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The Perfect Election Night Party

The immense interest in the presidential election presents a wonderful opportunity to throw a party that's not political — you could throw an election night party, according to The Early Show master entertainer Colin Cowie.

He offered a generous helping of suggestions on making your bash fun for all guests, no matter which candidate they support.

Cowie says the basic elements behind a success are decorations, simple food, drinks and a TV.

Cowie just became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 27, so this is a very important time for him. He says he is extremely glad that he will now be able to vote (via absentee ballot, this year) and make a difference in this country, and he also feels grateful for everything America has offered him.

A party like this can be put together so quickly, Cowie points out, that you could even get all you need on your way home from work this evening.

Keep the decorations simple, Cowie urges.

The fun thing is to keep the night open-ended. You can't say "we're having dinner at this time," because people will be standing in line at voting booths and things like that. That's why having the food served buffet-style, where everyone can help themselves, is a great idea here.

The food should be quick and easy. You can take your own dishes and platters to your favorite restaurant or deli and have them create a hearty main course such as a stew. Or you can buy a roast chicken - cut up the meat and add it to a big bowl of pasta and a delicious sauce.

Since you will be around the TV, you probably will be eating with the food in your lap, so serve the food on a charger, which fits better in your lap than a standard plate. Don't serve food that requires your guests to do a lot of work (such as big pieces of meat that need a knife to be cut).

Some specific menu suggestions:

A big platter filled with 2 types of sliced salamis
Black and green olives
Fresh parmesan cheese
Triple crème cheese
Blue Cheese
Sliced grilled bread brushed with olive oil

Caesar Salad (Colin will grate/slice fresh parmesan cheese onto salad)
Pizza: 1 Margarita pizza and one Canadian bacon and mushroom
2 loaves of garlic bread

Vanilla Ice cream
Hot Fudge Sauce
Chocolate Sauce
Caramel Sauce
Fresh Strawberries
Whipped Cream

The Red, White and Blue:
2 tsp Blue Curacao
3 tsp Cherry Liqueur
1 oz Gin
2 tsp Lemon juice

Fill a shaker half full with ice cubes.
Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well.
Strain drink into a cocktail glass and serve.

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