Chicken Enchilada Meatballs Could Be the Next Hit at Your Party


The Shindigz Party Recipe site has another brand new dish that you’ll want to share with your friends and family, so you better make plenty of these Chicken Enchilada Meatballs.

 

Perfect for any Fiesta, anytime:  Chicken Enchilada Meatballs

Perfect for any Fiesta, anytime: Chicken Enchilada Meatballs

Mexican Cuisine is now the Most Popular Ethnic Food in America


Just in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations May 5, 2013, National Party Supply Internet Retailer, Shindigz.com releases the results of a nationwide survey. Mexican tops the list formerly held by Italian Cuisine.

For decades the most popular ethnic food cuisine has been Italian, ranging from pizza to pasta dishes. There are actually more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King combined, according to 2009 statistics.

But it’s the growth in Hispanic style food and beverages being consumed both at home and away that has surged the past couple of years. While Cinco de Mayo has an impact this time of year, the growth of Mexican influenced cuisine has been steady over the past 36 months.

Results from a national party poll conducted by Shindigz lists Chips and Salsa; Margaritas, and Guacamole as year round favorites. With more people cooking at home again, many are creating their own Hispanic influenced dishes such as this Habanero Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball which was featured on the Shindigz Party Recipe website.

Yummy Cinco de Mayo party appetizer – a Habanero Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball

Yummy Cinco de Mayo party appetizer – a Habanero Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1  4 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Serrano seeded and diced
  • 1 Habanero seeded and diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon, diced

In a large bowl or in the bowl of your mixer add the cream cheese and mayo and whip till well blended.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix till well combined.

Pour out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the cheese mixture and form a ball. Twist end tightly.

Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Cook up the bacon in a large skillet till crispy. Drain and cool. Crumble.

Remove cheese ball from refrigerator and roll in bacon crumbles.

Serve immediately with crackers, celery, apples or whatever else you like.

Shindigz is now featuring a new recipe every week at Shindigz Party Recipes.

How to Organize an Amazing Holiday Party


Elegant or Casual?

Everyone, at one point or another in their life, strives to host an amazing party.  Those parties often fall on or around holidays.  Once you’ve decided which holiday you want to create and amazing party for, you can decide whether you want it to be fun and casual or a bit more elegant.  Mind you, occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day are not always the best holiday to throw an elegant party for.  If you want a bit more elegance, try New Year’s Day (or Eve), Valentine’s Day, or Christmas, maybe even Halloween.  Halloween could also be a holiday for which you throw an amazing casual party—other holidays in this category could include Cinco de Mayo, the Fourth of July, and Earth Day.  You could even create an amazing party for lesser-known holidays, like National Dog Day, National Ice Cream Day, and Sweetest Day.

Now that you’ve chosen not only your holiday, but also whether you want to throw an amazing casual party or an amazing elegant party, you can start selecting your decorations.  Many decorations can work for either an elegant holiday party or a more casual holiday party.  Let’s tackle the elegant decorations first.

Amazingly Elegant Holiday Party

Hosting an elegant holiday party does not mean you have to procure fine china.  “Elegant party” does not always equal “sit-down dinner”.  You could provide snacks for your guests and supply beverage napkins and small dessert plates for them to use.   Don’t make all the snacks sugary and sweet.  Do add some healthy treats, too, especially if you offer bubbly, sweet beverages to your guests.

The beverages you serve can also reflect what type of party you’re hosting.  For an elegant holiday party, choose sparkling water or sparkling juice, so guests can use champagne flutes—this will uphold the feeling of elegance and create a sense of sophistication among your guests.  In order to add to not only the elegance, but also the decorations, look into personalized bottle labels.  This way, you’ll have a clearly labeled bottle that will appear as though it was created for your amazing holiday party.

Holiday Party Favors

Moving on, just because you want your party to be elegant does not mean you should leave balloons or favors out.  Whether you decide to have small standing tables for guests to gather around or larger tables for guests to sit at or even just your coffee table and end tables, every table needs a centerpiece.  These centerpieces can be made up of small balloons at a lower height (for the larger tables or your coffee table) or simply a glass cylinder filled with colored stones.

When you start to think about favors for an elegant holiday party, remember that edible favors are always a great idea.  This could be your chance to let the creative bug bite you.  Whether you decide to create personalized candy bars or lollipops or bake a little something extra and go out of your way to find, say, small picture frames to fill with thank-you-for-coming cards, you can put together a small favor bag for each of your guests so they have a way to remember your amazing holiday party.  The favors could also be holiday-appropriate, too.  If you’re hosting an elegant Christmas party, get crafty with some paint and empty Christmas ornaments—make an ornament for each guest, write the date in small print around the top of the ornament, and you have a wonderful favor that your guests will see each year.  For a more elegant Halloween party, create a larger treat bag with the classics: decorated sugar cookies, mini chocolates, and maybe homemade caramel apples (in their own bag inside the treat bag, of course).  The possibilities here are endless; you just have to find the right fit to your amazingly elegant holiday party.

Casual and Fun Holiday Party

Certain holidays make for easy casual holiday parties.  St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and the Fourth of July are examples of holidays you’d be much more likely to create a casual party for—and understandably so!  Many of the holidays that fall into the “casual party” mindset fall during the warm-weather months; many people hear “Fourth of July” and think, “Hey, why not have a barbecue with the family?”

Those same small dessert plates and beverage napkins that were suggested for your amazingly elegant holiday party would be perfect for a fun, casual holiday party, also—especially for a party at which there are more snacks than actual food.  If you decide to host a backyard barbecue for your holiday party, full-sized plates are necessary.  As far as snacks go for a casual holiday party, this is the time you can fill bowls with potato chips, pretzels, and other salty snacks.  You can then balance out those salty snacks with cupcakes, cookies, and other classic desserts.

Because it’s a casual holiday party, you could make a fun, tropical punch for your guests.  Also, fill a metal tub with ice and stock up on water bottles and maybe even bottles of root beer and other types of soda.  This is another fun way to include those bottle labels and give your guests reason to think your holiday party is that much more amazing than others they’ve been to.  These labeled bottles can also be used as favors or decorations.  Decorations are a lot easier for a casual holiday party.  It’s also easy to find decorations and favors that are specific to each holiday.  By using those holiday-specific decorations and favors, a bit of stress is lifted off your shoulders so you can focus on the fun of the party.

Whatever holiday you choose, whether casual or elegant, throwing an amazing holiday party is easier than you think.  All the details are at your fingertips!  Once you’ve planned and hosted one holiday party, you’ll want to plan more—what better way to get your family and friends together than for an amazing holiday party?  Let your creative juices flow and plan away!

2012 Top 7 Cities with Cinco de Mayo Festivals & Parties


This year marks the 150th anniversary of the victory at the Battle of Puebla where heavily outnumbered Mexican forces conquered the French on May 5, 1862.  Jacquie Downey, Director of Sales and Marketing at Shindigz, a leading source for Cinco de Mayo party supplies says, “Today, Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the United States at colorful festivals, parades, home gatherings, and classroom parties.”

Shindigz identified seven cities, which rank high in the following criteria for outstanding Cinco de Mayo parties and festivals:

  •  Growth- The city’s Cinco de Mayo celebration is up and coming.
  •  Authenticity- The city’s festivals include authentic elements of celebration and history.
  •  Food- The is food unique, plentiful, and tasty.
  •  Activities- Varieties of activities and entertainment exist for all ages.
  •  Worth the Drive- The city’s event is worth a 30-minute drive or more to attend.

The following top 7 places represent some of the best, 2012 Cinco de Mayo festivals and events:

#7 Puebla, Mexico – Festival Internacional 5 de Mayo

The home of the battle, Puebla, Mexico is going all out to celebrate the 150th anniversary. The festival has begun and continues through the holiday weekend. A highlight is the Mole Poblano festival on May 2 – 3, featuring the traditional sauce of chocolate and 20 plus ingredients.

#6 San Marcos, Texas – VIVA! Cinco de Mayo

This gateway to the Texas hill country hosts the 38th annual festival known for its parade, Little Miss and Miss Cinco de Mayo pageants, music, and Folklorico dancers.  Catch the annual Texas Statewide Menudo Cook-Off. This soup of tripe, hominy and chili is cooked for hours and thought by many to be the elusive hangover cure.

 #5 Chicago, Illinois –  Cinco de Mayo Festival and Parade

Chicago knows how to throw a party!  Held over three days this year, the downtown parade and Douglas Park festival will draw more than 100,000 (some claim 200,000) partiers throughout the weekend.

 

 #4 San Antonio, Texas – Cinco de Mayo at Historic Market + Luminaria 2012

World famous for its Riverwalk, San Antonio hosts two major events over the holiday. The traditional weekend celebration held at the historic Market Square features Mariachis, Tejano and Conjunto music plus cultural dances and food. Added this year is Luminaria 2012, San Antonio’s celebration of arts and artists. Over 300,000 people are expected to be a part of these events.

#3 New York City – Street Fairs and Pub Crawls

New York’s East Harlem’s street fair is one of many Cinco de Mayo highlights. Want pub crawls? NYC’s crawls over the weekend are large and many. You’re sure to find your celebration in this city that never sleeps.

 #2 Denver, Colorado – Cinco de Mayo “Celebrate Culture” Festival

Over 400,000 attend this mile-high celebration over the weekend. Mexican music, food, and arts highlight this two day party in the Rockies. Need we say more?

 

 

 #1 Los Angeles, California – Fiesta Broadway Festival

Regarded as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world, over 500,000 are predicted to make their way to downtown LA for music, food and games. This year the 23rd annual Fiesta Broadway is on Saturday, April 29.

Celebrate with Your Own Cinco de Mayo Party

Not traveling? Host your own celebration with friends. Fiesta Table Decorations set the mood for party and Fiesta Lantern Garland brings color and hot pepper accents to the room.

Six Popular Adult Party Themes


It doesn’t matter how busy your life gets, you always have to remember to take time to relax ad unwind with your friends.  Right about the time the adult world hits and work bogs you down and perhaps even college classes take their toll on your sanity, that’s when you need to step back, request a day off, and plan a fun get-together with your friends. (You might want to tell those friends to request a day off work, also.)  While there are many themes to choose from for your party, here are six great, popular party ideas for you to start with.

  1. Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Party:  With Cinco de Mayo rapidly approaching, start planning a fun fiesta for you and your friends!  Display cute fiesta candles all around your house or backyard, wherever you’re throwing your fiesta party.  If you choose to decorate your backyard, pick up a fiesta decorating kit to make your party planning that much easier.  Plan on serving chips, salsa, and salsa con queso for your guests to snack on.  Also, would it be a Cinco de Mayo party without drinks? Pick up margarita mix and daiquiri mix, but add fruit juice rather than alcohol for a fun, fruity summer mocktail—this way, your guests get the feeling of margaritas, but everyone stays safe for the entire day.  Serve those delicious mocktails in bright-colored margarita glasses to add to the fiesta-feeling of the day!
  2. Poker Night Party:  Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing poker night?  It’s a night for you and all your friends to dress down, get away from work, and play some cards to relax.  While it doesn’t seem like something you really need to decorate for, the decorations are usually half the fun of a party.  Place a sign in your yard so friends who haven’t been over in awhile know right away which house is yours.  Decorate the game room with clear bulb lights to give the room a relaxed, fun feeling.  Designate a table to the side of the room as the snack table—cover it with a green tablecloth and then sprinkle it with blackjack confetti.  Invite your guests to partake in a potluck and have everyone bring a snack for the group to enjoy.   By the end of your relaxing poker night, hopefully everyone will have won some fun prizes and enjoyed some great food.
  3. Movie Night:  Make some popcorn, call your friends, and pick a few movies to watch!  Conduct a small survey of your friends prior to movie night to find out what genre everyone wants to watch—this way, you’ll know what extra funky decorations you can add, like cardboard standees of Marilyn Monroe, plus you’ll be able to pick out a few movies for your guests to choose from.  Offer up the following genres: horror, comedy, old Hollywood, and musical.  That way, the guys you invite won’t hear “romance” or “romantic comedy” and back out.  The next step is to put together little snack bags filled with candy for your guests to enjoy during the movie(s).  Finally, plan on providing soda and popcorn for your guests (hey, it gives you a reason to buy popcorn containers).
  4. Football Party:  Take a Sunday or a Monday off and plan a football party!  Get all the classic game day snacks: pretzels, potato chips, salsa, queso, and maybe even cook some hot dogs and hamburgers!  Set up a table with a serving tray so your guests can easily pick and choose what they want to snack on—and place some mug-shaped candles in the center.  Also, set up an inflatable mug-shaped cooler for your guests to grab beverages out of.  Give your guests foam footballs to toss around during commercials—but make sure any breakables are out of the room!  Place football-shaped mylar balloons and bunches of colored latex balloons around the room to give it that final, finished touch.
  5. Girlfriend Party:  Get all your girlfriends together for a girls’ night in!  A great way to relax with the girls is by putting in a romantic comedy, kicking back on the couch, and diving into some popcorn, chocolate, and girl talk.  Just remember, you can’t have a girls’ night without a lot of candy—chocolate lollipops, candy bars, and other types.  This also sets you up for adorable favors, like compacts, coasters, and mint tins.  Make the night memorable for your girlfriends!
  6. 80’s Party:  Create a fun, throw-back party by decorating around an 80’s party theme!  You can have all sorts of fun, dress up in 80’s attire and blast Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper on your stereo.  It’s all about neon colors, so bunch bright balloons together all around the room.  Hang a door cover on your front door to help set the mood for your guests.  This blast-from-the-past party is sure to make your guests feel like they stepped into a time machine, but a dance party will definitely help them relax!

Whatever theme you might choose, the main thing to remember is to not stress about the party planning.  Your guests will love to be able to just have a time to get away from their crazy, hectic, adult lives and have a little fun again.

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