It always sounds like a great idea when you think that you would like to throw a dinner party, but when it comes down to it, it turns out to be much more stressful than you ever thought it was going to be, even before anyone has arrived. There are, however, ways to ensure that your evening goes perfectly, and everyone enjoys themselves, including you.
Choose the Right People
There is nothing worse than having people around your dining table who you don’t know very well, or you don’t like or who don’t get on with other people who are there. Planning your guest list well in advance is the best way to ensure that whoever you invite are the right people. Choose friends who already know one another so that conversation doesn’t become awkward or stilted. If you do want to introduce two different friendship groups, then make sure that everyone has at least one or two things in common to make things easier on everyone.
Get Important Information
Before you begin planning what you are going to cook, you’ll need to know what your guests’ likes and dislikes are. You’ll also need to know about their food intolerances and allergies too, or whether they are vegetarian or vegan. These important things have to be found out ahead of time to prevent any disasters occurring on the night. You are going to be busy creating the perfect meal and the last thing you want is for a guest to inquire what the vegetarian option is when you haven’t thought of one.
Cook What You Know
When you’re thinking of great dishes to present to your guests, it can be extremely tempting to look up some new and fabulous recipes and try them out for the first time on your special night. However, this isn’t such a great idea when you think of all the stress that that is going to bring you. It’s a much better idea to cook something you’ve cooked dozens of times before and that you know back to front. You may not think it’s very exciting, but if it’s your signature dish then you can relax more – plus your guests are sure to love it no matter what.
Prepare Food In Advance
To make things even easier on yourself, look at what you can prepare in advance and get that ready the day before, or on the morning of the event. That way, you’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen is getting the food ready. Try to avoid any food that has to be cooked to order like steak, for example, and you don’t want to choose anything that needs constant attention like a risotto either.
Get A Caterer
To make things even easier and to relax you completely, you could hire a caterer to help you out. A company that specializes in catering in Southlake can provide you with delicious food that you can serve up to your guests without any stress or effort on your part at all. This is especially useful if you’re not a confident cook and your forte lies in putting people at their ease.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
When you know how many people are attending your dinner party, you need to ensure you have all the equipment you’re going to need. Do you have enough plates, glasses, tools to serve the food with, the right number of dessert forks? You may not use these items every day, so you may not realize you don’t have quite the right number until you’re desperately searching through your kitchen drawers for it. Make sure everything you have is clean and ready to go and if you don’t have enough they buy more or borrow some if possible.
Do the same with your ingredients if you’re doing your own cooking otherwise, you might have to leave your guests to talk amongst themselves and rush off to the store.
Although it would be nice to think that everyone who intends to come is going to let you know about it, sometimes people just don’t. They forget, they think they already mentioned it, or they think that you will assume they’re on their way. Sometimes people will bring extra guests with them because they assumed it was a plus one situation. It’s a good idea to make extra food and have extra cutlery to hand so that no one feels awkward and you don’t feel like a bad host for not having enough food for everyone.
Clean Up as You Go
It might feel like a better idea to do all the cooking and then clean everything up, but if you clear the pots and pans once you’re done with them you’ll have a lot more space to move about in, and you won’t feel ashamed if a guest pops their head into your kitchen because there won’t be any mess for them to see.
This also means that at the end of the evening the only things left to wash and put away will be the plates and that makes your job a lot easier.
Pick a Great Playlist
Music can calm people, put them at ease, and give them something to talk about. Although you don’t want to choose something that makes conversation difficult, working on a great playlist that everyone can enjoy means you can set the right tone for the evening.
Be Good To Yourself
Whatever you do, no matter how hard you are working or what you think has gone wrong, be good to yourself. Be kind. Remember that you’re supposed to be having fun and so is everyone else, and the thing is, they probably are. Even if something does go wrong, laugh it off and order takeout instead, or take everyone out somewhere to eat. In most cases, though, your hard work is sure to pay off so just be good to yourself.