Tips To Throw A Stress-Free Dinner Party

Planning on throwing a dinner party but feel yourself slowly getting stressed? Here are some simple tips to throw a stress-free dinner party.

Have you committed yourself to throwing a dinner party in the near future and recently begun to feel the pressure rise? Maybe your spouse has asked you to throw a small dinner party for a few co-workers or maybe after attending a dinner party with friends you got caught in the moment and were inspired to invite some friends over for your own dinner party. However the situation arose, there is absolutely no reason to panic. While it may not feel like it right now, dinner parties can easily be made into stress-free events with proper planning and preparation. With the following tips, you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself at your next dinner party.

* Before planning any part of the menu, determine your audience. Will this be a group of executives from your workplace or will this simply be a group of old friends who will probably show up in jeans and sandals? By first determining your audience, you will be better prepared to form a menu that will suit everybody. Determining your audience also includes finding out if anybody has special dietary needs. Some dinner guests might be lactose-intolerant or have an allergy to peanuts. Feel free to inquire about a guest's dietary needs. They will be flattered that you even bothered to ask. Again, this will help in customizing your menu.

* On a sheet of paper, plan your entire meal from beginning to end. Will you be serving appetizers? Will you have soup or salad? What type of dessert will you be preparing? Next to each course, write down a list of all the ingredients you will be needing for that course. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and determine which ingredients you will need to purchase before the dinner party, making a note of this on the meal sheet. Be sure to also include a list of drinks and wines that will be served with each course, as well.

* While it is tempting to go through cookbooks and new recipe books for some new and exciting recipes, try to stick to your tried and true recipes. Now may not be the time to experiment with new meats or new cooking techniques, unless you have a group of friends who do not mind being you guinea pigs. If you still feel compelled to try out new recipes, have a backup recipe prepared in case the experimental recipe turns out to be a dud, or if you have time, prepare the recipe for dinner a few nights beforehand to be sure the taste is what you expect.

* Buy all of your ingredients at least two to three days in advance. The one thing that will stress you out the most is having to stop by the grocery store on your way home from work and finding out that they do not have all the ingredients you need.

* As you peruse the courses in your menu, determine what can be prepared the day before. For example, many desserts and breads can be easily prepared the night before a dinner party, to spare you extra stress on the day of the dinner party. If you can, earlier in the day on the day of your party, cut up any vegetables and herbs you will need and store in sealable plastic bags so you do not waste time cutting up all of your ingredients as you cook.

* Finally, measure and place all of your ingredients within arm's reach before you begin to start cooking. This way, all you have to do is go through the recipe and reach for your ingredients instead of frantically preparing them while cooking. Also, clean your pots and pans and mixing bowls and utensils as you finish using them while cooking. By doing this, you will not have to worry about cleaning up after the party is over.

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