Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Parties in the country

Since moving to the country, we've found the laidback South Burnett lifestyle very conducive to impromptu get-togethers with family and friends.

Picnics, barbecues and parties are so much easier when the weather is kind and the lifestyle is relaxed.

I try to keep treats in the pantry and fridge for when people unexpectedly pop by, and have ready-to- throw-together snacks on hand. When the weekend approaches, Harmonie warns: 'Mum, we better clean the house. We live in the country now ..." meaning we are getting used to people dropping by on the off-chance we are home.

Healthy snacks. Photo: Chase Baxter 

 An impromptu after school picnic in the backyard ...

 Food tastes better when eaten outside

And shared with a friend ...

Latecomers are welcome

Recently, Wonderful Pistachios sent MIA a fabulous party pack to make our get-togethers easier.

There were cute retro straws and napkins, deco tea light holders and candles, and a stylish beverage bucket.

They also included some packs of their aptly-named Wonderful Pistachios to try: Roasted and Salted, Salt and Pepper, Sweet Chilli, and Unsalted.

Now, regular readers will know my son Chase has tree nut allergies, so we had to save these for a girlie afternoon tea party for when he was away at camp. (Even though he knows to avoid them, we don't even serve nuts when he is around).

They were declared yummy by the nut lovers, who were happy to take home the leftovers so we didn't have any in the house when Chase came home.

Pistachios are apparently a perfect food to serve at parties

* Along with being one of the lowest kilojoule and among the highest protein nuts, a 30-gram serving of pistachios provides more than 30 different nutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
* Keeping your leftover pistachio shells might help you eat less. Scientific evidence suggests that leftover shells may serve an important visual cue about the amount that has been consumed.
* Stuck for a party colour to theme the room? Try green! It’s a great colour as it directly relates to nature and freshness. Buy fluorescent green straws to funk up cocktails on arrival, dark green napkins for elegance and have green tea lights scattered around the area to create a natural ambience.
* Wonderful Pistachios are harvested in orchards where they are sun-ripened, 100 percent naturally opened and dry roasted without any added oil.
* Be adventurous with what you pair it with. The green nut may be small but it’s big in flavour. Sun-ripened Wonderful Pistachios match perfectly with other snacks such as wasabi peas, soy crisps, chevre goats cheese and Italian meats. Check out food pairing ideas or make up your own!
* In a rush? Wonderful Pistachios come in premium, stylish packaging, so if you don’t have time to grab a bowl, the 250g package looks great on a party table and there’s enough to share around.

Thanks to Wonderful Pistachios, I have three prize packs to giveaway. These include a groovy pistachio bowl set.  The flavours are Sweet Chili, Unsalted, Salt & Pepper, and Roasted & Salted. To enter, simply leave a comment sharing your favourite party tip. The winner will be drawn on Monday, October 14 at 5 pm. 

The competition has closed and the winners are sapna, Jess Hardy and Amber Boyce. Please contact me so we can send out your prizes. Thanks.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love that you're settling in so beautifully! The kids sound very happy too which is nice :D Good luck to everyone that enters!

Janet Camilleri said...

Love love LOVE pistachios!

My best party tip: DON'T. As in, don't throw a party - heaps easier! ;-)

Janet Camilleri said...

PS and then you get to scoff all the pistachios yourself :-)

Char said...

My party tip: if it's a six year old birthday party and you've invited every boy in the class - even the one that made the teacher take a month's stress leave - alcohol or valium for the party-hostess. I included valium because some of us don't drink but are happy to use hard drugs.

Jessie Hay said...

I was brave and threw a party for my daughter and 8 of her friends recently and my biggest tip is to be organised! I had a book where I wrote all planning for it so it was all in one place, and with the help of my lists the party went fabulously! Her friends left saying it was the best party they had ever been to :D

kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Ommm nommm nommmm.

My party tip? Let me organise it cause I am a rock star party planner and my kids are damn ungrateful little shits that don't want parties any more and Boo even asked for a gad damn SAFEWAY MUD CAKE for his birthday this year.

I may just have to sob into my margarita. It would be much better with some chilli pistachios.

Kim maxwell said...

I love that bowl, what an awesome idea!

Always make sure that you precook everything so that you get to enjoy the party too!!!


sapna said...

My tip is to keep kids parties short and simple. Go back to basics with the party food and sneak in some healthy choices disguised with fun! For example, balls of different melons, funny fruit and vege biscuit faces, oven baked sweet potato chips, and sugar free lollies and softdrinks. Party bags can have a craft item and a box of sultanas, and a few balloons as well.

merryl said...

One word - OUTSIDE. Cleaning up is easier and your prized possessions won't be the victim of sticky little hands.

Unknown said...

My party tip: make it a pot-luck. If everyone brings a plate of food, then most of the work is done for you :)

Malinda @ My Brown Paper Packages said...

I love impromptu parties. My girls and I will often have a picnic in a cubby house or invite friends over for a little tea party. Any excuse will do.
I love pistachios but I think I love that bowl more!
My party tip - serve food that is fun. It can be boring old sandwiches but cut them in cool shapes and ta-da, you have party food! And always keep it to finger foods.

sapna said...

Thanks a lot - email sent.