Monday, February 28, 2011

Italian Party ideas

We hosted a gathering of our Connect Group leadership from church.  It was a little planning, a little crafting, and a lot of eating and getting-to-know-you-more.  
It was Italian themed and each person brought something to the meal.  
Here are some of the details I tried to do to make it special without buying a lot of extra stuff.  I was also going for a more subtle look rather than the bright red & green flag colors everywhere.
First, I scoured the web for a few classic Italian photos..landmarks, art, etc. Printed them and then  scattered them in a large picture frame.

This was now serving base.  You could put the plates, napkins & utensils on it or the cups and ice bowl.  We put the salad one of the couples brought.

It worked well and I will keep the photos in a folder since i bet we will host a yummy theme like this again.  If I had thought of this earlier, I would have went to thrift stores, vintage resale, or online sites to get some real vintage postcards & pictures but this worked in a pinch.
We are having a Game Night in a few weeks and you can bet I will be scouring to find an old game board to put in this frame for that night!

I put this little "pop" at the ned of our counter since a centerpiece didn't lend itself to this set up. I was happy to use these retro glasses I got for a wedding gift from dear family friends who understand my love of all things retro.  One is obviously holding dry linguini and the other is hiding but holding a bunch of parsley.  fresh tomatoes on the vine, garlic & onions add reality.  I meant to put the olive oil and red wine vinegar bottles here too but ran out of time.  The grapes were my moms because, frankly, she might have every decoration possible.  This was made clear when I mentioned this theme and she handed me a bag full of these plastic grapes. ;)

I make these chalkboards so I added "Welcome" and "Let's Eat!" in Italian.  Google Translate made it super easy to translate into any language you needed.

Since it was Italian, a food shot is required, I believe.  

I made my quickie version of lasagna and another couple brought baked ziti.
We also had the salad, breadsticks, spinach dip & bread ring, mozz sticks, fresh roasted tomato salsa for dipping, an antipasto tray, and Italian wedding cake & cream horns for dessert.  
Since it was a "potluck", I didn't have special plating options.  But I did set out a few footed flat platters to alter the heights to add interest to the serving area.
We did serve-yourself buffet style, which works great in this kind of informal gathering.  I did use real plates since I had enough for this number of people.  And since my kitchen stuff is all retro red, white & black, it worked great with this theme.  ;)

It was a lovely time together and I look forward to many more gatherings like this.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Cute decorating ideas... i should throw more parties.