You have decided to have a dinner party, great! Having guest over can be stressful, but never fear Northeast Dream Kitchens is here to help you plan the perfect party with very little stress. The main ingredient? Pre-planning and preparation.
There are a few do’s and don’ts when planning for a dinner party, and the first one is create lists. Lists may seem a bit over the top, but you will thank us in the end. Have a shopping list, a guest list, an ingredient list, and a to do list for the day of and that evening. Each of these lists has a particular purpose and will keep you sane enough to enjoy the evening.
Start with the guest list. How many people you invite will determine how many people you can spend time with. Invite a reasonable amount of people and try to ask people who know each other. If you invite all strangers (to everyone but you), there will be awkward pauses and less of a chance of your guests enjoying themselves.
After you find out, who is attending the dinner you can begin to plan the meal. Find out from your guests if there are any dietary restrictions or food preferences. Nothing is worse than finding out after you have prepared everything that one of your guests is allergic to parsley. If they have extreme restrictions, ask them to bring something you can prepare alongside the main meal.
Go with what you know. If you have never made sushi, don’t pick your dinner party to do it. Your guests are there to spend time with you, not with your fabulous, or not so fabulous meal. Make sure you have all of the ingredients in advance. Take an inventory of your pantry and if you are missing or low on anything for the meal add it to your shopping list.
If you want simple food, dress it up. Presentation can make all the difference. Add fruit to simple squares of yellow cake, add artisan bread croutons to soup, a bit of whimsy will make it fun and inviting.
Use a timer to keep you on track and plan to be finished with everything an hour before your guests arrives. This will give you an opportunity to get dressed, relax, and get ready to invite your friends into your home. No one likes a late hostess.
To help you stay on-time minimize distractions. Ask children to limit the number of visits to the kitchen, if they aren’t attending the dinner, have their meals prepared ahead of time. Put pets away, clean out the fridge before the party to ensure adequate space for any leftovers, have your over pre-prepped with the racks in their correct positions prior to cooking.
When preparing the meal try to have as much done as possible prior to assembly. Chop vegetables and fruits, practice “mise en place” and have everything staged ahead of time.
Keep your table-scape simple.
Make a playlist and keep the music at a reasonable level.
Use cloth napkins for everything except cocktails.
And, buy extra ice.
Now it’s time to enjoy the party and relax, spend time with your guests, and give them a night to remember.
Remember, Northeast Dream Kitchens is here to help you find the right kitchen design for you. Stop by our showroom to find out more.