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Throwing a dinner party can be daunting, especially when you are the host, cook, and lead entertainer. House of Squirrels has a few tips to making your next dinner party fun, and easier with these go to HOS tips!
I throw a lot of dinner parties and I am always trying to figure out what I can do to make it easier each time I throw one. Think outside the box, and don’t take it too seriously. Have fun, and include your guests into the mix. Give them little tasks to help, and make sure you provide good wine!
Here are a few ideas to become the next dinner party star:
–Change it up: Throw a dinner party on a Friday night instead of Saturday. This is a great way to start everyone’s weekend. This allows your guests, and yourself, the rest of the weekend to look forward to. By throwing a dinner party on Friday you also feel less pressure on preparing the meal which forces you to plan strategically by getting organized a couple days before. This way you can enjoy your Saturday and not spend all day preparing for that evenings festivities.
–Easy apps: Dr. Squirrel and I, believe in light easy apps that don’t consume your time in the kitchen. Use a stainless steal bowl, (or something like it), and fill it with gourmet potato chips. Presentation is key. You might think potato chips? But these deliscious snacks, in a beautiful bowl, bring it to a whole new level! In addition, salty snacks go with wine, champs, and alcholic beverages. Why not follow as the French do? I have witnessed this at many dinner parties I have attended in France. Viva La Chip!
–Great guests make great parties: Keep your dinner party number to 8 persons. This is an even number and manageable to handle no matter what you are making. Also, make sure to invite the funny or provocative friend, and place that person in the middle of the table. This person acts as the anchor of table and keeps the conversation flowing. Build your guests around this person. Having a dinner party full of guests who don’t know each other, will place the burden on you. Build invites around the anchor guest!
–Lighting and Decoration: Ambience is very important for your dinner party. I like to use a lot of candles to accent the rooms. Use short votive candles or candlesticks and assort them everywhere. You do not need to match. Mixing candle sticks with votives gives the setting contrast. Don’t fret over centerpieces. Use an edible centerpiece, such as, baguette or a variety of rustic breads. Avoid using a centerpiece that blocks your guests vision across the table. Keep it simple…baguette and candles! Over do the flowers. I love flowers all over the house, the more the merrier! If you want to place them on the table, make sure they are in short vases, and not blocking the eye lines of your guests.
–Entree: I always make a dish that I have prepared the day before or that day. You want to be able to spend time with your guests…not in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove! For Fall dishes, casseroles, lasagna’s, stews, or anything that requires baking is key. Prep before, keep in refrigerator, and bake when guests arrive. These are the kind of entrees to think about when throwing your next dinner party. I had a dinner party last weekend and made stuffed baked eggplant. I prepared the dish that day, and when my guests arrived I put in the oven. I was able to spend all the time talking with my friends instead of fighting with food processors. Below is HOS’ Veggie Lasagna. 🙂
~Kitchen Squirrel Tip: Making food is not a chore, it is a gift of love that you are sharing with your friends and loved ones!
~Kisses Kitchen Squirrel