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Hey Sister! Secrets from a Party Planner

Do you have a big event coming up? Maybe a graduation party, a wedding, a family reunion, a milestone birthday, or a baby shower? Me too. That’s why I decided to reach out to my friend, Michele Dirks, for help with the details.

As a former caterer, Michele is the master at planning for large groups of people. Whether in her home at her famous annual Christmas party, or feeding 500 in a rural Honduran village, this woman embodies the gift of hospitality on a grand scale.

Today we talk about the nuts and bolts of planning for a party: budget, how to work on a timeline, what kind of food to serve, how to think creatively about theme and decorations, how to keep food cool and/or hot, and what not to forget. Using my upcoming graduation party as an example, Michele walks us through event planning 101.

I have no doubt you will walk away from this episode more equipped to get out there and throw a crazy good party that will be a gift to your family and friends!

Catch up with Michele on Pinterest.

You can hear my interview with Michele over on iTunes. Just click over and join us.

Find out more about Honduras Impact HERE

This is Michele’s daughter, Erika Lewis, who also helps in the camp kitchen.

Some things you heard mentioned in our conversation with Michele include:

Gold Edible Glitter

Candy Warehouse

Gold Spray Paint

Party Set – Disposable Chaffing Dishes

Full size, stainless steel, 8 quart Chafer

36 inch balloons

Gold Polka Dot Balloons

Helium Tank

LED Glow in the Dark Balloons

Linen White Tablecloths

Gold Foil Hersey’s Kisses

Asian Glazed Chicken Wings

10 lb’s wing parts, thawed

1 ¼ cup dry sherry

1 ½ cup soy sauce

¾ cup sugar

sesame seeds and chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken wings in a single layer baking dish or pan. Combine all remaining ingredients (except for garnishes) until the sugar is dissolved. Pour sauce over wings in the pan and bake for 1 hour or until desired doneness, turning every 15 min. Remove from oven and plate sprinkling toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro on top.

*note may be served with peanut sauce.

 

Lordes Chicken

12 chicken thighs (bone in skin on)

¼ cup fresh lime juice

4 cloved garlic

1 ¼ cup cider vinegar

½ cup soy sauce

½ tsp salt and pepper

Put the chicken thighs in a sealable bag, pour lime juice over the top. Mix remaining ingredients together. Pour over the chicken and let marinate over night. Remove the chicken from the marinate and place in a baking dish, discard marinate. Bake chicken at 350 for about 40 min. until done (fluids running clear). Serve as is or freeze for future use. When ready to serve, thaw cooked chicken, bring it to temp on the grill basting with your favorite Asian or Korean BBQ sauce.

Be CEleng Base Manis (Pork in Sweet Sory Sauce)

1 pork Shoulder

1 can chicken or beef stock

1 onion sliced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

¾ cup minced ginger

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, in a roasting pan set shoulder, pour in stock and and onion and garlic around. Cover with foil and braise for 3 hours, checking to see if it is pulling apart, if not continue to cook for another 30min to 1 hour.

Remove form oven and let set for 30 min. pull apart in the roasting pan.

Sauce:

2 T veg oil

1 cup shallots or red onion, thinly sliced

¾ cup minced garlic

½ gallon chicken stock

3 cups Kecap Manis (oriental market)

1 ½ cup Soy sauce

3 ½ T ground pepper

2 large mild chili peppers sliced

3 4” cinnamon sticks

4 pieces star anise

Hea the oil in a large stock pot, add shallots and garlic, sauté for 2 min. over medium heat. Add ginger and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Pour in ½ stock & remaining ingredients, simmer for 20 min. Gradually add the remaining stock to thin out the sauce and pour over pulled pork.  Return to the oven          (uncovered) for 1 hour before serving.


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