Welcome To The Shakin 'N Bakin Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I love to cook and bake for my family. I hope you enjoy the recipes, foodie reviews, foodie giveaways and cooking tips posted on my blog.

How to Print Recipes: You can print out each individual recipe featured on this blog by clicking the "share" button at the bottom of each post. It will open up to show you options, click on print and another window will open up with the recipe inside it for printing. You can also use the SHARE button to email a copy of the recipe to yourself for printing later.

Monday, December 3, 2012

5 Helpful Tips for Throwing an Amazing Holiday Party

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I just wanted to share a few party planning tips. These tips will help you throw an amazing holiday get-together or party for friends and family, leaving a lasting impression for years to come.

5 Helpful Tips for Throwing an Amazing Holiday Party

1. Create a theme:
Choosing a theme will make the party planning process so much easier because you can use it as inspiration for selecting and creating everything from invitations and decorations to food and signature drinks. Votive candles or colored light bulbs can help create a specific ambiance, and a fun play list for party music is essential to keep the party upbeat and enjoyable.
2. Make your first impression count:
Welcome guests with a drink upon arrival by placing a tray of sparkling wine and water near the door so they can grab some bubbly and start mingling as soon as they arrive. And whether you have personalized place cards or monogrammed cookies, a personalized touch is always welcomed. It shows guest that you have taken the time to do something nice for your guests, and it will be remembered.
3. Serve tiny bites packed with big flavors:
Consider serving dinner-by-the-bite with trays of mouthwatering hors d'oeuvres in lieu of a sit-down meal. This less-formal approach allows guests to sample lots of different flavors and provides more opportunities to mingle with other guests. Plus they are easy to hold with a cocktail in the other hand! A few great examples are toasted pita wedges with hummus and eggplant dip, bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil, assorted cheese plates, mini cupcakes, stuffed mushrooms, crab cakes, and anything on a toothpick or skewer.
4. Keep the drinks displayed on ice:
Decorative buckets filled with ice and scattered around the party will help keep beers and wines chilled and easily accessible. You won’t want guests digging in your refrigerator for more wine!
5. Set up several “stations” throughout the space:
Don’t put all of the food and drinks in one area – or guests are likely to form a traffic jam, which will instantly boost your stress level! Instead, spread everything out into a few different stations throughout the party to encourage mingling and a good flow of traffic. For cocktail parties, try setting up a station with pre-made "signature drinks" that guests can just come up and grab quickly, and create a separate area for the actual bar, where drinks need to be mixed. Check out the recipe for VOGA’s Sangria below, it is super easy to make and delicious! 

About VOGA Italia - VOGA Italia hails from Italy, the country best known for producing some of the world’s best wine as well as its’ keen sense of style. VOGA Italia encompasses all aspects offering a collection of crisp delicious wine thoughtfully packaged in a revolutionary re-designed bottle featuring a unique resealable cap. Since the company’s inception, VOGA has earned numerous awards and accolades for their sleek and sexy glass cylindrical bottle, presentation and most importantly taste. The collection retails from $10.99 to $15.99 and includes Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Moscato, Premium Sparkling, and Dolce Rosso. VOGA is available in over 62 countries, hundreds of major cities, and can be found in thousands of the world’s trendiest bars, restaurants and shops.