Throw a Make-Your-Own Grilled Cheese Party!

03/18/2014 at 12:13 PM ET

Ali Rosen is the host and founder of Potluck Video, a food and drink website that takes you behind the culinary scene with celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, producers, mixologists and more.

Casual party food can be hard to pull off. Hors d’oeuvres often come across as too fancy, but chips and dip can seem like you’re not doing enough.

The answer: Throw a make-your-own grilled cheese party! When dressed up a little, the classic comfort food is the perfect crowd-pleaser — and requires almost no pre-party cooking! It’s also good for any size and type of crowd, says celebrity caterer Mary Giuliani, who has thrown soirees for everyone from Bradley Cooper to Matt Damon.

The key is to have a nice assortment of breads, cheeses and condiments. Giuliani suggests laying the ingredients out assembly line-style, so your guests can build their perfect stack, griddle and serve themselves.

Could this be the easiest party ever? Quite possibly — but that’ll just be our little secret. Watch the video above to see it all come together.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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