As we approach the craziness of the holidays, it is a good time to review a few quick tips to help you keep sane during the many dinner parties that you have likely added to your calendar. So I have broken down some simple dos and don'ts as a friendly reminder to all those hoping to ramp up their hostess cred.
Do work out what you are going to wear before you start cooking - mise en place works just as well for clothes as well as food.
Don't wear your seven-inch Jimmy Choos while preparing the food - it would be a shame to spend the evening in emerg while your guests enjoy your champagne.
Do ensure you know your guests' dietary requirements - an anaphylactic episode will make your party remembered for years to come, but probably not in a good way.
Don't decide to cut out all the fat in the recipe because you are dieting - the fat gives you all the flavour (just plan on an extra long brisk walk the next day to burn off the calories, sans the seven-inch Jimmies!)
Do read the recipe, understand the recipe and preferably try the recipe out prior to the night of your dinner party. Remember Rachel's shepherd's pie in Friends?
Don't forget to prep everything that you can in advance and remember your watch (hopefully your diamond-encrusted Cartier) ticks faster leading up to a dinner party!
Do be clever with your cocktails, a signature drink never fails to raise the bar and can get the party off to a real swing.
Don't forget to also plan a playful dry drink as well - designated drivers should be celebrated not ignored.
Do splurge on filling your space with fresh flowers and beeswax candles, and showcasing your best glassware and crockery (plastic plates may make the washing up easier but this isn't the thrifty guide to dinner parties).
Don't put out all of the food at once - leave some packaged up in the kitchen, if it runs out you can top it up but if not you have gained one of the best present from a dinner party -- LEFTOVERS.
Do be careful with your music selection, (Jimmy Osmond is a NO, not even in an ironic way!) outdated playlists can be easily fixed by apps like Spotify.
Don't EVER and I mean EVER text at the table - leave that obnoxious behaviour to the teens. Lol!
And the most important tips
Do manage your expectations - as a diva you are probably expecting your soufflé to out-soufflé Anna Olsen's soufflé, but if it sinks, don't be disappointed, don't point it out, possibly rename it the Titanic soufflé and move on (thinking about the new shoes you are going to treat yourself to tomorrow).
Don't sweat it - a dinner party is just a dinner party (even for a gorgeous achieving diva such as yourself). If it all turns to sh*t, be extra generous with the wine and make sure you have plenty of cheese and crackers in stock!
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