Hosting a dinner party is a lot of fun, but it comes with the daunting task of deciding what to cook and serve to your guests. If well organized and with some careful planning, you will have a more enjoyable time in deciding what to cook for a dinner party. Check out the tips below.
- Think of a dinner party theme that will please everyone. You can choose a theme based on the season, on the occasion or on a holiday.
- To minimize guess work, make a list of the friends you are going to invite and give them a call. While you finalize the time and date and confirming if they are coming, ask them what food they would like to have and if they have any allergies. Make sure that you list down these food allergies beside their names.
- Decide whether the dinner is to be a formal sit-down dinner or you plan to have a buffet or an informal cookout. You have to prepare more if you are planning for a buffet dinner because you cannot easily control the amount of food that each guest will put on their plate.
- Prepare a menu. Choose foods that you know how to prepare and those that are easy to cook. Do not use this time to try out a new recipe, although you can serve a new recipe that you have already perfected, whether it is a salad, a soup, a main dish or a dessert. Your menu should include a cocktail, appetizer, soup, salad, the main dish and side dishes, as well as dessert. The main dish is usually a meat dish and your side dishes should include at least one vegetable dish. Casseroles can be prepared well in advance and you can have more time to prepare other dishes while the casserole is cooking.
- Go shopping for ingredients a day early to avoid rushing through your preparation. You will also have more time to get other ingredients that may have been missed.
- Check out the supplies that you will need for the dinner such as plates, cutlery, glassware and serving dishes and table linens.
- You should also have the things that you will need to decorate the dinner area based on your chosen theme. It can be just a clever centerpiece or it can be as elaborate as hanging pennants and stickers, table place cards and specially-made napkin rings.
- You should have a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, fruits juices, water, tea and coffee. If you will be serving wine, choose one that will go well with your menu for the evening.
- Think of clever ways to present the food. Presentation is an important part of hosting a dinner. It will make the food look more appetizing and sumptuous. Add more color to the dishes by serving them in colorful serving dishes or use bright colors in your table decoration.
Be sure to make a plan that will work perfectly well with you. A good selection complimenting dishes that are easy to prepare, cook and serve will minimize your worry and will keep you from constantly going to the kitchen. With some organization, you will have more chances to enjoy the company of your guests.