Each year we look forward to getting together with family and friends to celebrate the Holidays. Yet, sometimes these parties start to look and feel the same year after year. So this year, why not make your Holiday party super special by trying something a little different, like a recipe contest? 

It’s simple to organize, a lot of fun AND you’ll end up with recipes from many of the dishes you only get to enjoy on special occasions.  This is also an excellent way to document your family’s recipes and food history.  Sadly, one of the treasures we lose as our family grows older and the matriarchs pass on are our family’s food traditions  If you don’t get Tia Mercedes empanada recipe or learn how-to make abuelitas amazing mole you may lose it forever.  So a recipe contest is a fun way to add a little spice to your celebration and to document your family and friends food history for the next generation.

All you have to do is ask each person coming to the party to cook their favorite dish - or the one they are most famous for - and bring several copies of the recipe to share. Then, when it’s time to eat, each person votes for his or her favorite which they write on a piece of paper. After dinner, the hostess counts up the votes and declares the winner. The recipes are then shared with the family and friends present.

TIP: We suggest you have some sort of token prize to reward the winner, such as a ribbon that you have customized with some glitter or a small trinket.  You can even make a first, second and third place winner so that there are no hard feelings and more than one person is recognized.

In addition, don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of the food and everyone enjoying it! And if you really want to make it memorable, start an online scrapbook to share with everyone who attended the party.  This scrapbook can grow as the years pass and it is an excellent way to create a family history that you can share with the younger members of your family as the years pass. 

It may sound out of the ordinary but I promise that it will make for an unforgettable Holiday this year!

Nora Diaz Bretherton is co-founder of Casa Latina and a television industry professional. Follow Nora on Twitter at @NoraCasaLatina and Like her FB page.

Marlene Pratt is the co-founder of Casa Latina, an interior designer and on-air television host on both English and Spanish-language television. Follow Marlene on Twitter at @CasaLatinaToday and Like her FB page

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