Now that spring is almost here (we'll get through this last snowstorm, I promise!) it's time to start planning ahead to warmer days. There is so much to look forward to, like spending countless hours outside with friends and family. Remember those days? Hot, summer days that turn into nights, endless laughter, kids splashing in the pool, and adults enjoying cold beverages and delicious food... it's all coming back—and I'm so excited, because we've had a long winter.
When it comes to preparing a big bash with the extended family, Catelli Pasta has some great ideas for making your next reunion a special one. Not only is Catelli helping families across the country come together in a special way, with incredible recipe ideas that'll make the preparations even easier, they are also running a contest as a thank-you to celebrate their 150th birthday. (How timely, as it's Canada's 150th birthday as well!).
The Canada-wide Catelli Family Reunion Contest offers three generous reunion packages (each valued at $10,000) to be gifted to help families host their own unique and special reunions complete with a delicious pasta feast served by a celebrity chef.
To enter, all you have to do is log onto www.catelli150.ca and share why you want to bring your family together. Maybe you haven't seen each other in a while, maybe you're celebrating a special milestone birthday, and maybe you just want to bring everyone together for a good time. The contest runs until April 4th.
"We've been inspired by families across Canada for the past 150 years," says Claire Labrom, Brand Manager for Catelli Pasta. "Family is why we do what we do—what motivates us to create wholesome meals Canadians can connect over. So for us, the best way to celebrate our shared birthday is to say than you by reuniting Canadians with the people that inspire them, just as Canadian families have inspired us."
Catelli Pasta has some delicious and easy recipes on their site, too, so you can find something perfect the entire family will love. We've put a few of these to the test, and we love everything we've tried, especially the Rigatoni Veal Bolognese.
Once you've figured out what to prepare as the main meal, it's time to get creative with the family reunion you'll be hosting.
Here are some tips that'll help make your night of entertaining a success:
1. Get creative with the family reunion name: What 'family' means today is different for everyone—it's not always a shared last name. Have fun with the invite by giving the event a name that means something to the group. (Maybe a name of a city you all travelled to together to bring back the memories?). Reunion slogans never go out of style—reunited and it feels so good!
2. Add a touch of nostalgia: #ThrowbackThursday is a trending hashtag for a reason—people love to remember where they came from, even if it means sharing that embarrassing hair-cut from years gone by. Get guests excited in the weeks leading up to the event by sharing some classic photos on social media.
3. Make festivities fun: Take a cue from a cherished pastime and leave a Polaroid camera by the guest book for family members to snap some fun pictures to include with their message. For the social butterflies, design a SnapChat filter to enhance the sharing experience. You can even create a unique and catchy hashtag where everyone can capture the action and reminisce post-celebration on Instagram.
4. Celebrate with a local inspired menu: Use more fresh and local ingredients. If you're hosting a potluck, challenge guests to cook their meal with their favourite local ingredients, too.
5. Introduce pasta appies: Put a fun twist on everyone's favourite pasta dishes by making them mini. Pre-twirl spaghetti on appetizer forks, bake macaroni and cheese in a muffin tin, or serve pasta salad in tiny mason jars. Pasta appies are something everyone will enjoy, and you can make a big batch ahead of your big bash.
6. Elevate the plate: Take your cooking up a notch and make your guests feel extra special by adding simple yet elegant garnish. Char lemon halves or infuse your own olive oil with favourite flavours to wow guests with modern trends. It doesn't have to be complicated.
7. Toast with a twist: For the family reunion, ask the oldest and youngest to share the toast. (How sweet is that?) At a more intimate affair, go around the table sharing a short memory of past times together and a wish for the future.
8. Personalize the memento: Get creative with a keepsake to mark the occasion. Follow-up with a simple picture frame with a beautiful picture of each guest or the entire group from the occasion.
However you decide to celebrate this spring and summer, I hope it's fun, delicious, and stress-free. Here's to entertaining and cooking ease... and making new memories to last a lifetime.
Disclaimer: I have received product and compensation for this post. All views and opinions are my own.