Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guest Blogger: Dinner Party Basics

On occasion, guest bloggers provide articles for Adventurous Tastes. If you're interested, write me!

Many people may wait to host a dinner party when a special occasion is in order but in reality, this type of get together is just a nice excuse to share delicious food with great friends. Whether you’re planning a casual night or a more formal soiree, it never hurts to plan ahead as this will ease the stress that comes with hosting a group of people in your home. With that being said, let’s take a look at a few party planning tips for you to consider in your next group dinner to help keep you organized throughout the event and enjoy yourself as much as your guests will!

The first thing to look into is the resources you have in your home that will assist in your future dinner party. Figure out the number of people you can fit comfortably at your dining table and track down the necessary dinnerware pieces in order to accommodate all of your guests. If you’re new to hosting, keep the headcount down to 4-6 people depending on the space your home will allow as this offers the right amount of people for mixed conversation and is an easy number to plan your menu around.

In terms of food, it never hurts to ask your guests’ preferences if you’re planning on serving something out of the ordinary. Being aware of people’s allergies or strong feelings against certain ingredients will give you a better idea of what to cook for your event and you won’t have to worry about people not enjoying your dish. Potluck style dinners are always a great option for close friends getting together on a weeknight after work. If you’re hosting, you can be responsible for the main dinner item while others can bring an appetizer, side, dessert, or a bottle of wine.

Once the guest list and menu are determined, you can switch gears and focus on how your dining room will be decorated according to a particular theme or centerpiece. Themes surrounding a particular season or holiday can serve as a dinner party inspiration from the food you serve to your guests to the music you play in the background. One of the biggest concerns with having a party in your home is the dual role we have to play as host/hostess and chef. If there are any dishes that can be prepared ahead of time, either days before the event or the morning of, take the time to do so. This will cut back on time in the kitchen and allow you to socialize with your guests as they arrive.



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