dishes. Encourage guests to dress in white. (I really think this could be a beautiful party).

• Outdoor fun – have a sledding, ice skating, or skiing party. If you have a place for a bonfire outside, great. If not, bring the fun indoors with treats like S’mores and roasted hotdogs.

There are a few ideas to get you going.

She Who Should Really Plan a Snow Party

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If you are lucky enough to live somewhere you and your family can enjoy some sledding fun, I’m so glad!

Think about inviting all the rosy-cheeked sledders home for a fun after-sledding party. It doesn’t have to be a lot of work and, if you plan ahead, you can waltz into the house with your guests and have something warm and delicious on the table in a matter of minutes.

Make ahead a tray or two of easy appetizers. It could be something as simple as a veggie tray with dip or pinwheels made by rolling up thinly sliced ham with cream cheese and chopped olives in a flour tortilla. These work especially well to make the night before. Roll up tortilla rolls in plastic wrap then when you are ready to serve, remove plastic and cut into bite-sized wheels.

Put chili in the crock pot earlier in the day and plan for it to be done when you come in from sledding. This is filling and warm and an easy way to feed the troops. Serve a loaf of french bread or tortilla chips along with the chili. You can have shredded cheese, sour cream, and onions set aside for those who’d like to garnish their bowls of steaming chili-goodness.

For beverages, have both hot and cold drinks available. You can preset a hot chocolate station before you head outdoors. When you come back in, just mix up the chocolate and serve. Other hot drinks might include spiced cider or coffee or a pot of hot tea. Cold beverages could include soda pop, juice or punch.

The recipe for this Pomegranate Punch is easy and so tasty!

 

For dessert, have a plate of left-over Christmas cookies that you’ve hidden from grubby, greedy hands in the freezer, or whip up a  batch of Cinnamon Rolls. You can make the cinnamon rolls that morning, or the day before, and quickly reheat right before serving. That is one way your guest will melt in a puddle and be at your mercy for the rest of the year.

The most important thing is to have fun!

Some of my favorite winter memories are of sledding parties we hosted at our home. We lived on a hill which meant a great sledding run waiting just outside the back door. If you survived the trip down the hill, it was a short walk to our pond where you could skate if the ice was solidly frozen. We also had snowmobiles back then that provided a never-ending source of winter entertainment and post-sledding transportation.

This photo, circa early 1980s (yes, laugh all you want), shows us gathered around enjoying a day of sledding and snowmobiling fun.

My Dad and brother would wait until the sledders zoomed to the bottom of the hill and would drag us all back up behind the snowmobiles  to do it again. Since we didn’t have to hike back up the hill, wasting precious energy, we were able to sled twice as long.

The only damper on the fun was a big ditch at the bottom of the hill. If you didn’t bail off in time, you could end up sitting in the ditch covered in icy cold mud, counting your teeth and feeling to make sure no bones were broken. That was a great incentive to never be the person on the bottom of the pile stacked on a big tractor inner tube. When bodies started falling off or bailing, there was most usually not enough time for the one stuck on the bottom to avoid careening into the ditch.

I absolutely loved the days when large groups of the family would converge and we’d sled until we could barely stand up straight. There was even a year we had so much fun, two of my cousins broke our toboggan in half. I think it had bounced across the sledding trail one too many times. Then there was the year, I stayed out so long playing in the snow I soaked through not one but two snowsuits. My mother was convinced I’d die of pneumonia, but I don’t think I really cared. Fun was waiting outside the door, calling my name!

What awesome times we had.

Pull on your boots, dig out your scarf and mittens, go sled and have some fun!

Happy Sledding!

The once avid sledder

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