Dear Tom and Ellen:
It's my parents 50th wedding anniversary and we are
planning a hawaiian-themed party right after Christmas
for them. We don't want gifts, but would like our guests
to have the opportunity to leave cards and/or money
for our parents to go to Hawaii next year. What do you
suggest for a hawaiian-themed tree to pin money to?
Or do you have a better idea? Thank you!! I really need
Some Ideas for your collection of money, cards for your
parents' trip to Hawaii next year.
There are lots of ways to do this.
1. Buy a real pineapple (one or more) at the store,
and have people put the "cards and/or money"
in it or around it or pin it on with toothpicks
2. If this is a Hawaiian-themed party, must be going
to have some other sort of cut-outs - hula girl or a
palm tree or a fish. Tape the money on the palm tree
or hula girl.
3. Use one of the centerpieces in honey comb, or a table
tree for people to hang gifts, cards on the branches.
4. If someone is really creative, draw a big Palm Tree
on a piece of poster board, and pretend it's real! Play
pin the money on the frond.
5. Put a Hawaiian flower garland up across one wall,
and attach the envelopes like people often do when they
display their Christmas cards on a string.
6. Use a regular Christmas tree. After a few Mai Tais,
no one will notice what kind of tree it was, anyway.
6. Or, have a greeter at the door with a hula skirt
and coconut bra saying "Aloha" and collect
the envelopes with money and good wishes. They can be
presented to the guests of honor on a plastic Ti Leaf.
Hope this is helpful
Tom and Ellen
Dear Tom and Ellen:
I want to plan a luau, but dont have any idea
what I need to do make it authentic? Help!
Casey, Kansas City, Mo.
Planning a luau means making it fun for your guests.
The best parties are the ones that have the right mix
of people, fun party invitations, great decorations
and lots of food and drink. Ellen and I have been in
the tropical party business for years and we love to
create a theme for our own tropical parties. Decorate
the room with inflatable palm trees, greet your guests
with leis and play some Blue Hawaii music. Get the party
going with fruity mai tais. We have included our special
recipe guaranteed to please.
Dont forget the luau foodfresh
pineapple salad topped with a splash of Grand Marnier
or orange juice, roasted pork tenderloin for a new twist
on the backyard pig roast and plenty of liquid refreshments.
We have included all the recipes for you! Most of all
have funwe do every day.
Tom and Ellen
Dear Tom and Ellen:
I am having 25 guests over for a tropical themed bash
for my husbands birthday. I have no idea how much
food or drink to have on hand. Please give me some help.
I dont want to run out and ruin the fun.
Helen, Minneapolis, MN
Dont worry! There are some simple formulas for
party planning that will make sure your party is a hit.
First figure out the hours of the partyit may
go on all night. So plan accordingly. .
Plan ahead and make a list. It will
make the day of the party a snap. Have your guests bring
their favorite tropical dish to ease the work load.
Or plan all the food and drink yourselfit doesnt
have to be a last minute headache. Ice should top the
list of party essentials. Have one of your friends man
the blender and whir up special concoctions. Use our
Tropics Express recipes. It will free you up to keep
track of the party food. Buy a couple of bags and fill
an ice chest with drinks. Be sure to check all the ingredients
before the party. Offer some alternative beverages and
nonalcoholic drinks that are fruity and fun...
Fill a ring mold with water and
edible flowers or orange juice, crushed pineapple and
maraschino cherries. Add the frozen mold to a spiked
punch. If you use juice top with sparkling soda for
a fizz. Let guests serve themselves.
Separate the drinks and food in
the party layout. It will ease congestion. Make sure
you stock up on party pineapple napkins or other tropical
inspired party goods.
Consider serving hearty portionsallow
6-8 ounces of roasted pork (or other meat) per guests.
People tend to eat more when enjoying the party atmosphere.
Or if you are serving a party platter of cold cutsyou
may want to plan on 2-4 ounces per guests. Ham kabobs
skewered with chunks of pineapple grilled and served
as a main dish hot off the grill. Enlist a friend to
preside over the fire. Give them a hula girl or bikini
clad figure on their apron and they will gladly help
out. Everyone will get a laugh and the food keeps coming
while you are free to mix and mingle. Have guests skewer
their own kabobsoffer bowls of ham cubes (cut
into 2-inch cubes), tomatoes and pineapple chunks. Set
the bowls on ice.
The amount of food depends on the
time of the party. Consider what other foods you are
serving to round out the menu. Incorporate some color
in the menu plana fresh vegetable tray with a
creamy dip like our recipe served in sweet Hawaiian
bread will surprise guestsit is served hot. Offer
a simple pasta salad dressed up with marinated artichokes,
olives, tomatoes and cheese for an alternative main
dish salad. It is good to have a combination of hot
and cold foods. It means you wont be doing a lot
of last minute work. You can always pick up convenience
foods at the deli. Allow about a half cup of salad person.
Offer a touch of sweet to round
out the partymacadamia nut cookies or a birthday
cake complete with pineapple or coconut. Make a molten
lava cheesecake full of rich decadent chocolate and
frozen for a frosty birthday cake. Top with party sparklers
for a real birthday surprise! Or bake sugary (use a
mix and add the nuts for the gourmet surprise) macadamia
cookies cut in the shape of palm trees, geckos, turtles
or surfers. Your guests will love the favor. They can
take a sweet wrapped cookie home for a tasty reminder..
Pass out bubbles as party favors
or place cards. Everyone can blow bubbles to the Don
Ho ClassicTiny Bubbles and wish your husband a
happy birthday as you toast to another great party.
Tom and Ellen.