Obviously I have been unusually quiet lately! My apologies for the silence, in preparation for the holidays I got caught up in other things and have neglected my blog so here’s a few quick thoughts and suggestions for hosting a spectacular holiday get together!
#1 Food is key especially around the holidays whether you are trying something new or using a tried and true recipe make sure to plan ahead!! Shop a few days before your party to ensure you have the time to get all of the ingredients you need. Making a list (and yes checking it twice) cuts down on last-minute dashes to Meijers searching for stuff that you missed. Also consider the space that you are working in and the length of time each item needs to cook, if your kitchen is small like ours then plan for how to warm things while others are cooking and how much storage space you really have in your fridge for extras. Our kitchen has a lot of counters but isn’t that large and my fridge is about half the size of the one from Home Depot that I dream about so I always end up doing a fridge clean out before I throw a party just to ensure I have space to put everything!
#2 Need a few recipe ideas? Check out http://www.rachaelraymag.com/ Rachel Ray is one of my food hero’s and I tried a few of her recipes at Thanksgiving. The homemade Pecan Pie with Bourbon Vanilla ice ream went over like a house on fire and I loved her Sweet Mashed Potatoes recipe as well.
#3 Don’t go overboard with decorating (your table that is). The key to a great table is not only great decorations but plenty of space for food and drinks so keep it light and consider making or purchasing items that guests can take home with them so that you don’t end up with 15 poinsettia that you don’t need when the parties over.
#4 Entertainment!!!! Hiring a DJ for a home party is not necessary however make sure you have something in mind to keep guests occupied other than food and drink… consider games (monopoly, scattegories, apples to apples) or if you’re like our friends after a couple of drinks everyone is a rock star so we bust out guitar hero and use the mic only for impromptu karaoke! Whatever it may be plan simple and fun things for people to do after the meal is over.
#5 Presents…. address this issue early, whether you are or are not giving gifts the guests should know what to expect before they come. So if you’re exchanging make sure they know what and how much to spend before they come. Nothing is worse than a guest arriving to a party unprepared so make sure you outline in your invites what’s to be expected. The same goes for dress code…make sure your guests know if it’s casual or dressy so that they are comfortable when they arrive.
Above all else have fun, be safe and enjoy!