Learn how to host a pizza party for your next celebration! Whether it’s a birthday or family gathering, or a commendation for a team win, these pizza party ideas are an easy way to make sure your event is a success.
Hosting a Pizza Party
You don’t have to wait for National pizza party day to host a pizza party. (Or course, this holiday, which falls on the third Friday in May, is another great excuse to dig in!) Host a party or pizza night anytime with our easy tips and ideas for the menu, invitations, and more!
Reasons to Have a Pizza Party
Anytime is a great time to host a pizza party! Here are some of the top reasons to host a pizza party for your next shindig.
What Do I Need for a Pizza Party?
Unlike dinner parties, serving pizza requires less planning and fewer utensils to pull off. You can make it as minimal or as extravagant as you like. To throw a basic pizza party, here are the things you will need:
How Much Pizza Do I Need for a Party?
The amount of pizza you need to host a pizza party depends on the number of guests that will be attending. The great thing about pizza, however, is that it makes great leftovers. Therefore, you can safely order more than you need to accommodate unexpected guests or big eaters.
There are several factors that go into calculating the correct amount of food to feed a crowd. These include the appetite of the attendees — children and adults tend to eat varying amounts of food — as well as the size of the pizzas you order.
A large 16” pizza pie is typically cut into 8 slices. Children generally eat two slices on average, while adults eat three. Using this math, you’d want to order three pizzas for every eight adults. For kids, you’d need one pizza for every four children.
Pizza Party Menu Ideas
The only party food you really need to host a pizza party are those pies! Therefore, you want to be sure to include vegetarian or gluten free options for guests with dietary restrictions. These mini eggplant margherita pizzas are a great option that works for both.
However, in addition to pizza, there are other menu items you can add to the event. After all, most people delight in digging into those side dishes as well!
What are Good Apps for a Pizza Party?
Here are some other exciting menu ideas for sides and appetizers for the next pizza party you host:
Pizza Party Decorations and Ideas
How you decorate for a pizza party depends largely upon the type of party you are hosting as well as your guest list. However, following we’ve provided some examples of popular pizza party themes along with their associated decorating ideas.
Don’t forget to thank your guests for being a pizza the party once your event is over. These promotional pizza slicers make wonderful party favors to commemorate the celebration.
Need an effective way to connect with clients, build relationships and convert leads? Personalize one of our patented pizza wheels today! Shop our line of branded promotional products now at Magnets USA® and LifeLong Gifts™. You can also subscribe to the Magnets USA® newsletter to stay up to date on current specials and promotions. Or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
With regular maintenance, it’s easy to take care of your knives. Discover our top tips for knife care along with a handy guide for sharpening and honing your blades for the best performance.
How to Take Care of a Knife
The quality collections of kitchen knives from LifeLong Gifts™ are carefully crafted from high-carbon German steel to last a lifetime. Superior to stainless steel in that they hold a sharper edge and resist deformation, the blades of carbon steel knives do require regular care and maintenance for the best performance.
Learn how to care for a knife the right way with these kitchen knife care tips. Plus, discover how to sharpen and hone your kitchen cutlery to keep the blades sharp and in premium condition.
Kitchen Knife Care Tips
Regardless of what type of kitchen knives you own, basic knife care and maintenance is paramount to extending their life and keeping the blades sharper longer.
Following are our top knife care tips to keep your blades in optimal shape. Whether you own Damascus kitchen knives, Chef’s knives, Santoku knives, an Ulu knife, or simply an everyday set of kitchen knives, these valuable pointers will ensure you always make the perfect cut!
How to Keep Knives Sharp
A sharp knife is a safe knife. In addition to the knife care tips previously mentioned, you can also keep your knives in tip-top shape with regular honing and sharpening.
How to Hone a Kitchen Knife
You may recall having seen professional chefs using a honing steel. This rod is made of either steel, diamond-coated steel or ceramic. Unlike a knife sharpener, a honing steel won’t sharpen the knife blade. As no steel is removed from the edge when it is used. Despite this, honing does play an important role in regular knife maintenance and care.
So, what does honing do? And why is it associated with knife sharpening?
With regular use, the edge of your knife blade will start to bend. A honing steel straightens the edge back to the correct angle for proper alignment.
To hone a knife blade, place it against the base of the honing rod. Then place the blade along the steel at a 20°-22° angle. Slide it diagonally away from yourself while holding the honing rod in a fixed position. This action is then completed between 5 and ten times per side of the knife blade.
Using a honing steel correctly, however, does require some level of both skill and practice. For this reason, LifeLong Gifts™ offers an everyday sharpener for your kitchen knives. This tool hones the blade of your carbon steel cutlery. It also sharpens the blade at the same time, by removing a very small amount of steel to account for small nicks.
How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives
The everyday knife sharpener makes it a breeze for even beginners to sharpen a knife. This fool-proof method eliminates the need to hold the blade at a precise angle. It also takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out the proper way to use a whetstone.
To sharpen a knife with a handheld knife sharpener, follow these easy steps:
Knife Care and Maintenance FAQ
Have additional questions on how to properly take care of a knife? We’ve got you covered! Following are answers to common questions on knife care and maintenance.
Why Won’t My Knives Stay Sharp?
There are several reasons that your knives won’t stay sharp. The angle you use when making cuts as well as the surface material you are cutting on both determine how quickly knives may dull.
When sharpening knives on a whetstone, it’s important to sharpen them at the proper angle. Otherwise, your kitchen cutlery may take longer to sharpen. There's also the potential to dull the blade. If the angle is too high, it will take longer to sharpen the blades. Additionally, if you rock the blade during sharpening, you’ll end up with a dull rounded edge.
Likewise, not using a cutting board, or using the wrong type of cutting board, can also dull the blade faster. We recommend using a wood cutting board, like these cherry cutting boards, to extend the life of the blade between sharpening.
Further, the materials in which the blades are made also impact how quickly it dulls. Stainless-steel knives, for example, dull faster than carbon steel knives which are made from a harder material than stainless.
In general, knives forged from harder materials hold an edge longer. Therefore, if you find you are having to sharpen your stainless-steel knives more often than you like, consider upgrading to a higher quality set of carbon steel kitchen knives.
Will a Dishwasher Dull Knives?
The harsh detergents, water and extreme temperatures of a dishwasher will not only damage the handle of your knives, but they can also dull and warp the blade. We therefore recommend that you always hand wash your kitchen knives.
Do Knives Dull in Water?
Leaving your knives soaking in water is never a good idea. Not only is it dangerous to leave a knife in a sink, but the water also has the potential to damage the blade. Not only is there an increased possibility of the blade rusting, but it will almost always cause the handle to degrade. In addition, most stainless-steel blades result in microscopic loss of metal when left to soak.
Leaving a knife in water may cause the blade to dull more quickly. However, it can also cause more serious damage — and safety issues — that you want to avoid.
Should I Oil Kitchen Knives?
It’s a good idea to oil your carbon steel kitchen knives a few times a year to help prevent rust and corrosion. Oiling knives can also help to condition the metal and keep the blade sharp depending on the type of oil used.
How Often Should You Oil A Knife?
To properly maintain an expensive kitchen knife, it’s recommended that you oil carbon steel knives after each use. Stainless steel knives, on the other hand, can be oiled once or twice weekly.
What Oil Do You Use for Knives?
There are several types of oil you can use on your kitchen knives. We recommend that you use synthetic oil as it lubricates the blade, resists dust and won’t go rancid like natural oils, such as olive oil. Food grade knife oil is non-toxic, odorless, and flavorless, making it the best option. You can also use food grade mineral oil.
If you prefer to use a natural oil, then we suggest using camellia seed oil. This natural oil is similar in composition to fractionated coconut oil. It is odorless and flavorless and has a lengthy shelf-life. However, unlike other natural oils, it won’t make the blades feel greasy or go rancid. Nor will it leave behind a sticky residue.
Are Dull Kitchen Knives More Dangerous?
Using dull knives can be more dangerous than using a sharp knife. While you can get cut with a sharp blade, these wounds are generally not as deep or as serious as those caused by a dull knife. The reason being is that you need to use more force than usual when making cuts. Therefore, should the knife slip, the resulting injury is more severe due to the additional pressure that was used.
Can You Clean a Knife with Rubbing Alcohol?
As most steel is non-porous, it’s not necessary to sterilize a knife after use. Typically, rinsing and drying a knife before food has a chance to stick is sufficient. However, you can use 70% isopropyl (or rubbing) alcohol to clean and sterilize the blade if desired.
To clean a knife with rubbing alcohol, just wipe the blade with alcohol, then put it away. There’s no need to rinse or dry the blade afterwards.
However, it is important to note that alcohol is a solvent. As such, it will remove any oils from the surface of the steel blade. Therefore, you may want to oil your blade after sterilizing to help prevent corrosion.
Why Do High Carbon Steel Knives Discolor?
The blades of carbon steel knives tend to tarnish and develop a blue-gray or purplish patina over time. This happens when the blade is exposed to either air or acids. This type of oxidization is common and no cause for concern. While rust will damage your blades, patina does not. It can also aid in the prevention of damaging rust.
Foods that promote discoloration include fatty fish and meat, fruits and acidic or alkaline vegetables.
How Do You Remove Oxidation from a Knife?
Sometimes, despite all precautions and proper knife care, high carbon steel knives do rust. If your blades develop rust or tarnish, there are several methods you can employ to remove oxidation from your knives.
Here is how to remove oxidation from a knife:
Regardless of what method you choose to remove oxidation from a knife, we do recommend that you apply a lubricant to the blade afterwards. Oiling your knife is an important step in knife care and maintenance to help prevent future or further rusting.
Where to Buy Custom Kitchen Knives
We hope these knife care tips instruct you on the proper use and care of a kitchen knife. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a new kitchen knife set, or if you need personal or corporate gift ideas, be sure to check out the line of custom kitchen knives from LifeLong Gifts™.
Just as the name implies, LifeLong Gifts™ offers superior-quality, heirloom-worthy products designed to last a lifetime. Fall in love with our engraved kitchen cutlery, custom cutting boards, wood wine gift boxes and more! Shop this unique line of luxury gifts today. Or sign up to receive the latest deals and promotions.
Learn how to host a successful holiday party with these easy tips. Plus discover fun food ideas and party favors to make your festive event one to remember!
How to Host a Holiday Party
There’s a lot of work that goes into hosting a holiday party. While the food and decorations are obvious, there are a lot of preparations that need to be made ahead of time.
Following is an easy guide to hosting a successful party for the holiday season.
Select a Date
The holiday season is incredibly busy for most folks. Therefore, you want to carefully choose the date to host your holiday party. Plan early so you have time to check with attendees and make sure they haven’t already made other arrangement for the date you have in mind.
Mail Out Invites
Rather than an impersonal text message, email, or a Facebook event, send out personal invites via snail mail. Minute Mail Gifts makes it easy to send handwritten cards. Choose a festive holiday card for your invites, then create a template so it’s quick and easy to send a card to each of your guests. You can even include a small gift with your card to help build on the excitement leading up to the day. Your cards and gifts are then mailed out within one business day.
When sending invites through the mail, we recommend you mail them so that they arrive at three weeks prior to the event, but no less than two weeks before. As people quickly make plans during this time of year, earlier is always better, and up to six weeks prior to the event is acceptable.
Pick a Party Theme
If you aren’t sure what to serve when you host a holiday party, pick a festive theme! This can help you narrow down ideas for both food and decorations. It can also add excitement to the event. Your theme can be something as simple as a color choices or food highlights.
If you are planning more of a celebration than a dinner party, choose a theme that encourages guests to participate. Host a tree trimming party, have an ugly sweater contest or throw a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Hosting a holiday party can be a huge undertaking. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. We recommend that you ask for help if it all seems like a bit too much for one person to tackle. Enlist friends or family members to help with the planning. Or assign holiday sides or desserts they can bring to free up time you would otherwise spend in the kitchen.
Use What You Have on Hand
We tend to spend a lot of money throughout the holiday season, whether it’s on home décor or gifts. You can save money when hosting a holiday party by repurposing existing Christmas decorations into your party décor rather than buying new ones.
Don’t Skimp on Food
People love holiday parties. What they love most about these parties, however, is generally the food. Therefore, it’s always a good rule of thumb to overestimate the amount of food you’ll need to provide. It’s always better to have leftovers then to run out of food or drink mid-party.
If you’re concerned about having too many leftovers in the fridge after the celebration, then invest in inexpensive storage containers or take-out boxes. Then send guests home with the extras.
Not sure what to serve at your Christmas party? We offer some holiday ideas for party food below.
Set Up Food Stations
If you aren’t hosting a sit-down dinner, then we recommend you set up food and drink stations throughout the area. This not only encourages guests to move around and mingle, but it also keeps them from hovering in the kitchen.
Set up a designated area for appetizers or grazing platters as well as a separate dessert table. You can also create a hot chocolate bar for the kids. And, to save yourself from serving drinks all night, make the bar self-service with pre-made pitcher cocktails and a nice selection of wine.
After all, a good host doesn’t spend the entire evening hiding out in the kitchen! Self-serve food and drink stations make it easy for you to mingle and introduce guests to one another without feeling overwhelmed.
Create a Holiday Party Playlist
While the hope is that guests will interact and talk amongst themselves, it’s always nice to at least have festive music playing in the background. If you don’t subscribe to a commercial-free music service with holiday channels, create your own playlist for the party. Or drag out your old records and give the classic Christmas songs a spin.
If your party isn’t a formal event, providing games is a fun way to break up the monotony if conversation dwindles. Provide card or board games by coffee tables for interested parties. Or create a craft station to keep people busy decorating ornaments, icing cookies, or making handmade Christmas greeting cards.
Set Up a Photo Booth
While not a necessity, setting up a photo booth with props is always a hit. People love sharing their memories on social media. So, something as simple as providing a designated photo space with selfie props makes a nice addition to any holiday event.
Holiday Party Food Ideas
Now that you know how to plan and host your upcoming holiday party, you may be looking for party food ideas. Here are some of our top ideas for holiday food that you can serve at your next holiday or Christmas party.
Holiday Themed Party Food
While having a theme for your holiday party isn’t a necessity, it can make your seasonal celebrations more exciting! By including holiday themed party food, such as a Christmas charcuterie board or a hot chocolate bar, you can make your festivities even more memorable.
Homemade Holiday Party Favors
If you don’t plan to spend a lot of on gifts this holiday season, send your guests home with party favors instead. Homemade Christmas food gifts make the perfect for party favors for large groups of friends, family, and neighbors. Not only are they a thoughtful gesture, but they’re also an affordable option if you’re on a budget.
Following are our favorite choices for food gifts you can give your guests to take home:
These homemade food gifts are also great if you’re putting together a holiday gift basket with personalized kitchen gifts!
We hope this collection of ideas help you host the perfect holiday party. For more hosting help, be sure to check out helpful Thanksgiving tips and tricks for holiday dinner along with these Thanksgiving safety tips.
Also be sure to check our Christmas shopping tips to help you plan and prepare for gift giving this holiday season.
For even more great holiday ideas, follow us on Facebook or Instagram!
Learn how to make your Thanksgiving easier with these helpful tips for Thanksgiving. We’ve pulled together an epic collection of tips and tricks for hosting your holiday dinner. Discover our top recommendations for preparing, cooking, and carving your Thanksgiving Day turkey! And don’t forget to download and print our free Thanksgiving shopping list.
Hosting Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner
Preparation is the key to being a wonderful host. With advanced planning, you’re able to avoid mishaps and undue stress. So rather than feeling frazzled, you’re sure to be this year’s hostess with the mostess.
Put together a game plan.
Start with a game plan. If you’re hosting dinner, then menu preparation is a must. Create a tentative menu of what you’d like to serve. If your guests will also be bringing a dish, you can then make suggestions as to what to bring and mark off any excess from your own menu.
Prepare a guest list.
Write out your guest list and get a headcount early. This will help you to prepare your shopping list, so you know how much food to buy. While leftovers are common, you don’t want to buy more food than you and your guests can handle leftover in the fridge.
Double check for dietary restrictions.
When planning Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to check with guests to see if they have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. This way, you can ensure there’s something that everyone can enjoy.
Make two shopping trips.
Make two shopping lists for the holiday to make sure you don’t forget anything or have to make unnecessary trips. We advise making two trips to the grocery store when stocking up on staples and recipe ingredients.
Buy your non-perishables early to avoid running around to multiple stores to find that sold out cranberry sauce. You’ll also want to pick up your frozen turkey at this time. (Not only do you want to make sure you get it while it’s available, but it will also take several days to thaw.) Then buy the remaining perishable items a few days before the holiday.
We created a handy, printable Thanksgiving shopping list to assist you. You can print and download two copies, one of each shopping trip.
Set the table ahead of time.
Not only should you set your table for Thanksgiving a day ahead, but you also need to double check to make sure you have enough platters, serving bowls and utensils for everyone who will be in attendance.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you have enough serving ware, inventory what you have at least a week ahead of time. This allows you ample time to purchase any pieces you are missing.
You’ll also want to make sure you have ample seating and table space for everyone that is attending. If not, see if you can borrow additional table and chairs from a friend, family member or neighbor who is attending.
Keep notes on recipes.
Take notes when cooking and preparing. This is especially important for those fall recipes that need to be tweaked and can save you time when baking next holiday season.
Plan for leftovers.
There are always leftovers. And you certainly don’t want to send you cousin, Martha, home with your favorite $10 glass storage container that you take to work every day. Therefore, invest in a set of disposable containers to make sure everyone gets to take their favorite dish home without having to worry about bringing it back.
Cook ahead where you can.
Make things easier and less stressful on Thanksgiving Day by cooking ahead. Sides dishes and desserts and easy to prepare a day or two before to free up time for guests on the big day. We recommend that you make these dishes in advance:
Things you should wait to prepare the day of include:
Provide appetizers for grazing.
Set out snacks and appetizers for guests that arrive early. This gives them something to nibble on while waiting on dinner. It also keeps people out of the kitchen while you finish up cooking tasks and make final preparations. A holiday charcuterie board is perfect if you don't want to cook any additional dishes.
Create a separate drink station.
Refrigerator space is precious. For this reason, you don’t want to tie up needed room with things like drinks. Instead, drag out your summer cooler and fill it with ice for storing cold beverages. This also gives guests room to add their own libations as they arrive. And it’s a handy way for them to grab ice without interrupting you in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving Tips for Preparing and Cooking the Turkey
For many of us, eating turkey for Thanksgiving dinner is a huge tradition. However, there’s a lot that goes into roasting a giant bird versus cooking an everyday family meal. Following are some tips for preparing, cooking and carving your Thanksgiving turkey to guarantee the best results.
Tackle Prep Ahead of Time
In addition, you can also save time by planning ahead. You need to prep your Thanksgiving turkey for roasting ahead of the holiday. This includes thawing and brining the turkey so it’s ready to go on Thanksgiving Day. Or you can make the compound butter for your poultry and store it for up to one week in the refrigerator.
If you plan to brine your turkey, you need to allow time to completely thaw it beforehand. Combine the thawed turkey and brine in a clean brining bag or large stock pan. Brine for 8 to 18 hours before roasting. Take care, however, not to exceed this timeframe as over-brining can lead to overly salty meat and a spongy texture.
In addition to the prepping the turkey to be cooked, you can also prepare the gravy ahead of the big day using low-sodium turkey, chicken, or vegetable broth. We like to add sweet onions, butter, flour, soy sauce and fresh herbs for flavor. Once made, you can freeze the gravy for up to three months. Simply thaw it overnight the day before your dinner. Then reheat over low heat, whisking occasionally to counteract any separation that may occur.
Allow Ample Time to Thaw Your Turkey
Allow plenty of time to thaw out your turkey prior to cooking. Otherwise, dinnertime will roll around and your main entrée will still be in the oven! The safest way to thaw your turkey is in your refrigerator. Just keep in mind that it takes a minimum of 24 hours for a 5 lb. turkey to thaw. Therefore, a large bird weighing 20 lbs. will need 4-5 days to completely defrost.
We advise against thawing a turkey at room temperature or in hot water as this can lead to bacterial growth and the potential for food borne illness.
Tips for Roasting Your Thanksgiving Turkey
The second most important part of Thanksgiving dinner (other than the quality time with loved ones!) is the main course. If you’re serving turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, then here are some tips for roasting the best Thanksgiving bird:
How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey
Before Thanksgiving Day, it’s a good idea to decide on who will carve the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll also want to be sure you have the right tools to get the job done. If you’re new to carving cooked birds, we have a great video (below) on how to carve your turkey for the holiday to avoid any mishaps.
Before you carve your turkey, tent the foil, and allow the bird to rest for at least 25 minutes before carving.
Once you’re ready to get started, use a very sharp knife or a carving set designed to handle the task. You want to remove the drumsticks first, followed by the thighs and then the wings. Finally, carve the breast into half-inch slices for serving.
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Safety is another important consideration this time of year. Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is the top day for cooking fires in the US. Therefore, we rounded up precautions to take when cooking, traveling, and preparing food for your guests. You can avoid the most common mishaps that occur on this holiday by checking out our post filled with Thanksgiving Safety tips here.
We hope you find these tips for Thanksgiving useful! If there’s someone you know who loves to cook, then also be sure to check out LifeLong Gifts™ for a wonderful selection of personalized kitchen gifts you can give for the holidays.
Discover our top Thanksgiving safety tips for a happy and healthy holiday. This post covers precautions to take when cooking, traveling, and preparing food for your guests.
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is a top day for cooking related fires in the home. There also tend to be a lot more kitchen and travel accidents this time of year. To help avoid turning your holiday upside-down with a mishap, we rounded up a collection of the best Thanksgiving safety tips. These tips are just a basic reminder of where you need to take extra precautions to keep you and your family safe. So, you can simply enjoy a well fed and happy holiday without incident!
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
When you think about Thanksgiving, staying safe likely isn’t something that automatically springs to mind. (Unless maybe you have relatives that terrify you every holiday for one reason or another.)
However, cooking fires are common this time year, with Thanksgiving being a peak day for cooking fires. Not only are more people spending time in the kitchen preparing for guests, but there are also a lot of folks who are making Thanksgiving dinner themselves for the very first time.
Therefore, in order to help you avoid any unanticipated surprises, as well as any potential disasters such as a kitchen fire, we’ve put together a list of our top Thanksgiving safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Cooking and Fire Safety
Food Safety Tips for Thanksgiving
Foodborne illness is never fun. Not only do we want to protect ourselves from getting sick unnecessarily, it’s also vital that we keep our pets in mind as well. Here are some simple rules to follow this Thanksgiving to ensure food safety.
Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips
Most of us travel for the holidays. Whether we’re visiting friends or family or need to make that last minute run to the grocery store, it’s important to be cautious and extra diligent on the holiday. Following are our best Thanksgiving safety tips to consider when you travel.
We hope you found our Thanksgiving safety tips helpful! For more ways to stay safe and help protect your friends, family and community, be sure to check out our emergency and safety tip magnets. These custom magnets can be personalized with your business information. So, they’re a great way to look out for your neighbor, while also staying in the forefront of your customers’ minds.