Q: My boyfriend and I recently moved in together and we would like to have a housewarming party soon. I want this to be a relaxed and laid-back occasion, but as I have never cooked or prepared anything for more than a handful people, hosting a party is a very scary thought!
Labor Day is almost here, so we decided it was precisely the right time to show you how to make jello shots. Summer is nearly over — seize the day, right? Wait, you say. Jello shots? Dorm room, frat party, neon green vodka bombs?
No, no. What I'm about to show you today is jello shots all glammed up, and even, dare I say it, healthy. OK, healthier. I adore gelled desserts of all shapes and flavors — I have a whole chapter on them in my book Bakeless Sweets — and I've been waiting for just the right moment to talk jello shots. Raspberry lemonade jello shots, to be specific.
This week I've been sharing the outdoor movie party I hosted with my friend Beth, and today I'm going to give you a full look at how we transformed her tiny backyard into a cozy outdoor living room perfect for movie-watching under the stars. We wanted to give our friends the full outdoor summer movie screening experience, but with lots of homemade touches to make it more personal than the usual movie in the park.
Being movie nerds, my friends and I have often kicked around the idea of throwing a party like this, but we never got around to making it happen. Don't make our mistake! This is a gathering that feels special, yet doesn't have to involve too much extra work for you. Want to see how we made it happen?
Puppy chow is dangerous stuff. I had never even heard of the snack until my friend Beth, an Iowa native, left some at my house after a holiday gathering and I found myself eating handful after handful of the sweet, crunchy, nutty mixture. Why wasn't there a warning label? It didn't last the night.
So when I was coming up with a menu of slightly upscale versions of lowbrow snacks for an outdoor movie party, puppy chow seemed like the right fit, especially since I was co-hosting the party with Beth, the friend who had introduced me to the treat in the first place. And adding Nutella? Well, that's always the right fit. The result is a snack that is as crunchy and addictive as the original, but less tooth-achingly sweet, with the perfect balance of toasty cereal, sweet hazelnut, dark chocolate and a little salt — just enough to keep you going back for handful after handful.
Q: My boyfriend is a physics PhD student who is set to defend his thesis soon. I want to throw him a physics-themed party with light refreshments for all his colleagues and faculty. Any ideas for themed decor ideas and food would be greatly appreciated!
Pizza on the grill is my number one way to entertain outdoors. Just ask any of my friends and neighbors, and they'll tell you there is always a fresh pie on the grates. I love creating new flavors using up the last of my farmers market finds, and cherry tomato, corn, and goat cheese pizza is one of the best. This grilled pizza showcases some of my favorite summer ingredients, and the glorious taste of that summer goodness will please your dinner guests completely.
This week I've been sharing the backyard S'mores party we threw for my sister's birthday, and today I'm going to show you how the whole soiree came together! We aimed for a simple yet pretty outdoor party, with little stress and preparation, because who needs that, especially on a birthday?
We launched our Gatherings from The Kitchn series this year to bring you party ideas that were fun and gracious, and yet always accessible in budget and details. This S'mores fête turned out to be our easiest party yet — with almost no cooking ahead, and just a few hours of setup. Want to see how we transformed the backyard and threw our S'moresgasbord for a crowd of twenty?
To be honest, I have not been the greatest cheerleader of S'mores. The texture throws me off: hot gooey marshmallows, crunchy graham crackers, and a hard piece of chocolate. The whole thing tends to fall apart in your hands. And yet I can't deny the nostalgic fondness people have for this sticky treat, and when my sister asked for a backyard S'mores birthday party, I decided to find a S'more combination that would be more to my taste. This key lime pie S'more was my own personal smash hit of the evening.
It's my turn this month to bring you another of our Gatherings from The Kitchn, and oh boy this is a fun one! My younger sister celebrated her birthday in July, and for this birthday — a big one, although I'll keep the number quiet — she wanted to throw a casual backyard party, with strings of lights over a fire pit, many good friends gathered round, and the most loaded S'mores buffet you've ever seen.
This week I'll show you what we did, and how. It was actually the easiest party we've thrown yet, involving almost no cooking ahead and just one afternoon of work. Our reward was a sticky-fingered crowd of friends enjoying everyone's favorite campfire treat — it was a S'moresgasbord!