Our Annual Shindig: 70s Disco Party – Part 2

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In an earlier post, we showcased our 70s themed disco party with 70s food such as Beef Stroganoff, Chicken ala King, Mini Burgers, various Quiche dishes and a make-your-own-salad bar. It was quite a challenge to come up with a 70s party menu!

But a seventies party wouldn’t be complete without its most popular food:  FONDUE.  Meat or cheese? We settled for Cheese Fondue and then debated as to whether it makes sense to do this in a buffet for 35 – 40 guests.

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We were used to having fondue during sit-down dinner where each guest dips cut-up french bread in a wine-spiked melted cheese and served with side dishes like boiled potatoes, salad, gherkins, etc.  And who would want to stand watch over the cheese to make sure it doesn’t get burned? Using an electric fondue pot (which kept the temperature constant), we mixed fondue cheese (ementhal and/or gruyere) with a few bottles of white wine (just kidding, it was only a few cups!) set the thermometer to 250F and voila! — we have gurgling cheese in our midst with pieces of homemade french bread! Guests were encouraged to grab a handful of the bread onto their plates and scoop/pour the cheese over it instead of dipping each piece of small bread individually (although we provided bamboo skewers for those who only want a bite or two.) It was amazing how everybody remembered the fondue in the 70s. Which of course led to more wonderful memories–weddings, who’s hip, what music was cool, the fashion, etc.

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Along with fondue,  meatballs were another fad dish of the 70s, in particular Swedish meatballs.  It must have been really popular back then because even Betty Crocker’s recipe card library has many variations of it: Waikiki Meatballs, Pineapple Meatballs, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, etc. We settled for Italian Meatballs from Costco served with the sauces on the side. This made it simpler and gave our guests choices of sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, mustard or even salsa!

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Our fish dish was adapted from a 1970s Campbell soup cookbook recipe for Fish Florentine .  The dish looked so elegant served as “roll-ups” with spinach and nut fillings. For our buffet, we served it as  layers of spinach and fish (sole fillets). The nuts were replaced by pearled barley and the spinach was cooked a la Ina Garten’s Spinach Gratin. (Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of the dish.) We paired it with Wild Rice with Mushrooms (recipe #18 in the American Classics category of Betty Crockers recipe library).
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It usually take at least 3 days to prepare the party dishes if you want to be fresh and still standing the day of the party. ( I learned from party planner a long time ago to make dishes that can be prepared and stored 3 days in advance of party day.) I tried to follow this rule with the main dishes and as a result, dessert always ended up simple: cut-up fruits and store bought cakes or cookies. This time, dessert took center stage and the most time to prepare because they were all homemade. Yeah, I was in a baking mode and has been baking sweets almost everyday several weeks before the party. The wonderful thing about it was that once they were baked, they were stored in the freezer or refrigerator until party time.  No need to do anything except serve it.  I wouldn’t have attempted to bake any of these until I got involved in the Daring Bakers group.  Not surprisingly, I served sweets I already made with the Daring Bakers past challenges:  cheesecake, strudel, cookies and sponge cake.

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What’s surprising was that there were no photos of our dessert table! (Did we eat all of them that fast??) Well, since I made them in advance, you can just enjoy the photos included in the recipe links.  We had mango cheesecake, mandarin orange cheesecake, espresso cheesecake served as minis, milano cookies, mallows, madeleines and mango strudel.  I also made a special torte which everybody loved. Oh, did I forget to mention that the dessert were all sugarfree? I might have forgotten to let the guests know about it, too, but they enjoyed them anyway.  Some of them were also flourless especially the Food for the Gods. Yummmmm…..!

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For the finale? A karaoke contest! Okay, it wasn’t a contest but guests took turns belting out tunes from the 70s……and the 80s and even the 60s!!  It was a fun night and  great seeing all our friends again.  And as always, we look forward to holding another one next year.  The theme? Arabian Nights.  Belly dancing, anyone?

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» jenn said: { Aug 11, 2009 - 11:08 }

It isn’t a party until some busts out the karaoke. hehe… Looks fantastic. Love the choice of cheese fondue. I’ve wanted to do my own little fondue dinner for a while.

» virtual chef said: { Aug 11, 2009 - 02:08 }

oh so true! LOL


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