Hosting a stress-eating party is the perfect way to combat winter’s short, dark days and long, cold nights (not to mention existential dread). Whether you invite a few friends over or simply dine alone, a stress-eating soiree requires little preparation and almost no enthusiasm.
Unsure how to get started? We’ve got you covered with these simple, stress-eating party themes and menus.
Get Mad/Sad With Maddow
Instead of throwing the same old Super Bowl party this year, why not invite the gang to watch an anxiety-producing news program? For cerebral angst punctuated with nervous laughter, we like The Rachel Maddow Show, but any cable news offering will do.
Try this: Heat up a box of frozen corn dogs. Serve with condiments, chips and an assortment of canned American lite beers. Invite guests to drink each time Rachel says “Russia” (or “Hillary” if you’re watching Fox!) For dessert, a 56-oz. bag of M&Ms dumped on the coffee table satisfies everyone’s sweet tooth and provides colorful ammunition when you and your guests feel compelled to throw things at the TV.
Did your longtime companion fail to pop the question at Christmas AGAIN? Maybe you stumbled through New Year’s Eve all alone, or you’re heading into 2018 with a significant other you secretly loathe? Sadly, the course of true love never did run smooth, and it’s okay to feel – and feed – your feelings every once in a while.
Try this: Order a bucket of your favorite fast food fried chicken, and gather a few pals around the kitchen table. Pour out some bourbon and Coke cocktails for drinks and dessert, then get your maudlin on streaming heartbreaking country classics from old school artists like Patsy Cline, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. Lead a sing-a-long to Dolly Parton’s original version of “I Will Always Love You.” If anyone claims that Whitney Houston sang it better, end the night by knocking over the empty chicken bucket, screaming “Get the fuck out of my house, you goddamn motherfuckers! Dolly Parton WROTE THAT FUCKING SONG!” Ask a friend to hide your car keys before they go. Finish the night playing “Crazy” on repeat.
Pasta Feed for Pennies
Whether you’re paying down holiday credit card bills or negotiating a tight budget following a December layoff, a casual pasta party is always fun and affordable.
Try this: Cook up some “blue box” mac and cheese. Combine canned tuna with a little salt, pepper and mayo. Add the fish mixture to the pasta, fold in a cup of frozen peas (thawing is optional) and voila! Your low-budget, fully-balanced comfort meal is served. To save on clean-up, pass out forks and enjoy this warm and tasty dish family-style, straight from the pot. Pairs well with water, reruns of Law & Order: SVU, and the salt of human tears.
Taco Night Twist
Everybody loves tacos, but not everybody loves to cook. Thankfully, our clever twist on taco night delivers that south-of-the-border flavor you crave in seconds, so you can focus on what really matters: enjoying the fiesta, and stress-eating to the point of flatulence.
Try this: Arrange canned tamales, canned refried beans, canned cheese dip, canned salsa and tortilla chips buffet-style. Guests serve themselves straight from the cans. then pop their plates into the microwave, or just enjoy at room temperature – everything is pre-cooked! Margaritas (from a mix, natch) add a festive touch as you and your friends discuss the latest headlines concerning DACA, ICE raids, and the cost of that fucking border wall. For a fun finish, pass around a squeeze bottle of imitation chocolate syrup with tequila shots.
Everything Over the Kitchen Sink
Get-togethers are great, but we all need alone time now and then to recharge. Our “Everything Over the Kitchen Sink” stress-eating party for one promotes self-care, while simultaneously purging all the sketchy food from your fridge. Best of all, you set the tone for the night: Whether you’re anxious about rising health insurance costs, apoplectic over the threat of nuclear war, or just sick to death of the endless fucking snow, you’re free to obsess, cogitate, ruminate and chow down on anything to your heart’s content.
Try this: Bust out your culinary creativity! Assemble the goods right on the kitchen counter, and enjoy a no-fuss meal right over the sink! Expired salami plus olives from a three-year old jar, all rolled in a dried-out tortilla? Love it. Freezer-burned hot dog buns microwaved with maple syrup? That’s breakfast for dinner. A cold soup of sour cream, Tabasco and oyster crackers? Don’t worry, this is a judgment-free zone. You can start working on your beach body tomorrow, or as soon as you feel better, whichever comes first. In the meantime, bon appetit!