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The Big Dipper Party

A perfect alignment of stargazing and fondue.

Star light, star bright--the party is in the constellations tonight!

The Menu

Here are some out-of-this-world recipes for your starry night festivities.

Totally Groovy Chocolate Fondue: Get in the Big Dipper groove with this delicious recipe for chocolate fondue.

Dip for the Stars: Layers of feta, cream cheese, pesto, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes make up this heavenly dip.

Southern Moon Pies: One bite and you'll be over the moon for these chocolate, marshmallow crème-filled cookies. (Note:
You can make the cookie batter beforehand, then freeze. Allow at least eight hours to defrost in the fridge before baking.)

Pangalactic Gargleblaster: Six liquors blended with ice make for a potent cocktail that may very well send you to another planet.

Party Ideas & Tips

Anyone up for a little stargazing?

Start the festivities early enough so guests can eat and mingle before dark, but as soon as nightfall hits, tell everyone to take it outside. There are gigantic spheres of exploding gases and fire to be gawked at!

  • The digs. Spread out large blankets on the lawn, or borrow a bunch of reclining outdoor chairs so everyone can lay back for the perfect view. And let guests know that the party is BYOB--bring your own blanket--either to lie on or for keeping warm.
  • Visual aids. Pass out star maps so guests can locate constellations and notable stars (purchase at hobby shops or telescope stores). Also, use online resources to get a heads up regarding if and where you will be able to spot planets the night of your party (try Google Sky), then borrow or rent a telescope so guests can take turns getting a better look.
  • First star I see tonight. Get everyone to take their places on the lawn or chairs before stars are visible, then whoever spots the first of the night gets a prize--in addition to a wish. But in this rhyme, everyone gets a crack at that first star to have "this wish I wish tonight." Then, let the gazing begin!
  • Gossip, constellation-style. Surprisingly (or maybe not so), stories of astrological figures read as if right out of the gossip columns--betrayal, murder, love triangles, and it doesn't stop there! Who needs trashy magazines when you've got astrology? Assign a constellation figure (e.g. Aries, Taurus, Pisces, etc.) to each guest so they can come ready to tell the tale while everyone is staring off into space.
  • Party favors. At the end of the night, give each guest a glow-in-the-dark constellation (find at hobby shops) to stick on their bedroom ceiling. This way, even though they are headed home, they'll still be able to fall asleep under the stars.

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