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Throw a theme party to spice up summer

White Party
Pale foods at a White Party

With Memorial Day behind us, that means summer has officially begun. Please, no whining about high gas prices or unemployment. This summer it's entirely possible to have a blast right in your own home.

So why not throw a theme party? Everybody loves them – the thrill of an out-of-the-ordinary theme can lead to much anticipation!

Over Memorial Day weekend, I threw a "White Party" for my wino friends at my home in the Harrisburg suburbs. Originally intended as an excuse to sample some great white wines, I decided to take it one step further. There would only be white or light-colored foods and everyone had to dress in white. This was rather appropriate considering the old saying that Memorial Day is when you're "allowed" to start wearing white shoes and pants.

Needless to say, all these "rules" really got people's creative juices flowing and made for a flurry of excitement around the event. There were some excellent white wines, which helped broaden the horizons of those who typically only drink red wine. And the full spectrum of white outfits was definitely a point of discussion – especially guys wearing white flip flops! But most impressive of all was how imaginative everyone got with the pale foods. Some highlights included a cheese platter, white-chocolate covered strawberries, white asparagus, chicken alfredo, hummus and pita chips, white chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, angel food cake, marinated shrimp, pumpkin seeds, popcorn and even a tasty "albino" pasta salad. I topped it all off with my now-famous white sangria, and guests lingered late into the night. I'd say it was an awesomely pale time!

Take my White Party idea, or start thinking of an excuse to throw a theme party of your own. It's a simple way to spice up your summer.

Erica Streisfeld can be reached at