Entertaining Tip: Set the Scene with a Theme

The Kitchn Cure is nearing an end and our Cure takers are gearing up for their celebratory dinner party! We find that a good way to establish the tone and energy of the evening is by giving the party some sort of central theme. Guests know what to expect, feel included, and most of all, have a lot of fun. Here are a few of our favorite themes - please share yours!

A themed party can definitely be as simple or elaborate as you like. Think about what you like to do and the kind of atmosphere you enjoy most, and go from there.

Here are some themes we think work very well for almost any group of people:

Stock the _______ Party: During the Kitchn Cure, maybe you realized you were low on something or have decided you want to invest more energy in a particular area of your cooking. Throwing a party where guests bring one new addition to your pantry is fun for them and great for you! You could have a Stock the Spice Cupboard party, Stock the Bar party, or even a Stock My Recipe Box party where each guest brings a favorite recipe!

Garden Party: This time of year, everyone is more than happy to get outside and enjoy a little sun on their shoulders! You could make this into a fancy British-esque garden party with tea sandwiches and croquet, or make it into more of a Picnic Party by laying some blankets on the grass and firing up the grill.

Breakfast-for-Dinner Party: This is another one that can be fancied up or down. We've done fancy breakfast-dinners with delicate savory omelets, sweet crepes, and champagne cocktails. At the other end of the spectrum, we've done more informal parties with platters of homefries, scrambled eggs, and other comfort foods for everyone to nibble.

Iron Chef Dinner Party: We never done one of these ourselves, but we hear good things! You can either share the "secret" ingredient with your culinary-minded guests and have them each bring their own dish or have the challenge begin when they get to your house.

What other party themes do you really enjoy or have worked well for you in the past?

Related: Entertaining Tip: An Alternative to Nametags

(Image: Flickr member pasotraspaso licensed under Creative Commons)