Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Little Fun with Fitness

Did you know that more people go to the gym in January than in any other month?  Why?  Because the most common New Year's Resolution is to lose weight or get in shape.  This is why January is the perfect month for a fitness themed dinner. I hosted this one back in 2010 and titled it "A Little Fitness Fun".

Invite:  The invite could be a gym membership application.  Just recreate one on your computer with all the party details.  For my invite, I gave each girl a "workout" assignment.  The details of the party were included with workouts like "lift your wine glass" for weight training and "laugh away the pounds".  I also asked each guest to dress in workout attire for the fun of it.

Decor: Back in my marathon running days, I had a friend that had a stack of 24 Fitness towels he kept in his closet. I called him up to see if he would loan me enough for each guest at the party.  I set the table with a royal blue tablecloth and various weights/workout pieces as the centerpiece.  I used the 24 Fitness towels as placemats under each plate.  Red napkins added a hint of red.

For the place card, I created 24 Fitness membership cards using Microsoft Word. My photos are not great of these (I didn't know I would eventually blog about my dinners!), but you get the idea.  The front had the guest's name.  The back had a barcode and the date the guest became a "member".  For us, this was the first monthly dinner they attended.  I have these saved if you are interested in trying this party.  Email me or comment below, and I will forward them to you.
The ladies lifting their appetizer barbells!
Menu: I tried to choose a healthy menu for this dinner, but I only partially succeeded. I started off with an appetizer I made to look like a barbell and weights.

Appetizer Meatballs

(place two meatballs on a toothpick when finished to look like a weight)

1 pound lean ground beef

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup minced onion

¼ cup milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 bottle (12 oz.) chili sauce

1 jar (10 oz.) grape jelly

Mix all ingredients except the chili sauce and the grape jelly; gently shape into small balls (3/4 to 1-inch in diameter).  Lightly grease a jelly roll plan or cookie sheet with sides.  Arrange meatballs on pan so that they are not touching.  Bake in a 500 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.  Heat chili sauce and grape jelly in large skillet, stirring constantly, until jelly is melted.  Add meatballs and stir until thoroughly coated.  Simmer uncovered 30 minutes.  Makes 5 dozen. 

For the main dish, I borrowed a Weight Watchers cookbook and found a recipe to try.

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons cold water

¼ cup dry bread crumbs

4 (5 oz.) skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 (1 oz.) slices reduced fat swiss cheese, each cut in half

2 ounces (from a 6-ounce package) thinly sliced turkey meat

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Whisk together the egg whites with the water in a small bowl.  Place the bread crumbs in another small bowl.  Lightly pound the chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper with a mallet or rolling pin to ¼-inch thickness.  Top each chicken breast with one quarter of the spinach, 1 half slice of cheese, and a slice of turkey.  Roll up each chicken breast from a short side.  Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs.  Place the chicken, seam-side down, on the baking sheet.  Spray the tops of the chicken lightly with nonstick spray.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.  Cut each roll into 4 or 5 slices (I left them whole).  Makes 4 servings.

For dessert, I strayed from healthy and went with fun instead!  I served "pound" cake (haha) and barbells made out of ice cream and a Twix bar.  These were definitely a challenge and did not turn out perfect, but you get the idea.  Here is how I made them...

Pound Cake with Weights

Vanilla ice cream

Twix candy bars

Pre-made Pound Cake

To make the weights, slightly melt ice cream in a baking pan with edges (the metal kind works best) so that is approximately ½ inch thick.  Then refreeze.  When ready to prepare, use a round cookie cutter to slice ice cream into round circles.  Use a smaller cookie cutter to make the center of the weight.  Then unwrap a Twix bar and use that as the pole of the weights.  To complete the dessert, slice the pound cake into ½ inch thick slices and place one on each plate along with the ice cream/Twix “weight”. 

It was another fun party and an easy one to prepare for.  Easy decorations and comfy clothing made it a relaxed night.  You could even alter the theme to be like the TV show "The Biggest Loser" and it could be the kickoff to a competition with friends (my work did a "The Biggest Loser" competition and many teachers participated).


Mel said...

Do you still have the file to the gym membership place cards? I'd love to get the file for a fitness party!

InviteandDelight said...

I do! Send me your email address, and I would be happy to forward them to you!