It would be so nice to have friends over for dinner more often, but some people get very overwhelmed by the whole idea. Dinner parties are supposed to be fun but they can be very difficult to arrange especially if you have friends with different dietary requirements.
Not many of us have the time and skill to throw together a fancy party that we see on the TV, but you’d be surprised just how much you could actually do when you are faced with hosting a dinner party for your friends and family. From making dishes, like this dan dan noodle recipe, to getting your guests to tell you what they love to eat, with a few tricks and tips you’ll be able to pull off the best party ever. Let’s take a look at some of those tips below so that you can make sure that yours is the one that everybody talks about.
Cook What You Know
Unless you’ve practiced it a couple of times before, don’t choose a dinner party to pull off a brand-new recipe. Those exotic dishes that contain unfamiliar ingredients? Those are the ones you should avoid. Use your tried and true recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers, so you know what to expect and will alleviate some of the hosting stress. You can also buy prepared foods from the store or a restaurant to supplement if you are cooking for a large group.
Keep Your Menu Balanced
When planning your menu, make sure you have an assortment of various dishes, including lighter fare and heavier, more substantial dishes. For example, you can start with light appetizers, then move on to a protein-centered dish with carbs and vegetable side dishes. For dessert, you can offer both a sweet treat and fresh fruit, giving your guests many options depending on their palate preferences. You can also ask your guests to bring a dish or a bottle of wine to add to the meal.
Be Informed About All Dietary Restrictions
If you don’t ask your guests about special dietary requirements, you may end up with guests who don’t have many options to eat, which would be awkward and completely preventable. Ask your guests ahead of time if they have allergies (and how severe), preferences, or dietary limitations, and then plan your menu accordingly. For example, if you have a guest who is a vegetarian, you can set aside portions of food without meat and still serve a meat-based dish as the main course.
Prepare What You Can Ahead of Time
Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to rush, even after your guests have arrived. If there are things you can do beforehand, such as cutting up meats/vegetables, preparing the dessert, setting up the table, or getting drinks ready. Be sure to have appetizers on hand for guests to graze on while the rest of the meal is being finalized. This will allow for a stress-free and fun evening for you and your guests.