Host a Game-Night Party

Posted: January 26, 2008 in Family, Health

Host a Game-Night Party 



Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Come winter, we often want to linger at home, enjoying its familiarity and warmth.
On a dark winter’s night, brighten your spirit with an impromptu get-together filled
with colorful board games, aromatic comfort food, and good company.
The gathering may be such a hit, you’ll welcome the chance to stay in when
the temperature drops. More than just dusting off a Scrabble board and snacking
on microwave popcorn, the gathering, with the aid of a few artful touches,
can become a mood-boosting tradition for family and friends.

Choose games everyone will enjoy. Discount and drug stores often stock inexpensive games to add to the routine lineup. To avoid spending your evening reading directions, stick to simple selections and review before playing time. Check that your board games have all their pieces and improvise (substitute a large button or poker chip for a missing checker, for example) when necessary. If the gathering is multi-generational, plan to create adult-child teams. The evening can hold some fun surprises when the kids aren’t paired up with their parents.



Make food satisfying–and yet easy to prepare, serve, and eat. That means lots of finger foods, simple to nibble between rolls of the die, and a hearty main course to provide sustenance as the night–and games–linger on. With a few pantry staples, such food can be prepared on a whim–key in a season when one is never sure how the winds will blow.
Quick Tip: Stock up on pantry basics. Chicken breasts, cheese, mixed nuts, marinara sauce, and Italian bread ensure you can pull together a memorable party quickly and easily.
Chicken Fingers recipe



Assemble snacks on a tray for easy shuttling between the kitchen and the playing area and then back again. Appetizers arranged and presented on trays with raised edges minimizes messes. Pass out finger foods while guests play a few rounds. And establish an accessible place to set food, drinks, napkins, and dishware. Extra trays come in handy for quickly clearing away dishes between rounds. Then serve dinner with everyone seated around the dining table. Quick Tip: Snacks such as celery and carrots can be prepared ahead. Store them submerged in ice water to keep them crunchy; blot with a paper towel before serving.


Plan ahead and make the dough for the Cheddar Goldfish Crackers. Wrap it well; after chilling it for 20 minutes, you can store it in the freezer for up to two months.
Cheddar Goldfish Crackers with Peanut Butter Spread recipe





Individual soup tureens with their own lids mimic bright-toned game pieces–and keep soup warm until everyone is ready to gather at the table. Display antique game boards on a wall, buffet, or dining table and transform miscellaneous playing cards into place cards.


Warm, hearty soups are perfect for a night of nesting at home.
Herbed Meatball Soup Recipe






Vegetable lasagna’s universal appeal and easy preparation make it a game-night staple. Try using an enameled cast iron lasagna pan to maintain heat while the dish is carried from the oven to the table.




You can skip the lasagna and serve soup, salad, and garlic bread as a main course if you’re short on time. To prepare the Garlic and Herb Bread: Sprinkle a halved loaf with olive oil, chopped garlic, oregano, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, then wrap in foil and bake.





Keep root vegetables–Carrots, potatoes, leeks–handy for a super-simple side dish of Roasted Root Vegetables: Cut vegetables to similar-size pieces, then toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and an aromatic herb such as dill or rosemary and roast at 375°F until fork tender (watch; some vegetables will cook a little faster than others).




Enjoy one more game along with dessert. This last course can be a help-yourself affair, particularly if you offer cookies and pre-slice the sticky upside-down cake to make serving convenient.
Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe





Cake and cookies call for milk. For fun, fill an ice-packed bucket with individual containers of whole, low, and nonfat milk. Name tags on straws look neat and keep beverages organized. Give adults’ milk a spike of the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico and serve in individual shot glasses.


Why not stick with the evening’s theme all the way to dessert? These Chocolate Domino cookies are sure to be a hit.
Quick Tip: No time to bake? Visit the bakery at your supermarket for fresh cookies or cake. Most will accommodate a special order even the morning before your event.
Chocolate Domino Cookies recipe

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  5. Connie says:

    Hi Blue Fox, Thanks for this post. We have a websites for people that want to create their own traditions, learn to communicate and feel a sense of togetherness through healthy activities and games with family and friends.

    I enjoyed reading your comments about food. I never thought of chicken sticks as a game snack. I will now.

    • Blue fox says:

      You are most welcomed Connie,

      I really like the idea of your website and its really nice how it gathers inspiring thoughts for everyone to benefit from…
      Glad to know that you liked the article, and thank you for passing by 🙂

      Blue Fox

  6. Ilse Rykowski says:

    My spouse and i liked this. Required a lot more pictures though.

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