Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vegan MoFo III: The Ultimate Party Necessity

Okay.  I'm just gonna throw this out there.  A party isn't a party without some hummus!  Last year my dear friends Shaggy and Keli got married.  They had two or three kinds of hummus at their pre-ceremony snack table (how cool is that?).  One of the hummuses (hummi?) was jalapeno cilantro.  Oh my gooodness.  So great!  So I made some tonight.  I'll try to post the recipe tomorrow because I ran out of olive oil and want to make sure the flavors are right.  Plus, I just really want to make it again.  It is quite creamy and delicious, if I do say so myself.  See the pic:


I suppose I should explain a little more about this week. I keep saying fall and holiday foods, but that doesn't really express what I mean. This week is all about food that reminds me of family togetherness and food that will raise the roof on any holiday party/gathering.

Last year, I told you about my love of Festivus. I really want to celebrate this year. However, unless a bunch of Californian vegans just suddenly appear at my doorstep I only know one person in this city. I might invite some of my LA friends if we don't make our way back to Texas for the holidays. We'll see how it goes.

Now, my love of hostessing began with my parents. When I was young they would throw these killer parties for just about every holiday. That's kinda where my people watching began. Oh, the debauchery!  I did learn a thing or two about throwing a party, though.

Tips to An Awesome Party
1. Have a plan.  Writing down what food you want to serve, the amount of people you expect, and a budget to make things run smoothly.
2. Send out an invite.  This builds anticipation and gives you a minimum of who to expect.  Even if somebody flakes, a slacker who didn't RSVP will show.  C'mon!  It's easy to do in a facebook/myspace/twitter world.
3. Always expect the unexpected.  Things will go wrong.  Whether it's some fool puking in your trashcan or way more guests showing up than you thought.  Just breathe.  Everything will work out.
4. Save money by making stuff from scratch.  There are very few things I don't make from scratch.  I always make dips, little appetizers, punch, and desserts though.
5. Punch is the way to go.  Punch will save you money and it will also help people to regulate their alcohol intake.  I try to have a sangria at every gathering.  I often make a nonalcoholic drink too.  My friends are super diverse so I try to accomodate everybody.  Even if I don't have virgin punch, there is always plenty of sodas, juices, and water.
6. A theme is great and not as hard as it seems.  Themes are fun!  They can make a simple thing seem out of this world.  I'll tell you more about some themes I've done later this week.
7. Save time by making things ahead.  On the rare occasion that I'm able to do this, I kinda love myself!  Makes things super easy.
8. Have music.  If it was up to my husband, we'd play hip hop 24/7.  I like to throw some funk, soul, Motown, and cheesy 90s boy bands in there.  I love it when people start dancing to the music.  That's when you know a party is "off the heezy."
9. Play a movie in the background.  This is something I learned from my days in Comedia-A-GoGo.  Pick a movie with crazy visuals or a really slapstick comedy and play it on mute with the captions on.  It's great entertainment for the wallflowers.  I try to pick the most insane independent movie in my collection.  Actually, I usually pick 2 or 3 and switch them out during the night.
10. Have each room serve a different purpose.  This is something I learned from my friend, Regan (of Comedia-A-GoGo).  Each room always has a different vibe.  There's usually the movie room, the food room, the drinks/chill/music room, and we always have something set up outside...usually a bonfire.
11. Enjoy your party!  This is definitely the most important tip of all.  Don't get stressed.  Just enjoy the people around you.

Sorry that this was a novel!  I just love parties.  Coming up this week: a very "smokin'" movie Monday, miniature Thanksgiving, ice cream in the cold, desserts that will bring a potluck to its knees, a Parisian Food Network Friday, and some cheezy goodness.


radioactivegan said...

I love your party tips. I wonder if you have any ideas for parties in small apartments, though. I have a (VERY) small apartment, and I always want to invite way too many people over. I'd be happy to hear any tips you have about this (other than finding somewhere else to have parties ;) ).

melissa bastian. said...

Um... not that I didn't want to already anyway, but, can I come to a party at your house?! I totally agree about the hummus, by the way.

Tiffany C. said...

So true-any good party has hummus involved! Thanks for posting some awesome party tips, just in time for the holidays. :)

Terra D said...

I love your blog! And I understand your dilemma. I moved to LA from Michigan, in August. Though Michigan is not know for its' vegan cuisine, I miss it...and my friends/family! So I throw small parties with myself and my aunt who is flexibly vegan when necessary! (Now that was a novel :)

River said...

You are a professional party thrower! Awesome tips! And I totally agree about the hummus!

Festivus fanatics unite! :-D

Thank you for your comment on my goodbye post! I have tons of travel pictures to share when the new blog goes live! :-)

Mihl said...

oh yum, I can't wait for that hummus recipe!

KiKi said...

Such great advice! I bookmarked your post!
I am such a shy person and have to practice in hosting parties at all (depressive single parent syndrome, but want to do it differently for the boys...
Thanx a lot!!!

Luciana said...

When we finally move out, we're having a housewarming party, and there will be an entire table devoted to hummus. At some parties, hummus and vegetables have been the only things that kept me from going insane when I wasn't able to eat before going.

Anonymous said...

I want to come to your party! Doesn't festivus involve a brawl though?

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Radioactivevegan-Here's what we did when we lived in an apartment: keep the food and drinks in one area (for us it was the kitchen). Set it up like a buffet line so there's not a lot of traffic. Then we'd rearrange the furniture (our dining room was in our living room), pushing couches towards the wall and placing chairs against the wall as well. That opened space. That seemed to work out fine. If the party is awesome nobody cares how packed it is!


Terra D-Thanks! It's so weird to be in California because the mindset is completely different out here! Maybe I should throw a small party. Hmm.

KiKi-Honestly, I'm pretty shy myself when I first meet people. The main thing to remember is that all of this is supposed to be fun. I allow myself one meltdown and then breathe. It works out well for me.

LazySmurf-The feats of strength isn't a brawl just a competition. We have only done them once and it was a mental battle about pop culture, which I totally schooled some fools in.

Jen said...

you should consider making a vegan hostess zine, or incorporating you mo-betta entertaining tips once you get your cooking show up and running on you tube. really, i think you have a good idea goin'!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Jen-That's a really good idea! Thanks for planting that seed.