Love pizza, tacos or pasta? Take a signature dish and make a few variations of it. For a pizza theme, make one standard pizza (but use quality ingredients), then go wild. Make a baked potato pizza: Top the crust with thin slices of potato, crumbled bacon, onions and cheese, and add a few dollops of sour cream when it's served. Assemble a Thai pizza with shredded beef, grated carrots and cabbage, sliced onions and peanut sauce. Leave one crust plain for guests to toss on whatever they'd like for the final pizza.
Into Mexican food? Set up a taco -- or burrito, nacho, fajita, whatever you like -- bar with a mix of hard and soft shells, a variety of meats and beans, salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and any other toppings you and your guests will enjoy. Don't forget coordinating side dishes, beverages and dessert!
Remember to select your theme according to foods you're comfortable cooking. If you've rarely or never made barbecue, for example, now isn't the time to experiment.