Two of my favorite things are Chinese food, and throwing parties with our friends. So this year we combined them and rang in the Chinese New Year with a Chinese dinner party. This can be done anytime of the year.
Make sure that when you invite your friends, you give them plenty of time to plan on your Chinese dinner party. We asked everyone on our list to bring their favorite Chinese dish to share. I also made gluten free orange chicken (recipe coming soon) and a new cocktail named the “Prancing Pony”. We found a little store in Fort Collins called “East meets West” that had all kinds of decorations, red envelopes & chopsticks. This made planning our event much easier.
We kept the table decorations simple with red, gold & black as our main colors. I picked up the red square plates and black napkins at our local dollar store. The gold tablecloth is just extra fabric I had on hand. The vase I’ve had for years and the gold branches I picked up at a craft store on clearance. I paid a dollar. (I knew I needed them at the time, I just didn’t know what for 🙂
My wonderful husband made me some beautiful Chinese paper lanterns to display at the party out of scrapbook paper I found at Micheals. He is really amazing with making things out of paper. It really is fascinating to me how he accomplishes this, since I would probably get frustrated and tear the paper up. Lol
Ken painstakingly makes all kinds of creations for me for our parties making sure every little crease is perfect to give it just the right form and shape. Thank you honey, for once again adding the finishing touch to the decorations.
We displayed the Chinese paper lanterns alongside Ken’s Chinese swords in my Zen corner of the living room. We also hung up a Chinese dragon we found at the east meets west store. If my memory serves me correctly, it ran about six dollars for our elegant dragon.
Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a lot of money when throwing any type of themed party. The trick is to check your local dollar store first and then the clearance section of your craft stores. I always check my available supplies at the house first to see if there is something I can use before ever stepping foot out the door. If you decide you want to start entertaining more often, find yourself a space in your home, or a bin to store decorations, so you can reuse them.
By having everyone bring their favorite dish, we had a ton of great food. Let’s just say no one went away hungry. Once the party started, I was busy making our signature cocktails for the night so I forgot to get images of the food table Ooooops!
If you would like to try our “Prancing Pony” cocktail, you can get the recipe here.
One of the highlights of the evening was the gift of Chinese lanterns our friends Greg and Michelle brought for our enjoyment. This prompted everyone to head out into the cold and dark to light the lanterns, and watch them float off over the roof tops. It was truly a beautiful site to behold.
They went up so high in the sky that their was much speculation as to whether the police station would be getting calls about UFO sightings. A special thanks to Greg and Michelle, and all our friends who showed up. You made it a night to remember.
At the end of the night we had everyone write a wish for the year and we tied them to the gold branches in the vase. We are keeping the envelopes for the whole year, and when we have a party next year the guests can open them to see if their wishes came true. We also gave them a parting gift of a red envelope with gold chocolate bars inside for luck and abundance in the coming year.
If you could have any theme party you wanted what would it be?