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How To Throw A Dinner Party and Enjoy It At The Same Time

The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table!

What’s more fun than having a bunch of friends over and hosting a night of good food and good conversation? With our busy schedules and less than satisfactory work-life balance, dinner parties, have become far and few. When you think of the good old days, it is then that you realize how ‘endangered’ dinner parties have become. But, let’s face it, no matter how many deadlines we have looming ahead of us, we’d still drop everything, if given a chance, to spend a lovely evening gathered around a table eating good food and enjoying the company of close friends. However, a dinner party is usually no fun for the host when all he/she gets to do is organize and arrange. Therefore, for the love of all things that truly matter, here are some super tips for how to throw a dinner party and enjoy it (while being the host) at the same time.

Pick A Good Group

Good food becomes that much sweeter when shared with good friends. When you’re planning a dinner party, it is imperative to pick and choose a good group of people, because a good dinner party is defined by not only good food but the right company. Selecting a bunch of people who have similar interests on conversation topics as well as food, just helps you make your life easy while prepping for it. Cooking for like minded people automatically becomes simpler than catering to the different needs of a diverse group. From indulgent desserts to a heated discussion around the dinner table, when you have the right set of people dining with you, everything in between is taken care of. You could of course do a few wild card entries to spice things up, but that again is entirely left up to you!

Stick to What You Know

One of the best ways to ensure that you get to enjoy your own dinner party is by keeping things simple and sticking to what you know. While we all like to be fancy and perhaps even show off a bit, when you’re cooking for five people or more is not the time to try something out for the first time. Old school recipes which have become your signature dishes work well because of two reasons. One, it leaves you stress free to have fun with your guests because you’ve literally become a pro at making them and you could whip it up with your eyes closed and two, your friend probably love it so much that they’re expecting it to be served anyway! If you’re still hell bent on pushing your culinary horizons, then make sure you do a trial run of the dish in question a few days before the D-day.

Prep Like a Boss

The key to a good dinner party lies in how you prepare for it. When we pre-plan we eliminate any unwanted surprises that may arise while we’re actually making on the day of the party. Below are a few tips and tricks that everyone who is hosting a dinner party should keep up their sleeves:

  • Pre-cook whatever you can and keep them in freeze friendly baggies. We’re talking sauces, soups, bakes, etc.
  • Try to do all the chopping and marinating the night before.
  • Setting the table is a big thing when it comes to a dinner party, if you can get that away in the morning before things start getting crazy, you’ll find yourself in a good spot.
  • Check your inventory and then double check it to make sure you’ve not missed anything.
  • Decorate before time, you wouldn’t want to be sorting out streamers while your friends are elbow deep in dip and conversation.

Cook Smart

Let’s face it, a dinner party is nothing without some lip smacking food that your guests will regret not eating more. Food is essential to life and we strive towards making it good. Unfortunately, hosting a dinner party often means that you don’t get to enjoy the fruits of your own labor. And why should that happen? The chef deserves to taste his / her glory as much, if not more than the guests. The only way out therefore, is to cook smart and not hard, here are a few tips that you can employ:

  • Be flexible, if a certain step in the recipe is not working out, go with the next best solution.
  • Keep it simple, choose dishes that are easy to prep and easier to cook.
  • Avoid food that involves making to-order, constant stirring, flipping, or checking.
  • Go for one pot meals, casseroles and crock-pot dishes that you can get by with just putting all the ingredients in a dish and cooking them altogether.
  • Go easy with the hors d’oeuvres, no point in getting your guests full even before dinner is out on the table!

Have Fun

Last but not the least, you’ll end up having fun only when you want to have fun! If you want to be the host with the most then it is important to understand that the party starts and ends with you and you get to decide what the mood is going to be. It is very important to remember to cut yourself some slack. In between the hosting and cooking and cocktail making, you’re bound to slip up and that’s alright because what’s more important it to be able to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Pick a great playlist, get all the prep done a day before, stay relaxed, stay cheerful and you’ll see that everyone and everything before long will start moving to the groove you’ve set.

Throwing a dinner party is one thing, but hosting one that people keep talking about for weeks - that’s the one for the books!

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