Party #2 Brainstorm

>> 1.22.2010

With one party down, I think it's time to move to the next. I've been thinking about what kind of party would help inject a little fun into winter and it hit me (via several NBC commercials)... why not do something for the Olympics?! I'm usually not much of a Winter Olympics fan, but I think I'm going to try and get into the spirit this time around! With so many countries of the world coming together for this event, I thought it might be fun to do this party potluck style and ask each guest to bring a dish, dessert, or side from their country of choice.

I could make some yummy German chocolate cake and provide drinks.

I could inject some USA spirit into the event with some flag banners and decor (that will be reused for July 4th). Maybe I could find a way to bring in the Olympic rings or torch in some way?

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As the guests bring their dishes, I could  add country specific flags and write up food labels.

I'm thinking of having the party during the opening ceremonies (from what I've read, they'll also show clips of some downhill skiing events). Airing this would provide a clear beginning and end to the party (but I'm not sure if it would be exciting enough for everyone).

I've never hosted a potluck before, but I feel like this could be a pretty thrifty party considering that I mostly need to provide drinks and a dish or two. Tell me about your experience hosting a potluck! How many drinks should I buy per guest? What do you think about my opening ceremony plans~ should I go for a more competitive night instead? Is there any themed decor that you think I should add in?


Jamie Lee January 22, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

Peter and I entertain A LOT. My biggest advice with a pot luck is to try to find out what everyone is planning on bringing and guide people who are unsure so that you can fill in any gaps. Otherwise its really easy to end up with a TON of cheese, bread, chips, brownies, and cookies.

Kerry @ First Time Fancy January 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

I love your idea of throwing the party during the opening ceremonies - they usually do have a big thing happening to represent the countries and performers and everything. It's a good way to mark the start of a huge event (I may be biased because I'm a HUGE fan of the winter Olympics... like SERIOUSLY love them!)

Potlucks are definitely the way to go, & what a great idea to get people to bring different ethnic foods - along with using 4th of July stuff to show your support for the US!

You not use colourful dishes (in the colours of the rings) to serve food and drinks?

Audreya January 22, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

When I first saw an Olympic party, I assumed it would be for the opening ceremony, so yeah, I vote for that! :-) A more competitive night would be fun too but they opening ceremony has a lot to see and should entertain any non-sports fans you invite.

I second what Jamie Lee said. Either find out ahead of time or even suggest when you are inviting "It's a potluck, can you bring a dessert?" "Can you bring a dip?" Then they can still choose their specific recipe but you'll know you have the bases covered and don't end up with 18 bags of chips. Not that that's ever happened to me... :-)

Amanda January 22, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

That totally depends on your group of friends- are they more artsy? Most of my friends probably wouldn't really care about the actual competitions as much as the opening ceremonies (unless maybe it was figure skating- what a girly bunch we are!) but if you have some sports lovers then maybe pick a big competition. I love all your ideas though! I wish I could come :-)

Graham at Chadwell Chronicles January 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

Trivia of the day: It's "German's Chocolate Cake" and it didn't come from Germany. Learn more here:

Meredith Travels January 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

I totally agree with Jamie Lee, you need to guide people into what they are bringing or else you'll end up with a lot of random sides. When I hos tpot lucks I try to make one easy and cheap main course so that no one has to worry about comming over with a steaming hot pan or using my oven while I am trying to get the house ready. What about lasagne (Italy) or enchiladas (Texas! Oh, wait that's not a country? I mean Mexico then). Those are both easy make, easy serve items that you could make the day before and heat.

As for the rings... You could freeze ice in circles with food coloring or fruit in it to match the olympic colors and then put it in a big punch bowl with floating colors. Or make a cupcake cake circles. But that might be a lot of circles. Or if you really wanted to make it a party use jello shots (but you might not remember the ceremeony with that many jello shots!).

Good luck and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 22, 2010 at 11:54 AM  

@Graham~ I didn't know that! I guess I'll have to use another chocolate recipe then!

@Meredith Travels~ I LOVE your floating ice ring idea! I'm going to try and do it. I'll be sure and give you the credit :).

Danielle and Clint January 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

What an awesome idea, Kasey! Sounds like you could do so much with it!

Katie January 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM  

i liked the idea of the different countries / dishes. could you play some kind of game too if you're worried about people not being that interested in the opening ceremonies? maybe do some kind of mini competition with a couple of different "sports"?

with my group of friends we usually do the whole evite thing (or just mass email) and then the host will make a list of different things to bring (green veggie, dessert, appetizer, etc) and people will respond and claim one. that way everything is covered. i hosted a party recently where i just had everyone bring their favorite appetizer, i made a couple of hot (and more filling) appetizers and dessert. it was a lot of fun.

Babs January 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM  

What a fun theme! Hopefully you'll end up with authentic dishes from all over the world and, with any luck, your guests might discover a new favorite :)

My two cents for the Olympic rings: a roasted veggie platter. You could roast veggies like eggplant (blue) squash (yellow), black bean dip (couldn't think of anything else), green peppers (green), and tomatoes (red).

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" January 22, 2010 at 12:40 PM  

I think you should keep the party on the day of the opening ceremony. I love watching all the countries representing their colors! As far as drinks, no matter how much you provide, you'll end up with a ton leftover!

When I throw a party, I usually don't provide alcoholic drinks (since Chris and I don't drink alcohol) so we inform our guest they are more than welcome to bring their own.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 22, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

@Katie~ I think an evite type of invitation might be the way to go. There's actually a potluck specific evite company that I'm thinking about using.

@Babs~ I like it! I suppose it wouldn't be too difficult to arrange bowls in the shape of the rings.

@Dolores~ We're not drinkers either, that's why I'm trying to figure out what to plan on doing!

stacy di January 22, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

love the different countries idea...even if it isn't true to the country {german chocolate cake}.

and, could it REALLY be time for the winter olympics? seems like we just had them...

Meg January 22, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

I do drink, so you might not like this, but we've talked about doing an adult field day in the spring. We're talking team shirts, tug of war, the works.

I do like to drink socially, so you might not be as into this, but maybe having indoor games could be fun. For example, playing competitive card games (that could be drinking games for some guests) while showing the Olympics on TV in the background? Just a thought!

Tara January 22, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

I hosted Thanksgiving this last year for the first time. I used I did not sign up for a paying subscription. It worked out great I could add a list of things I needed everyone to bring and they checked off what they wanted. I emailed the invites but you could put info in a paper invite too. My Mom liked it so much she used it for Christmas. Check it out!
Thanks For Stopping By Today!

ashley morgan January 22, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

I hate the Olympics, but I LOVE this party idea. So much you can do with the theme of all the different countries.

Amanda January 22, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

If the opening ceremony is anything like last year's, it will be awesome! I think your party sounds like a fun way to kick off the Olympics. And it seems like it will make for a more socializing atmosphere than watching a competitive event.

DescribeHappy January 23, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

I am really liking this idea!! You have a lot of really neat ideas so far. I was looking a bit more into it and have you seen the cute mascots yet? You can find them there. Sumi looks adorable! I bet printed mascots would be cute decorations.

Stacey @ Fun to Craft January 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM  

What great ideas!! We had a little party for the last olympics and it would be so fun to do it again. Thanks for sharing some fun things to try out!!

micah @ the yellow front door January 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

I like the idea of having a party for the opening ceremony. Maybe you could do an all-Vancouver theme?

Lauren January 24, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

I think the Olympic idea is great!

P.S. I left something for you at my blog :)

Melissa January 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

I love this idea! I worked at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, so the Olympics hold a special place in my heart.

Having the party on the night of opening ceremonies is perfect because you can have the TV on in the background, and since the ceremony is so long, that allows plenty of time for your guests to talk with each other and watch as well.

You could ask each guest to bring something specific (appetizer, dessert, etc.) and from a specific country to make sure you get a variety of things. Love the idea of incorporating the colors of the rings and round objects into your decor. You could really do a lot with the rings from invitations to centerpieces to favors. Can't wait to hear all about it!

Natalie January 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

I'm actually thinking of doing this, too (if we get our couch in on time!). I had one for the summer Olympics in 2008 and it was a lot of fun, though I have to admit, we were pretty lax on our one rule of having all the dishes be "international" - one of my guy friends who only knows how to make cheese dip (which he calls "Throw Up Dip" - really appetizing, I know) brought that and called it "Yao Ming's Free Throw Up Dip... at least it was original!

We also made a huge cookie and iced on the Olympic rings, which was popular.

Can't wait to see how it turns out!

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" January 25, 2010 at 2:37 PM  

Hey Kasey! I'm having a giveaway contest on my blog this week which I think could be beneficial for your future parties. We can all certainly use a Le Creuset item in our kitchens!

LizzieBeth January 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

I love the idea of an Olympic Party! How fun!!


WhimsAndInconsistencies January 27, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

I love potlucks! I might recommend having people let you know what they're bringing though. I have gone to potlucks with 3 things of Kroger potato salad and another with 5 things of baked beans. Whoops!

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