In 5 Tips For Your Dinner Party Part One, we discussed a few pointers that will help make your dinner party successful. We mentioned the importance of choosing your guest list carefully so as to ensure you have a good balance of personalities that will keep the party lively but not tense. We also discussed the importance of checking with each of your guests to see whether or not they have any food allergies or preferences. Some guests may have special dietary needs such as being on a gluten-free or vegan diet or diabetic needs . You want each of your guests to feel welcome and have a good time, so having these options shows them you are willing to go the extra mile.
We had such an amazing response to Part One that we decided to continue the discussion here in Part Two with yet another five tips. In essence, this series has become 10 Tips For Your Dinner Party. Guess you guys get a bonus on us! Here are our next five totally incredible dinner party tips.
1. Be Flexible
While RSVPs are probably the best way to anticipate how many dinner guests to expect, at times an unexpected guest or two can drop in. Likewise, you may have a few who don’t show up for one reason or another. This is not the time to panic, just go with the flow. The basic rule of thumb is to round up when you are figuring your food and drink quantities needed for your party. It’s always better to have more than not enough. Chances are if a few extra people show up you will also have a few no-shows, so the food needed will be offset and you’ll be fine. And hey, if you need to get out a couple more dishes it is no big deal. When it comes to parties, the more the merrier!
2. Plan Your Dinner Party Menu Carefully
Prepping for a dinner party is not quite the same thing as tossing some veggies or pasta into the frying pan. Proper planning can go a long way when creating an impression. Rather than creating a complete exotic menu, cut yourself some slack and create only one main dish and a few of your specialty Hors D’oeuvres. Keep in mind, you don’t want to repeat main ingredients; for example, you don’t want to serve garlic shrimp penne as your main dish and then serve shrimp cocktail as an Hors D’oeuvre.
3. Eat The Frog
No, this doesn’t mean we want you to serve frog legs, however, we have heard they taste just like chicken. This means to do the most difficult tasks first. Doing so will give you confidence since you already know that the worst is behind you. You can focus better after completion of the more intricate tasks and get on with the easier tasks that are left on your list. Many times, some of these easier tasks can actually be forgotten all-together if time is tight before your guests arrive.
4. Clean Up As You Go
Rather than letting the dishes and food scraps pile up, it is much better to clean up as you go. Take a tip from the pros. Rachel Ray is famous for having her “garbage bowl” on her kitchen counter top so she can just dump stuff in there as she goes rather than constantly running to the garbage can. When she’s done cooking, she simply empties her bowl into the garbage can making clean-up a breeze. Other pros suggest that you always start prepping for your dinner party with an empty dishwasher. Simply rinse and put in the dishwasher as you go, leaving your sinks available for everything else!
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
Don’t stress yourself out too much over your dinner party. Keep in mind that the reason you are inviting your friends and family over is to relax, kick back, catch up, have a few laughs, and make some memories. No one is going to care if everything wasn’t completely perfect. What they are going to remember is the thought, time, love, and effort that went into making the evening special.