Entertaining Thought #4:
Sometimes the right dish can set the tone for your event. Pour a soft drink into a martini glass instead of a solo cup for a party feel, use your grandma's tea plates for finger sandwiches to fancy up a tea party, use a mason jar to serve iced tea for a square dance. You get the idea.
They don't even have to be expensive. My martini glasses came from the dollar tree. If you don't have vintage plates, you may be able to find them at a second hand shop. Or you could borrow dishes from a neighbor or family member.
One of my favorite mood-setting dishes are my plastic popcorn boxes. I got them from the dollar tree in packs of two. They were perfect for my friend's slumber party bridal shower. They're great for a casual movie night. They just say "Welcome. Now, kick off your shoes, watch a movie and relax". (Unless you want to sit really close to someone on the couch. Then you need to break out the share-able movie-theatre-style popcorn bucket instead. But I digress...)
I'll be honest. I've never met a popcorn I didn't like. Salty, sweet, spicy, cheesy - all Dawn-approved. Then when I realized I could make different flavors at home, it was game on.
Lately, my two favorite popcorns have been going back and forth between:
a) earth balance, smoked salt and nutritional yeast
b) earth balance w/Texas Pete hot sauce mixed in and some garlic salt.
But, today there's a new player in town and he might push someone out of the way. This is my version of an herbed popcorn I bought at Trader Joe's.
1/2 cup organic popping corn
2 Tbsp canola oil1 Tbsp dried dill
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
3/4 tsp sea salt*
Mix all the seasonings in a small bowl with your fingertips. Air pop the corn. Put the canola oil in a gallon zipper bag. Lay the bag flat and smooth the oil out in the bag so it's not all pooled at the bottom. When the corn has cooled a little, put it in the bag, close it (leave some air in for shaking room) and shake to get the oil on the popcorn. Sprinkle in the seasoning mixture and shake until well distributed. You wont get it all, but as long most of it sticks to the corn, you're golden. Grab a couple of friends, put in your favorite dvd and enjoy!
*Note: You may want to start out with a little less salt and taste. You can add it, but you can't take it away. I actually made it with 1 tsp and it ended up being too salty in spots, so the 3/4 would be good, but still salty. If you like a lighter salt taste, take it down even more.