Hosting a Game Night

Entertaining at home has become one of our favourite ways to enjoy our new condo. It's more personal than meeting up with friends at a bar or restaurant and it can be a lot more affordable.

This weekend we hosted our first game night! I've compiled a list of helpful tips to throw a fun but simple game night for you and your guests. 

The Food

It seems these days that everyone is doing some sort of vegan, gluten free, dairy free and paleo diet so I wanted to ensure that there would be something for everyone. Below are the items that we served alongside a cheese board.

1) Sweet Potato Skins. A tasty treat that is a lot less guilty that the normal potato skins served at pubs. I don't recommend making this dish if you're tight on time. However, it is an excellent way to make two meals from one ingredient. We saved the scooped-out flesh to make mashed sweet potatoes for another meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of tomatillo salsa 
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Black bean tortilla chips 

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
  2. Wash sweet potatoes with soap and water
  3. Place potatoes in oven on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook for 1hr 15mins
  4. Take potatoes out and split each in half lengthwise. Let cool completely
  5. Scoop out flesh and leave roughly a small boarder of potato flesh in the skin
  6. Preheat oven at 400 degrees F
  7. Arrange potato skins skin-side up on the rack and brush with coconut oil
  8. Bake until skins are browned for roughly 25 mins 
  9. Arrange pieces skin-side down on the baking pan, sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, green onions and chives. 
  10. Bake until cheese melts, roughly 8-10 minutes
  11. Serve potatoes with tomatillo salsa and fresh avocado 

2) Artichoke and Spinach Dip.  A crowd pleaser and very simple to make. I much prefer to make this over buying any pre-made dip. This can be served with veggies, pitas or tortilla chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil 
  • 3/4 cup of canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 of a block of light cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (or use a roasted garlic clove)
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained, dried and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup of shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Pinch of paprika 
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Bring a small pot of water to boil and place a bowl of ice cold water nearby
  3. Place spinach and basil in hot water and cook for roughly 30 seconds
  4. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice water
  5. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly chop
  6. Puree chick peas, cream cheese, garlic and chicken broth in blender
  7. Rub coconut oil around a medium casserole dish
  8. Transfer pureed mixture in dish and fold in spinach and basil 
  9. Add chopped artichokes, parmesan, mozzarella, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste 
  10. Bake until golden brown, roughly 20-25 minutes 
  11. Serve with tortilla chips

The Decorations

Below are some fun ways to incorporate the theme into the venue:

  • Add dice to a cheese board 
  • Scatter various games around the table for decoration
  • We used the game twister as our tablecloth
  • Place a bowl of swedish fish candies in a bowl, and write "go fish"

The Games 

For us, we didn't own any board games prior to the party so we really wanted to purchase games that we knew we would use again. Here are the overall verdicts on these games.

  1. Personally Incorrect. This game is a raunchy version of Cards Against Humanity. A player reads the card and replaces "insert name" with a name of a person at the party. Other players pick an offensive card in their hands to give to the reader. The reader calls out the answers one-by-one while filling in the blanks with the provided answers. 
  2. Taboo Buzz'd. An awesome game to break some icebreakers as the party is just getting started. Competitiveness will surely come out as players are trying to describe a word without using key descriptors.  
  3. Canadian Limbo. Definitely affordable as the only tool for this game is a large brown LCBO bag. Players gather around a circle with the bag in the middle. Players must only touch the floor with their feet or mouth. As the rounds continue, the bag continues to get cut and the angles to obtain the bag with your mouth becomes more difficult. See which one of your friends can make it until the end when the bag is essentially a piece of paper.