Inviting friends or family over for a dinner party often seems a great idea, until the time comes to actually get ready for hosting. Planning, buying, tidying, cleaning and cooking all of a sudden become stresses in your life and you question whether or not this was all a good idea. The thing is though, that once people arrive and the wine begins to flow and plates are emptied, the whole event becomes much easier and you can finally relax, but the prep really doesn’t have to be as stressful as many make it. All you need to do is to plan for the party in an appropriate way. If you are catering for a dinner party, here is how to do it with ease.
Deciding what to cook for a dinner party isn’t easy, not just because of the quantity of food that you are going to serve, but also the logistics of it all. The last thing you want is for people to arrive and for you to be stuck in the kitchen when you should be out there making small talk and being the host with the most. Having said this, you can’t very well be hosting and letting the food get cold, which is why one-pot meals are the best option for this situation. Meals like paella and chili con carne can be made ahead of the party and kept warm until guests arrive, ensuring that you cook delicious food and that you can still spend time with the guests.
One of the most common mistakes when organizing dinner parties is not understanding how difficult it is to both cook or prepare some meals and entertain guests. Just cook ahead of time as much as you can. You thus gain a lot of time to have as much fun as you can.
To further remove stress from this situation another smart move is to order your groceries in the day before the party. You could go to the grocery store of course, but it is always much easier to order your stuff online from the comfort of your own home, and then have it dropped at your door. There are so many options to use where you can get the exact food, drinks, and ingredients that you need, mercato.com delivers groceries across many cities in the U.S. for example, and they will pick up whatever you need from any number of stores. Order in, and resolve a little more stress.
If you decide to order, consider two options. The first one is to order the ingredients you need to cook what you want. This does help you to save money and be sure you have all the ingredients you will need. The second one is to order fully-cooked meals. You will spend more on this but hassle becomes zero since you do not have to worry about food and drinks. Just make sure that you try the food by ordering some before the party. You wouldn’t want to end up with really bad food when it is time to eat at the party.
Avoid falling into the trap of not having enough crockery or cutlery for the big night by doing a stock check prior to the party. The last thing that you want is everyone eating from different colored plates and drinking from wine glass of varying sizes, so have a check the week before and go pick up whatever you need to keep that consistency. You can also consider plastic cutlery. This lets you just throw away dishes and glasses instead of having to wash them after the party. After all, when the party is over, most people just want to rest.
To help you make the big day less stressful and to ensure that you are going to deliver a great dish, try the dish out a week earlier, albeit on a smaller scale. This will help you decipher if the recipe is lacking anything, or needs less or more of ingredients. Practicing like this will also give you the confidence to deliver it when the day of the dinner party rolls around.
For instance, let’s say you want to cook some turkey. Instead of just cooking it on the day of the party, take some turkey legs and try the recipe you want. You will quickly figure out if the dish is good or you need something else.
Don’t get stressed where you don’t have to, follow these tips and ensure that your dinner party is a big hit, without raising your stress levels. If you have experience with dinner parties and you think you know of another tip that can help, just use the comment section. We are sure that people will want to hear from you.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia