Food  plays a significant role in the success of any party.  That is the case no matter what the purpose of the festivities; birthday, anniversary, graduation, or holiday. Minus a holiday celebration, a party typically honors a person or group of people.  Consider making food more than sustenance.  Cook up some dishes that serve as a tribute to the honoree.

The 40th  Birthday Celebration Example

When I turned forty, to my delight, I walked right into a whopping surprise party put on by my fabulous sister, hoot of a husband, and three terrific sons.  What a celebration it was!  Eating out at a variety of restaurants serves as a favorite pastime for the family. Favorite menu items await us at the favorite eating establishment haunts.  On the buffet lovingly arranged at the birthday party, my favorite foods gathered together. My sister prepared the hot cheese dip to mimic Chili’s Chili Queso.  Chili’s  Chicken Enchilada Soup earned a suitable spot inSpoon the display of wonder foods too.  Kukaboora Wings directly from Outback Steakhouse fame glistened in the lineup.  Lest I forget to mention, the delicious taste-alike Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip paralleling that of TGI Friday's was spot-on in taste.  As people served themselves and partook of the tremendous choice of foods, nifty stories spun on treasured times.  The food itself spurred the tales. Neatly tied up in a ribbon for me were the recipes printed out on cards.

The key is that the food was in tribute to the honoree of the party, and not just food that tasted good. A gift that is from the heart  is notable.  Think of food as having the same ability.    Party goers teased about how my sister must have zipped all around town collecting the delectable dishes.  She proudly stated that she made all the dishes except one from a copy-cat restaurant recipe.  Since that day, I have happily played “copy the favorite restaurant” in preparing dishes at home.  A week hardly passes that we do not have Cheddar Bay Biscuits, direct from Red Lobster fame.

A basic search online can give some  decent restaurant copy-cat recipes.  Some are closer to the real thing than others.  My favorite recipes that are restaurant copy-cats are downloadable in electronic cookbooks. Those recipes put together in collections tend to be closer matches to the real thing and are fairly inexpensive.    I find it easier to store and retrieve these files when they are all in one easy place.

No matter which recipes dominate as favorites or how a cook obtains the ingredients list and directions,   follow the favorite foods as one prepares for celebrations in honor of friends and family.    The food in itself is a customized gift.  Enjoy!