Recap: How to Host a Puppy Birthday Party

Miss Fang and Bandit preparing to "blow out the candles" on their birthday cake.

 This year’s puppy birthday party was held last weekend – and the party certainly lived up to its yearly standard (although possibly a bit tamer than years passed). There were costumes, decorations and dog-themed food galore. While the puppy-tini and pin the party hat on the puppy game were missing, there were plenty of other new aspects that everyone enjoyed.

After any party, I believe it is important to not only review the details, but also lay out what worked and what different. This allows others to gain creative ideas and learn what they can do to improve/modify the party for their own benefit.  

The Details

  • Costumes: Puppy-visors with kerchiefs

Modeling the Puppy-visors

  • Food: bone-shaped cheese spread (recipe below), chicken corn chowder, rolls and snacks galore
  • Dessert: bone-shaped petit fours and birthday cake

What Worked:

  • Having a sit-down dinner
  • Using dessert to dress up the tables

What Didn’t Work:

  • The costumes in theory were a great idea, but most of the guests found the ears “itchy” so they didn’t last long.

Recipe: Cheese Spread
From the kitchen of Suzan Pfeiffer

Ingredients:
12 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 oz. grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 small onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Assorted Crackers
Raspberry Jam (or your choice)

Directions:
Mix first 5 ingredients together by hand. Put on platter or in a bowl (or you can mold into any shape you want i.e. dog bone). Sprinkle with pecans. Place jam in a bowl on the side or spread on top of cheese before sprinkling with pecans. Serve with assorted crackers.

My family loves this spread – especially with some extra cayenne pepper. The best thing about it, is that you can plate it any way you like and it always look beautiful. Keep this recipe in mind when you start thinking of Super Bowl foods!

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January 25, 2011. Celebrations, Recipes, Sit-Down Dinner Parties, Themed Party. 2 comments.

Mixing Friends and Picky Eaters

Who: 6 adults. All long-time friends of my husbands.  All have met previously, but don’t independently get together.
What: a dinner party
When: Saturday
Where: Our Place
Why: To catch-up with friends.

The catch: To create a full sit-down meal using no meat products as one of the guests does not eat meat, but does eat fish.

My husband is a firm believer in mixing friend groups. Personally, I’ve had this idea fail miserably, but his success in blending groups has softened my stance.  This Saturday, we are having a dinner party with 4 of his long-time friends. As they have been in my husband’s life for at least 10 years, they have all met before, and know each other. They may not independently hang-out, but we know they have enough in common to enjoy each others company. They are all working professionals who have worked to enjoy the finer things in life, so I am using the “finer things” theme to craft the menu and evening plan.

Helpful Hint: Always have a general “plan.” Whether you are hosting a sit-down dinner for 6, a buffet for 10 or just a lazy get together with a few friends, always having some sort of general plan makes everything easier. Sometimes I create my plan on the spur of a moment, other times it is carefully thought out – but it always makes things easier.

Back to Saturday:

The Plan:

  • Sit down dinner for 6 without seating assignments
    (*general rule of thumb – if you are having a sit-down dinner for less than 10 guests, seating assignments are not necessary. I usually choose to ignore the rule if not everyone knows each other, or if I know that people will associate in cliques*)
    (*the “cook/hostess” or someone from the hosting group should sit closest to the kitchen so as to avoid disrupting the group each time he/she needs to get up*)
  • Set the table using: 
    Table cloth and cloth napkins (I find that this extra little detail really sets the tone for the meal – and, if the meal sucks, at least I know the table looked pretty:p  )
    Dinner Plate and Accent Place (No salad plate as the first course will be soup – served in individual soup terrains, which can sit on the accent plate)
    Silverware
    Water glass and Red Wine glasses at each place setting
    Flowers for the center of the table (Any flowers work – I usually buy mine from the grocery store)
  • Cocktails and passed/plated hors d’oeuvres before sitting down to dinner
  • Anything goes after dinner 🙂

The Menu with recipes to follow…

 

January 6, 2011. Sit-Down Dinner Parties. 2 comments.

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