Last year I threw a really terrific Chanukah Party that was a celebration for a combination of really momentous occasions in my life. My daughters first Birthday and for my brand new House that we finally moved into after a few years of whirlwind complications.
I wanted to do something really different and fun, yet practical for the large amount of friends and family I was planning on hosting.
I literally woke up one morning, after spending the night trying to make a party menu, thinking how fantastic would a Latke Bar idea be for a Chanukah party? I knew right off the bat that I was going to have tremendous fun coming up with different types of latkes and various delicious toppings for everyone to mix and match as they please.
I also knew that I really wanted to try putting together a dessert bar ( a huge party trend right now) that would appeal to all, kids and adults. Between those two whimsical ideas, a Chanukah/Birthday Party was born.
It helped that I had my good friend and go-to party stylist Margalit Lankry using her super talent powers to help with the party decor (and conveniently we had a feature article to write that year for Binah Magazine – so our well honed team efforts was photographed beautifully by Esti Photography!)
I realize as I write this post, how much I love this idea for a Chanukah Party and how really fun, different and easy it is to pull off – that I am seriously considering doing the same thing again this year. The visual appeal of mixing and matching colors and patterns is something I really love to do – and I hope after seeing this you will be inspired to try it in your home.
Happy Chanukah Planning!
Look out for Part II: Latke Bar –6 Latke Recipes 20 Toppings & Part III The Ultimate Chanukah Candy Bar posting this coming week!
The Latke Bar
Part I: Designing Your Bars Mix & Match Look
A simple Chanukah classic takes your family party
to a whole new level
This Chanukah, place latkes center stage! Create an elevated latke bar on a simple do-it-yourself board. We served up six variations on the beloved latke, as well as a host of different toppings. Our fresh new concept works equally well as the centerpiece of a table with places set around it, or as a buffet against a wall or mechitzah. The materials are easy to find and quick to put together, and the delicious offerings will appeal to everyone in the family.
When choosing a color scheme, have fun with different patterns and colors. For a successful combination, keep in mind this rule: When you mix and match patterns, anchor the design with a solid accent color; when picking solid colors, include a pattern that ties them together. Start with items you already have, and find new elements to complement them.
Table Linens: Since we had the blue
dinner glasses and plates, we chose a
geometric design. The fabric, from our
local Stitch N’ Sew, makes a gorgeous,
no-fuss table runner. Using fabric glue,
we hemmed the edges and created a
very inexpensive yet sophisticated look
($12.99/yard, 2½ yards for an 8 ft. table).
We also introduced black as an accent
color with napkins from Bed Bath &
Beyond ($12 for 6).
Dinnerware & Glassware: Use what
you have at home. If you want to add to
the look, buy coordinating salad plates or
stemware in your accent color (zebra
plates, Pier 1 Imports, $2.99 each). Our
layered look is both pretty and practical:
since there are so many different latke
and topping options, we placed three or
four plates at each setting so that people
could use different ones for tastes that
might not mix well.
inexpensive creative dishes and
Tabletop Display: Gussy up large
aluminum cans (tomato sauce, Costco,
$2.39 each) by using double-sided tape
to affix wide bands of ribbon. We used
eight cans to evoke a menorah and to
ensure a stable base for our buffet, and
surrounded them with marshmallows.
Fresh flowers, candle votives, pine cones,
nuts, and candy all make great decorative
elements to place around the base of this
Buffet Board: Wrap a piece of plywood
(Lowe’s, $8 for 5 ft. x 18 in.) in
strong tape underneath (or secure in
place using a heavy-duty staple gun). We
studded ours with decorative nail heads
(Stitch N’ Sew, $6 for 50).
Tip: You can save money by using a
table runner or cloth you already have at
Buffet Serving Dishes: We used
rectangular white plates and small white
bowls that we had at home to achieve a
clean, linear look on our table. If you do
not have simple white dishes, you can
purchase high-quality plastic partyware
to achieve the same look for a reasonable
price (thekayacollection.com, $1.99-
9.99). Add labels identifying the different
labels (A.C. Moore or Wal-Mart).
Tip: We used small bud vases with
ribbon as holders for our latke pops.
Gifts for Guests: Create a place card out of a small, white paper box (Michael’s,
$0.69 each). Fill it with chocolate
Chanukah gelt or a small thank-you note,
or leave it empty for your guests to fill
with goodies that you serve for dessert.
Tie each box with a satin ribbon and
Look out for Part II The Latke Bar: 6 Latke Recipes 20 Toppings