Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Just recently, my friends and I had a Burg-Off session where we had a competition to see who could make the best burgers. Since then I have been daydreaming about other ideas for gatherings that use food as the main excuse. Hahaha So especially since the holidays are coming and there will be time for reunions and meet ups, here are six ideas to get you brainstorming!

 photo breadnsoup_zpsd5ab6b3b.jpg Bread and Soup Party
Get each of your friends to bring a small pot of their favourite soup, whether home-made or store bought. Look up bread pairings for their soups in advance and buy the bread for dipping, unless, of course, you are conveniently also a skilled bread baker. Toast them up and serve them warm! But if you really want to one-up and impress your friends, skip sliced bread and give them bread bowls to ladle their soup into! You could do this alongside a spread of salad, sandwiches, or other dishes, but I'm thinking that soup and bread is probably be pretty filling, unless your friends are super big eaters and don't see how soup can be described as filling.

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Pancake Parlour
I'm crazy about pancakes so this has always been something I want to do. You will need to set up a few griddles, or small pans on portable stoves (you will need quite a few depending on the number of people!). Prepare pancake batter (I love store bought White Wings pancake flour, but you could totally make yours from scratch!) and also, a large array of toppings. Its go big or go home, so don't stinge on this. For ideas, heres a list of 102 toppings you can prepare. I've always imagined this to be more of a breakfast party, and what an awesome way to start the day that would be. Although, most of the afternoon would probably be spent on sleeping off the food coma after inhaling a crazy amount of pancakes.

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Something Cheesy Party
Throw a party with one rule: all your guests have to bring a dish with 'cheese' in its name. Like mac & cheese, cheesecake, broccoli cheese soup, cheese fondue, and whatever else you can come up with. Good luck finding a drink with 'cheese' in its name thats gonna sit well with your friends, although if theres one element that isn't made out of cheese, this should be it. This is not a menu for the faint-hearted. And the lactose intolerant. 

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Gyoza Making Party
I've always thought this would be a such a fantastic and yummy idea. Prepare the pork and gyoza wrappers (or make your own), along with other fillings, sauces and tools, and invite your friends over for a night of learning the art of pleating dumplings. Either learn and practice it in advance so you can transfer your skills to your friends, make them sit through a how-to youtube video, or you can always take them on an excursion before party day to stand at the viewing window of one of those Chinese restaurants that let you look at their chefs working on dumplings (just kidding, don't do that). The only concern I have is the great number of gyoza you will have to fry in a pan of hot oil. Take precautions!

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Fancy Instant Noodles Competition
Now admit it. You have that favourite brand of packet instant noodles you turn to for meals when you get lazy, and sometimes even crave to eat. I know I do. Get your friends to bring their favourite instant noodles, with any additional ingredients or food items they want to serve it with (e.g. pork slices, gyoza, wonton, beef rendang, eggs, cheese, anything basically). Here's the catch though, they have to make enough to have small portions for each person, and serve it up with fancy restaurant-worthy plating. You can do this in such a way that each person takes turns to cook and serve immediately so that each dish is consumed hot, or you could set up portable stoves so that everyone cooks within the same time limit! Hand out score cards to each of your friends to score each dish for taste, plating, creativity and service if you want to, and find a winner at the end of the night! You can turn to The Ramen Rater's annual top 10 instant noodles list shown with food toppings for ideas!

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Ice Cream Extravaganza
Its basically an ice cream party with a buffet of toppings. You can either go fancy and get one of those chilled marble slates to go all marble slab creamery with mixing in the ice cream toppings, or you can achieve a similar effect by putting some of the chosen toppings into the tub before scooping, so the toppings will be within the scoop! Use plain flavoured ice cream (lots of it!) like vanilla and chocolate so that the toppings steal the spotlight. You can consult this insane list if you need ideas. Or you could go nuts with tons of weird, non-typical toppings that could come out both great and terrible! And maybe after that everyone can take a vote on the best and worst flavours.

Can you think of more? :) Eunice

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