Hey, my loves! It is that time of the year when many of us are faced by the task of hosting parties. Some of these parties may be at home while others are at a restaurant. In this TWO PART article, I am going to give you some tips and ideas on how to deal with both and I AM ALSO INCLUDING PRINTABLES!!
When it comes to hosting a party at home, you can of course be the almighty hostess and prepare everything that you will be serving or you can be less stressed by asking your guests (or at least the ones you have shared pot luck dinners with) to bring some food.
Right up, I am going to say that you WANT to be the one who prepares the main dish, but feel free to ask them to bring some sides – a salad, or pasta or some potato dish or even some ice cream to go with your dessert. I repeat, keep the main dishes for yourself or believe me, it would seem really odd. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.
Once you have decided on a date, you want to start making some calls and letting everyone know OR you can send out the invitations. I just want to add that if there is any guest of honour, then do check the dates with them first AND if more than 10% of the guests cannot make it, try switching the dates.
Once you have decided on the date and sent out the invites (I personally prefer e-invites using Whatsapp), be very sure that the invitation includes the date, time, your full address, the RSVP date and if required dietary requirements. You will also want to clearly state if the invitation is extended to the couple or if children are included.
Now let’s focus on the food! What are you going to cook? Here are the necessary categories:
- Appetizer / Starter
- Main Course
- Side Dishes
For any get together, the idea is to have fun and not be in the kitchen the whole time. I mean, most of us cannot cater and have hired help to serve, so the alternative is to plan ahead AND HAVE A BUFFET so everyone can serve themselves.
On the day, give yourself a 2 hour grace period. Plan to have everything done, except quick baking and assembling. Make sure to do this at least 2 hours before your first guest is due to arrive. Have the plates and garnish ready as well.
This will give you sufficient time to check for last minute tasks and improvements. And leave you enough time to get some rest and get pretty. You do want to be at your best socially. The last thing you want is to be tired and sleepy and feeling more like the caterer than hostess.
When your guests arrive, that’s the time to start baking anything that’s gonna take an hour or so.
Having a beverage cart is another idea you can implement. That way, you can be free to mingle and welcome your incoming guests while others can make their way to the cart and serve themselves some drinks. Beverage carts work equally well with and without alcohol.
Unless you have ample seating in a group for all your guests, you might want to set up small “stations”. These include a chair or two (many prefer to stand) and a small area for them to put down their glasses. You can also have small shell bowls for hors d’œuvres. Shell bowls are small bowls which are used for guests to place empty spoons, nutshells and even small skewers in. These are great so you don’t have to go around collecting these things the next day while cleaning up.
Another suggestion is to have empty trays ready. This will allow guests to put their used glasses on the tray and helpful guests will be happy to carry the filled tray to the kitchen.
Main course to dessert should be served within 45 minutes. This allows enough time to eat slowly and socialise at the same time. If you are serving a 6 course dinner, then it can take up to 2 hours.
I hope you find all these tips helpful stuttering the holiday season. If you want more tips, let me know in the comments below.