Wednesday, February 10, 2010

AFTER-AFTER-PARTiES




I love being hostess of After-After-Parties at my apartment. You can take off your shoes and control the iTunes and I will make treats and you will be proclaiming my cooking better than your mama’s. It will just be the last of the cocktails from earlier talking but it doesn’t matter because in that moment, it’s delicious. We pass around the champagne bottles left open from the pre-party before they go too flat to drink and have to be thrown out, and we have extra toothbrushes and Advil and air mattresses that are so cozy you won’t even wake up when I leave for work, and when I come back it’ll be time for late brunch in Beverly Hills and we’ll start rallying to do it all over again till the day comes when we’re not so young in LaLaLand.
Some of your guests will be ready to pass out, while others will continue to rage. 
Be prepared to entertain all levels of rally ability during your After-After-Party.
Photo via Vogue.fr

After-After-Parties occur after you have been dancing all night (The Party), then socializing all morning (The After-Party). Once you have found your way out of the hotel lounge or house in the hills and are hailing a cab on Sunset, then turn to find that five of your still-raucous friends are piling in with you and have another cab full following behind, you have entered After-After-Party hour. These times are often the most fun, adopting a devil-may-care attitude and proving more intimate and low-key. All night you have been starving, and now you get to eat. All night your stilettos have been digging into your feet, and now you kick them off. Get to know your date better and gossip with your girls about the night’s events, all the while sharing your cute apartment and delicious food. As the epilogue to your Pre-Party Guide, wrap the night up right with these THREE STEPS: Proper Music, Delicious Treats, and Comfy Accommodations
Dancing on furniture via Pinterest



STEP 1.) PROPER MUSIC

Although you have been rocking the newest upbeat jams while dancing all night, popular musical choices for the after-after-party are more random. Songs often have a sing-along factor and indulge nostalgia ("Ahhh senior year this was the jam, remember this aww I love you girl!!"). The main things are to pay attention to the mood, get everyone on board, and designate a willing participant to play DJ.


Alex, Gisele, and Karmen backstage at Alexander Wang via Style.com



Popular choices include: 
                                                        - Last Dance With Mary Jane by Tom Petty
                                                        - Hollywood Nights by Bob Seger
                                                        - Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns’N'Roses
                                                        - Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
                                                        - Want You Back by Jackson 5
                                                        - Borderline by Madonna
                                                        - Dancing Queen by ABBA
                                                        - PYT by Michael Jackson
                                                        - Gin & Juice by Snoop Dogg
                                                        - California Love by Dr. Dre
                                                        - Country Grammar by Nelly
                                                        - Blame It by Jamie Foxx


Party via Pinterest

STEP 2.) DELICIOUS TREATS
What sounds better than food after a night of dancing and drinking? NOTHING. I have found that a few of the most popular treats at after-after-parties include homemade pizza, deviled egg sandwiches, and mac'n'cheese (stay with me here).


Natalia getting her treats on


DELICIOUS PIZZA RECIPE
Don’t worry, this is not nearly involved as it sounds, and your guests will be tres impressed. The following serves one, but you will obviously make as many as necessary once you get the hang of it.


Ingredients:
Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Tortilla (also known simply as Delicious Tortillas in my apartment)
Drizzling of olive oil
1 jar of Newman’s Own Organic Marinara sauce 
A few glugs of leftover red wine
A pinch of Trader Joe's Crushed Garlic
A handful of pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
1 block of Parmesan cheese (you will not use the whole block, the quantity you wish to grate depends on how cheesy you like your pizza and also how tired your arm gets)
A spoonful of Trader Joe's Sun Dried Tomatoes
A few sprigs of fresh basil
If you have additional toppings in the fridge that sound delicious, as many items do at 4 AM, feel free to improvise (suggestions include mushrooms, olives, leftover chicken)
Directions:
Drizzle a tortilla with olive oil and place in the toaster oven and turn dial halfway. Pour the jar of marinara in a pot and heat on stove over medium, stirring with a wooden spoon until slightly bubbling around the edges. Pour in leftover wine and kick it up a notch with the pinch of garlic. Remove tortilla from toaster oven and spoon the sauce onto the tortilla. Spread both cheeses over sauce and top with sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and random items (if applicable). Place concoction back into the toaster oven and turn dial about three quarters of the way. Pizza is done when edges turn crisp. Give everyone a fork and dig in! See, that was easy.

Dolce & Gabbana campaign


DELICIOUS DEVILED EGG SANDWICH RECIPE
This is a favored treat in my apartment because I always keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge anyway, so it is always easy and quick. Also people will reminisce about Easter and their childhoods, which is good to keep amusing conversation flowing. This is especially true if your guests are Midwestern, as many in LA tend to be, because Midwestern people love them some deviled eggs.
Ingredients:
2-3 hard boiled eggs per sandwich
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Garlic powder
Lowry’s seasoned salt
Two slices of bread (my favorite being Food for Life Gluten Free Rice Bread for several reasons, including pink packaging, a slightly sweet flavor, and smaller slices which yields a more favorable egg-to-bread ratio)
Directions:
In true anything-goes spirit of after-after-parties, this recipe is more guess-and-check and personal preference than anything technical. I gave you the ingredients, so mash the eggs and mix as you see fit. It will be amazing, and you will have Midwestern boys proposing to you, so along with pre-boiling eggs, you should prepare a polite rejection that will not spoil the party.

Gisele getting her treats on

DELICIOUS MAC'N'CHEESE RECIPE

Ingredients:
Annie's Homegrown Totally Natural Rice Pasta & Cheddar Mac'N'Cheese

Directions:
Read the box, do as it says, and enjoy!


STEP 3.) COMFY ACCOMMODATIONS 


Slumber party via This is Glamorous



Hangover prevention: Give everyone their own large glass of water (with straws!) and have plenty of Advil sitting out


Hygiene promotion: Keep extra toothbrushes on hand 


Towel protection: Have make-up remover wipes sitting blatantly out, because by the time your girlfriends get ready for bed, they will be too tired to do a good job washing their faces, and then you will have kohl stains on your towels forever (I loveTarget’s brand that they “compare to” Dove’s-- they’re the best)


Guest comfort: Always have extra sheets, blankets, and pillows on hand, and for a special touch, store air mattresses or feather beds in your linen closet to give guests extra comfort and space

ADDITIONAL AFTER-AFTER-PARTY TIPS
- For nightcaps, it is best to serve the champagne left often from the pre-party because then you are not wasting it, and also it will not make anyone more intoxicated than necessary at 4 AM. I recommend splashing sparkling cranberry or blueberry juice in the glass to give an extra kick of carbonation that may have fizzled out (Trader Joe’s also makes their own delicious brand of this juice).


- Boys will most likely not go for the above recommended nightcap, and will probably want Jack & Coke. Get your boyfriend or badass whiskey-drinking girlfriend to leave a bottle at your house, and it will last you forever.


- Although you are offering nightcaps, you must also slyly monitor those who may not need it, and distract them with music, the camera, or other niceties. 


Elle McPherson 


I think that this spirit is most palpable in those rare sunrise hours. Inhibitions are down and the air is still and heavy with the glow of dawn. Some friends lounge on the couch offering tired smiles, while others dance barefoot across the carpet. Girls huddle around the camera shrieking and giggling at the pictures from the party, while boys sip whiskey and flip through the iTunes. Your girlfriends run around in their cocktail dresses and your borrowed sweatshirts or blankets, while the boys shed their button-downs and relax in their white tees. As a hostess, it is definitely an art to cultivate this special feeling of togetherness. So take care of the guests at your after-after-parties while you are still young enough to have after-after-parties.

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