One of the joys of entertaining is bringing friends and family together at a party. Throwing your first party can be both an opportunity and a challenge. You may wish to ask people you volunteer with, work with, or those who live in your condo or apartment building. You may find they’re great company and fun to be with. It’s a great way to reach out and share more quality time together, yet get to know them in a fun and new environment. If you’re hesitant about giving your first party, especially if you’re single, a new bride, a widow or widower, talk your party ideas over with a family member or close friend. Keep the numbers to no more than twelve and no less than six. Be comfortable with those you invite.
Should you decide not to do it in your home, you may consider taking everyone out for lunch or tea, or a light supper bite after an event you have all attended. You may want to call the manager or maitre’d ahead of time to make a reservation and tell them these people are your guests, and you will be picking up the check. If you’re planning to use a credit card, you may wish to give them your card when you arrive.
Feeling good about yourself and having the right energy level adds to the success of any party. If you want to plan a large party, consider co-hosting it with a married couple or other single friends. Choose a neutral place to give the party, and allow each person to pick the area they enjoy working in whether it be invitations, menu planning, decorating, or setup. Make sure everyone shares in the responsibility and the expenses. When at a complete loss, take everyone out!
Shelly’s Noodle Kugel
When I entertain in my condo, one of my favorite menu items is a noodle pudding or “kugel”. It is a good “make-ahead” addition that has become a favorite for both my faamily and my friends. I can’t count the number of times I have besen asked for this recipe. It is served at all my cousins’, the Greenberg families’ “pot luck” gatherings and is a perfect accompaniment for seafood. You may wish to cut the recipe in half for smaller gatherings and bake it in a 9 x 13 -inch oven -proof container.
One 16 ounce pkg. extra wide Inn-Maid noodles
One 16 ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
8 large eggs, well beaten
4-1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Grease an extra large, oblong, baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Place the cream cheese and margarine in the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat the cream cheese and margarine together until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. On low speed, slowly add the eggs. Beat 1 minute. Add the milk and vanilla. Beat 2 to 3 minutes more.
3. Pour over the noodles and blend together. Place into the prepared baking dish. Bake 1 hour. 15 minutes or until browned slightly on top. Allow the kugel to cool 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
Zell’s Tips: The kugel may be prepared a day ahead, covered well and refrigerated, before baking. It also freezes well after baking.