Election Day Party Menu Ideas

Having an Election Day party or gathering? Local and national elections will take place all across the United States. Party lines don’t have to divide friends and family. Besides, nothing helps civil discourse like food and fellowship and who can be bitter when sweets are in the belly? So throw yourself an election party and get the popcorn ready for a night to remember.

Get some great ideas from our website, Multiculturalcookingnetwork.net

THE TASTE- Los Angeles Times Event


One of my favorite events of the year happens on Labor Day weekend.  When I’ve interviewed the attendees of the event,  I’m hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t think the experience is worth every penny.   Set at the Paramount Studio Lot, you walk into a virtual block party.  The sidewalks, the brownstones, the food and the music transports you to New York.   And as a New Yorker, I can vouch to the experience as authentic.  You equally marvel at your environment as you are taken aback by the Los Angeles culinary scene.

So what’s the bang you get for your buck?

  • Escape from Reality
  • Food from the Best Restaurants and Bakeries in LA.
  • You Get a Taste of the World from Italy to the Philippines to Ethiopia and more.21193036_10159180503065368_7832298793042169585_n.jpg
  • Day vs Night- Day and Night offer distinct vibes.  Read our Coverage of the Taste By Night.
  • All you can drink(Although, not advised by MCCN) –  All kinds of beverages are flowing endlessly. 21231108_10159182528145368_7946063294026575833_n.jpg

 Click Here to Learn More

The Joy of Theme Parties

Theme parties just take parties to another level whether it is choosing a color, a decade, pirates, sports, culture, holiday, red carpet or whatever floats your boat.   And believe or not Dollar and 99 Cent store are making it very affordable to do themes.   If you are crafty then visit craft and fabric stores.


Circa 198o’s

So Madonna, expose shoulder with strap> Now as for the Cake isn’t it awesome, seems doable.


Some hay and a wagon wheel can go a long way:


Baby Shower


Pink and Gold




New Year’s Eve

Wine Education & Entertainment with Vince Ferragamo





Back Bay Bistro is pleased to once again team up with Vince Ferragamo, former Rams Quarterback turned Vintner for Tenuta di Ferragamo, for a special evening of dinner, wine, education and entertainment. Vince will be joined by special guest Jim Collins, former Rams’ Linebacker. The evening’s festivities will feature a five-course menu courtesy of the bistro’s Executive Chef Bruno Massager, paired with Vince’s favorite Caressa J inspired and Italian wines.


Aperitivo Sul Plaza

Assorted cheese, charcuterie, grilled fruit, vegetables



Grouper with shrimp almond on a bed of Truffle risotto

Ferragamo Chardonnay


Polenta cake with smoked salmon and sturgeon caviar

“Caressa J” Ferragamo Super Tuscan 2013


Osso buco ala Milanese

2008 Bruno Rocca Coparossa, Barbaresco


Pare tore bread pudding garnished with pizelle

Tenimenti Moscato D’ Asti 


Thursday, January 19, 6 p.m.


Back Bay Bistro

1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660


Dessert Table Ideas

Photo by Crystal Johnson

Photo by Crystal Johnson

Petite treats are a great way to go for a dessert table. Your guest will not feel like they gained five pounds just looking at the food.  If you find a bakery that does mini-donuts it will be a fun touch.  I especially like this concert for a brunch feel because of the donuts.  Wild flowers on the table help to provide a rustic feel but different types of flowers, table clothes and even the color of plates can change the feel of your dessert table dramatically.

by Crystal A. Johnson, Editor

Photo by Veronica Hererra for MCCN

Photo by Veronica Hererra for MCCN

Bling Bling Wedding on a Budget

Bling wedding
Weddings are a beautiful representation of a couple’s love. In planning for that special day however sometimes expenses can get out of hand. Couples desire to have a champagne wedding but sometimes can’t afford the price tag associated with it. In today’s economy it may seem that having a wedding on a budget may be impossible. However sticking to some basic guidelines you will be able to have the wedding of your dreams and still have money in your pocket.

• Cut out things that are not tangible. Put money into items that will last beyond your special day.
• Look for decorating items that are able to be recycled. Candles add beauty to a centerpiece and can be incorporated into your home decor after your big day.
• Attend wedding shows. This is a wonderful way to get money saving ideas as well as enter giveaways for free prizes.
• Network with friends who have been married. They will have wonderful suggestions and might be able to steer you to vendors who can save you money but still give you the wedding of your dreams.
• Check out outlet stores for savings. This is a wonderful way to stretch your budget.
• Have a plated meal at the reception. Buffets tend to be more expensive and increase the cost of your reception.
• Having an open bar will increase the cost of your reception by at least 25%. Consider giving out drink tickets to guest. You will still be giving them some drinks but this will control your cost.

Following a few guidelines will give you a beautiful blinged out wedding on a budget. You will still have a day to remember and money left over.
Here’s to hoping your day is an elegant affair
Best Wishes
Nicole C. Bell
Elegant Affairs by Nicole

Evening Attire Cocktail and Event Attire for Men

evening attire

We are long overdue on the subject of proper former cocktail party attire.  Never fear suggestions are here.   With some help Men’s Style and All That Jazz and mens-fashion.lovetoknow.com.

If you know for a fact that the event in question is extremely formal, then you’reactually in luck because you’ll know exactly what type of Byron_in_tux_smallclothes you should be wearing. Most formal occasions, such as charity dinners, association events or galas, require black tie dress. Don’t veer away from this social norm; doing so will cause you to stand out poorly in a sea of smart suits. READ MORE

Men’s Style and All that Jazz states:

I know you see guys on the red carpet wearing these fine tuxedos and society feeds the notion that tuxedos are formal. Tuxedo’s are Semi formal evening attire, dinner attire, dress attire but not formal attire. Formal attire for day time is the Morning Jacket also known as Cutaway Jacket with Hickory Striped Pants. Properly it would be adorned with spats, patent leather shoes, ascot and vest. This is the perfect wedding attire.


Planning a Garden Party

To my dismay there is not much info about planning a garden party.  Almost every year, I coordinate a garden party at my church and it has grown.  Our largest event had about 90 women.    The very first garden party I threw had only 20.  When you have 20 women the event is easy to do.  When you have 90 women that is quite another story.  Many of the tips will be great for planning a event in general.

How much food?   What kind?

Garden parties are often confused with tea parties where it all about finger foods.  Garden parties are actually heartier not hearty.  It can include a multi-course meal plan.  I have done that before.  However, most ventures are easier as buffet.  If you plan on having salad for 90, plan to purchase about 12 to 14 pounds.  Twelve pounds will do but 14 pounds will allow you to breath easily.  Now granted various salads have more or less weight.  A potato salad is heavier because of the potatoes.  We ordered the Red White and Blue potato salad from Von’s Supermarket deli counter.  Unfortunately, though I preordered a week prior but they did not have the amount requested on hand.  The deli counter server knocked a $1.00 per pound off the price as make good.  Thus, I turned around and purchased a bag of red potatoes, a container of blue cheese and sour cream to stretch the salad.  It is always nice to have gourmet food but it can get pricey.   With a limited budget one may want to consider the large containers of potato salad as back up.  Other items on our menu included edamame salad from Ralph’s supermarket, Cuban potato balls ( order 150 to 200) and empanadas (order 150 to 200) from Porto’s Bakery.  Extremely cost efficient things to make are finger/tea sandwiches such as cucumber, watercress, egg, and curry chicken.  For the curry chicken salad for cost efficiency canned chicken is acceptable; however, grabbing a rotisserie chicken is even better.   For dessert, I picked out teacakes from Martino’s in Burbank.   The teacake is a signature item.  I have been serving that for years but this year the desserts which made a splash with the bite sized gourmet desserts from Porto’s.  Porto’s has multiple locations in the LA area.    We also had a tropical fruit tray.

It is important to note, a garden party is not a tea party.  We use tea sets because it makes everything look so elegant but it is not mandatory.   If you do opt for tea then have a variety of tea options from herbal to Earl Grey.  I like using sugar cubes.  They are classic and not messy.


When you have a garden party around holiday time such as Easter or Mother’s day you are likely to find sales.  A must for a garden is plenty of fresh flowers on your tables and all around.

It is a party so have games. Have a sense of humor.  We had a male server as a butler with top hat and sandals.

We also had a 40’s had fashion show and a jazz band.    I hope these tips help you.  (See Photo Galley from Garden Party) – Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor