It can be quite an undertaking to host a dinner party, even for the most organized homemaker. Whether this is your first time or your 10th time hosting a crowd, these tips can help you be better prepared and organized so that you can avoid the stress of last-minute changes.
Use Technology to Help You Plan
There are numerous sites to find recipes and ideas for dinner parties. Some of the best ones are the Food Network, Epicurious, Allrecipes and Delish. For healthier recipes and ideas, check out Cooking Light. Recipe and meal planning apps, such as Pepperplate are also ideal for planning dinner parties.
With these apps, you can find recipes, prepare shopping lists, develop menus and more. Having your recipes, menu and shopping list planned out ahead of time are essential to a stress-free get-together. Set reminders on your smartphone to prompt you to do important tasks, such as de-thaw meat days in advance.
Make Sure That You Have Everything That You Need
Several days in advance, go through all of your serving pieces, dishes and silverware to ensure that you have enough for all of your guests. It is no fun to realize on the day of your party that you do not have enough plates or bowls for everyone. Also, inventory your cookware to make sure that you have the pieces that you need.
Pick a Creative Theme
Add a “theme” to the evening is a great way to kickstart the creative juices for planning games and diversions to keep guests entertained until the food is ready. For example, a Chinese-themed dinner party could feature traditional Chinese games such as Mahjongg or fortune-telling with Kau Cim sticks. The opportunities are limitless.
Choose Your Decorations
The right kind of decorations can wow your guests and set the mood for the dinner party. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to find decorations for your home. Decide ahead of time what kind of decorations would complement your home’s current decor or choose a theme for your dinner party and select decorations accordingly. Scour your local flea markets for centerpieces and other decorations.
Organize Your Fridge
Having an overstuffed, unorganized refrigerator will make it very hard to find anything that you need when it comes time to prepare your food. Make things easier by organizing your refrigerator several days before. Here are a couple of tips:
. Use clear containers to store food
. Toss out anything that is expired
. Get rid of unidentifiable leftovers
. Label everything
. Freeze items that need to be kept frozen
Have Someone Else Do the Cleaning
With all of the food preparation, shopping and cooking that you will likely have to do for a dinner party, finding the time to clean your house thoroughly can be a challenge. You want your home to look its best especially if you have a lot of guests. So, why not hire a cleaning service to come in and do a deep clean right before your dinner party? You can also hire a company to take care of the cleaning after the party is over.
The above tips will help your dinner party go smoothly and will leave you feeling proud of hosting a successful event.