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Friday, December 18, 2009

You Aksed, I Answere: Christmas Edition

You Asked, Partyphile Answered: Christmas Edition

You have been sending quite a few questions about the yuletide season and I feel like I owe it to you, my dear readers to answer some of them. I know this season can get quite hectic for partyphiles, and I hope my tips can help you cope.

Christmas is just around the corner and my friends and I are planning to throw a White Christmas party and we might be pulling some wet & wild action by making it a foam party after dinner. Any tips or suggestions on what to do or what to avoid?- Rolly Marcial, Student

Hey Rolly! Thanks fort sending in your query. I have never thrown a foam party yet but I hope that you remember to check the dance floor. You have to ensure that your dance floor is not slippery even when it’s filled with foam and water. Usually foam parties are held at grassy areas or areas that are cemented because these surfaces aren’t too slippery when they are wet. Another thing I would ask you to do is to ensure that all your guests are aware that they are attending a foam party. Otherwise, they may wear clothes or jewelry that may get destroyed or lost in all that foamy mess.

I would also suggest that you go all out with the ‘white’ theme. Rent a smoke machine for the foam-less part of your venue. It is also a good idea to rent bright white lights and lasers which should add to the festive mood of your party. If you are looking for a cool center piece for your yuletide bash, gather different types and sizes of White Christmas balls and put them in one big fish bowl. This looks festive and chic. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you may also hang some balls in corners of your venue, in cascading heights.

Also, remember to serve White food and drinks. Carbonara is a good idea, and so is a pizza with white sauce. You may also try serving steamed chicken with ginger sauce, or some angel cake with white frosting for dessert. If you plan on serving cocktails, Google some recipes for the White Russian, Anti Freeze, Lemon Drop, or Rainy Night. All these cocktails are white and are very festive! I hope you enjoy your White party! Send me an invite!

Hey Zhaun! I’m hosting a Christmas party really soon. Any suggestion on what cocktail drinks and food I can serve for my soiree? I want it to be Christmassy and festive without looking like a Noche Buena spread. – Kia Aquino, Partyphile

Hi Kia! I commend you for wanting to veer away from the traditional holiday spread, and having the guts to actually try something new. I know it is quite difficult to create a Holiday inspired menu, without making it look like a Noche Buena dinner, but a couple of clicks on the web, and a few ingenious ideas will do the trick.

Instead of serving some Keso de Bola with bread, create a Keso de Bola and Mushroom Bruschetta. This recipe is cheap and easy. Chop up some canned button mushrooms and sauté them in butter. You may add your favorite herbs like Basil or Oregano. Mix in some cubed pieces of Keso de Bola and spoon some over toasted baguettes or ‘french bread’.

Instead of serving pancit make some Shrimp Sotanghon Spring Rolls. Saute some sotanghon with onions, garlic, and minced shrimps. Season to your liking and wrap the mixture in lumpia wrappers. Fry them up and serve with your favorite lumpia dip.

Instead of serving some Hamon de Bola with Pineapple sauce, make some Ham-Pineapple skewers. Cube some Christmas ham and skewer them alternately with pineapple chunks. Grill the skewers until they get grill marks and the pineapples are caramelized.

You may also try serving some Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce (instead of barbeque), Cherry-Chocolate balls, and Grilled Chicken Fingers with Coconut-Curry Sauce (instead of chicken curry).

Serve some Appletinis (they are green), red Margaritas, and Red and Green Jelly Shots. I have recipes on my blog (http://party.i.ph) but there are a lot of other recipes on the web.

I hope these simple tips work well for you. I’m sure these dishes would look festive on your buffet table, taste like things your guests would normally associate with Christmas, and are perfect for any Yuletide cocktail party. Do not worry about your budget, because all the recipes I recommended are pretty affordable.

So it's Christmas and I’m running out of party ideas! I want to throw a "Christmas party" but I want it to be unique, you know, not the typical (Santa Claus, exchanging gifts and ho-ho-hos kinda thing). You have any ideas? And oh! A venue too please --Julienne Avancena, student

There are a lot of party themes you can throw. You can have a DVD marathon and watch Christmas movies while munching on gourmet popcorn or make-it-yourself hotdog sandwiches. You may also try throwing a traditional Filipino Christmas party complete with puto bung bong, bibingka, other kakanin, and native hot chocolate. Another theme you would want to consider is a Summery Luau barbeque. It is quick, easy, and definitely not common around this season. You could also gather all your friends and throw a party in an orphanage or a home for the aged.

However, if you want to take advantage of the cool weather during the yuletide season, why not throw a snuggle party? A snuggle party is a soiree that aims to warm the tummy, heart, and spirit.

The ideal location for a snuggle party is your house. Ask your guests to come in their pajamas, or any attire they’re really comfortable in. Fill you room (or living area) with a lot of mattresses for your friends to sit or lay on. Make sure that your mattresses are filled with plush pillows and soft covers. Serve some hot soup, like Arroz Caldo, or some take on the traditional chicken soup. You might also want to try serving up hearty, but healthy, minestrone.

You could also serve some Hot Chocolate, Coffee, and Milk. If you want to give your guests a little buzz, spike their Hot Chocolate with some Bailey’s cream, and add some Kahlua to their coffee. You may also dress up your milk with some chocolate or strawberry syrup and serve them with wafer sticks. Remember to keep the lights down low, and play music that is relaxing. The yuletide season can be quite stressful; give your guests some time to relax and chill out.

If you have any party-related query, check out my blog http://party.i.ph or follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/zhaun

Catch Confessions of a Partyphile, the radio show, every Wednesdays at 6 to 9 in the PM on 105.9 Mix FM.

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