Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Entertainment Tonight!

A "Light Buffet"! Havaleena Party Lights in a vase, neon light sculptures and flashing party glasses from Coolites

I'm one of those die-hards who refuses to allow the economy to suck the fun out of my lifestyle! Now that doesn't mean you should be insensitive and throw money around. What I'm going to show you will not cost tons of money and be a lot more fun than hanging out at a nightclub. Just start thinking out of the box. How about getting a movie from Netflix, (or even better, the library), inviting a few friends, family or neighbors over to watch? Another idea is to invite some musically inclined people over to play together. This is otherwise known as a jam session but you can likewise invite someone to perform and have the guests chip in to pay the musician for the evening. Feed him and I'm sure he'll come back. How about a Karaoke Party? Karaoke is great fun and you can invite your friends to bring along their favorite songs to sing. Instant entertainment!

We had studio soiree over the weekend and the picture above is a shot of part of the buffet table. Hot pizza snacks, cheese and summer sausage on crackers, cheddar popcorn and drinks were set out on our light show table. You can also use left over all-white flashing Christmas lights too. Run them around the edge of the table or make interesting light sculptures on the wall behind the buffet. We put three Havaleena Party Lights in a clear glass vase for a real "wow" effect. Havaleena lights are cordless, smokeless and will shine for more than 22 hours on three, AA batteries. No flames so we were able to place them near curtains. Our clear, colored glasses are by Coolites and flash in multi-colored sparkles. The point is, make it glitter. This is the time for tinsel town to revive!

Host a Karaoke Party

A lot of your friends, (if not their children), probably already own a portable Karaoke machine. Ask around. If not, the Singing Machine is the one that I have and can recommend. This unit is a semi-professional model and not portable as it has twin stereo tower speakers and a full color screen. You can even plug in your iPOD and play your uploaded tunes over this karaoke system. DJ's are paid a lot to supply music to bars and clubs. Why not do it yourself at your place?

We decorated our karaoke system with a tube of programmable flashing party lights. This way we can choose a pattern to go with the beat of the music. It adds to the "studio" effect and the evening. We have quite a few dedicated karaoke CD's that show the lyrics right on the screen. Your guests will love it! The main thing is for you to enjoy the evening with them. Keep it simple. Spending hours in the kitchen fussing over gourmet messy foods is out. Finger food like mini quiche is definitely in. Go with a theme. It was Valentine's Day so that night we had a big heart shaped box of chocolates on the buffet for everyone to enjoy. This is not a big ticket, catered affair but you can still infuse classy fun into your evening without going broke. Live music whether it is being sung or played also adds to the special and memorable mystique of your party. None of these ideas take weeks of planning or deep pockets. Keep the numbers small and intimate. You'll find yourself enjoying your home entertaining more, with less. Be sure to read our related article, Entertaining Moments of Spring linked above.

Quickie Quiche
6-8 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar, colby or munster cheese
1/2 tsp Hungarian Paprika
1/2 cup sauteed onion
1 cup chopped spinach or broccoli
2 unbaked deep dish pie shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sautee your onions. Whisk your eggs, Paprika and milk together. Line the bottom of the pie crust with your cheese, onions and vegetables. Pour in the egg and milk mixture and top with extra Paprika. Bake 40-60 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Variations: Add bacon, ham or smoked cheese!


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