Plan a Party and Stick with the Plan

Weight Watchers-themed entertaining lets you cut loose without losing sight of your goals.
Plan a Party and Stick with the Plan

Baby, it's cold outside, and these chilly wintry months are the perfect time to gather friends into the warm embrace of your home for a delicious get together.

Does throwing a party equal ditching your commitment to healthy eating? Not according to Weight Watchers member Laura York, of Tampa, Florida.

"I entertain a lot, and shortly after joining Weight Watchers, I threw a party for some girlfriends. I am a foodie — I've had two local cooking shows, written a cookbook, and am a certified chef — so my guests have certain expectations for great food," York explains. "But I didn't want to blow my whole plan, so I found recipes on WeightWatchers.com, and tweaked a few of my own with the Recipe Builder, which I just love."

Half of York's guests were counting PointsPlus® values, so she made cards for the buffet with the name of each dish and its PointsPlus value per serving. Non-Weight Watchers guests, meanwhile, were pleasantly surprised by the healthy, delicious food. "A lot of us feel like we might overeat, but at this party, everybody felt they could eat without going too far off the path," explains York. Indeed, the food was good enough to bring one guest into the fold. "One of them was like, 'This is Weight Watchers?' And she joined."

Using the Recipe Builder, York tinkered with her favorite gazpacho until she got it down to 1 PointsPlus value per serving. She teamed the gazpacho with black bean confetti salad, Mini-Bacon and Cheese Quiches and Roasted Eggplant Crostini. York's hands-down favorite Weight Watcher recipe is Apple-Cinnamon Wontons a la Mode, which she prepared ahead of time and finished in the oven while the party was winding down. "They made the whole house smell great and were delicious."

As a finishing touch, York made a little booklet of the recipes she served and gave it to each guest as a parting gift. "I started doing this for all my parties a while ago. It makes things easier, since guests often ask for recipes," she says. It's also a handy reference for the host when it comes to planning future parties.

York's menu would also work for a bridal shower. The blushing bride will be eternally grateful, but Weight Watchers-themed entertaining need not be just for ladies. On poker night, serve your buddies waist-friendly winners such as Seven-Layer Mexican Dip, Chili Party Dip, Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip, Oat-Baked Onion Rings, Peanut Butter Cookies.

Gathering your favorite couples for an elegant dinner party? Start the evening by passing Spinach Triangles, Filet Mignon with Garlic Toasts, and Honey and Cheese Stuffed Figs, then assemble at a beautifully set table for a refined main course of Lamb Scallopini with Tapenade or Moroccan-Spiced Pork Chops with Apricot Couscous paired with Nutty Sweet Potato Salad or colorful Herb-Roasted Peppers with Garlic.

Conclude your soiree with irresistible Mini Chocolate Mousse Tarts or classic and crowd-pleasing Tiramisu.

Next time you invite the neighbors for brunch, try a hearty buffet of Herbed Ham-and-Potato Frittata, Honey-Date Scones, Pear-Pecan Coffee Cake with Mulled Apple-Cranberry Cider to sip alongside. You're sure to curry favor with your friends for many months to come. Whether you take a page from York's book and let guests in on the secret — that the menu you serve is not just good, but really good for you — is up to you.

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