Martie Knows Parties: Asian Barbecue
The look is trendy, the flavors are fresh, and your guests will love this healthy new twist on the traditional backyard barbeque of burgers and beans.
Get Creative with Lanterns
Set the mood with paper lanterns. They're inexpensive, come in lots of shapes and colors, and you can find them just about everywhere, including most dollar stores. Instead of stringing lanterns in a line, get creative! Tie lanterns together in clusters to create visual impact. These make an eye-catching arrangement for only a few dollars each. See how to make your own lantern sculpture.
Functional and Festive
Cute take-out boxes in party colors (found at most craft stores) are the perfect party accessory and they serve a purpose, too. Make the rice an hour before guests arrive. To keep it hot, spoon the steaming rice into take-out containers, place them in a Styrofoam cooler and tighten the lid. This will keep your rice steamy and warm until serving time. Resist the temptation to open the box. You'll let the steam out.
Super Simple Decorating
Look at items you have in a new way. For example, these nicely shaped water bottles make a great vase: add one flower for a simple centerpiece. Try to select a color palette that works well with dishes you already own. A colorful square plate, a set of chopsticks and a take-out box at each place setting will take your dishes from everyday to exotic. Get tips on how to make your party memorable.
Glasses and Garnishes
You eat (and drink) with your eyes first, right? A pretty glass and imaginative garnish makes any drink look festive. Since our Ginger Saketinis feature ginger, we skewered candied ginger, found at specialty grocers, for the garnish. Tip: Make plenty of garnish ahead of time. You don't want guests waiting for a drink.
Get Help from the Store
Store bought or take-out sushi is a great way to get the party started. Order sushi from your favorite place or grocery store. Stick to the basics; don't get anything too exotic unless you know your crowd will eat it! Arrange the sushi on a platter and serve with plenty of wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. See how to get your party prep done easily.
Ending with Ease
is the perfect ending for this healthy menu and it's a great make ahead item. To make it easy to serve, scoop the ice cream onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop it into the freezer until serving time. You won't have to wrestle with scooping while guests wait. Serve with store-bought fortune cookies; find them online, at World Market or any Asian grocer. Recipe: Green Tea Ice Cream
Asian Barbecue Menu
This menu has a few exotic sounding items but it's actually easy to prepare and much of it can be done in advance. Salmon is the star of the show, so start with the freshest fish you can find. Bok choy and edamame can be found in the produce section at most grocery stores. You'll need a few specialty items: find sake, wasabi, sweet rice wine, soybean paste and dark sesame oil at an organic grocer like Whole Foods, an International store like World Market, or an Asian market.. Don't forget the fortune cookies–Confucius says: You make friends easily. A party is in your future!