A dinner party might seem fairly casual when you are hosting it from your home, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put some thought into it. Whether you are celebrating a special event or just eager to see your favorite family members and friends, you want to treat them to a meal that they’ll never forget. Keeping these things in mind will help you pull off the ultimate dinner party that will have everyone asking when you’ll host the next one.
Keep the Guest List Short and Simple
In the past, you might have been tempted to invite a wide range of people. However, COVID-19 has made it unsafe to see what happens when you get your best friend and coworkers together. Consider limiting your guest list to people who already operate within the same cohort. This will make the party more intimate, and you’ll find it easier to host a small event when you are new to planning dinner parties.
Set the Tone With the Perfect Outfit
Even with a small party, you still want to dress to impress. In addition to the lighting and table settings, your appearance contributes to the overall ambiance of the party. Look for something simple but elegant to wear. For example, a plus size little black dress or something similar will look pretty with an apron while you cook, but it will transition to the perfect outfit for sitting down at the table. Choosing an outfit that you can dress up or down with your accessories also helps you to fit into the more casual atmosphere of an at-home party.
Stick With Tried and True Recipes
Sure, you might want to impress your friends with that amazing molten lava cake recipe that you’ve wanted to try forever, but things won’t be great if it doesn’t turn out. To avoid surprises during your dinner party, stick with classic recipes you know work well. If you do want to experiment, then do several trial runs of the recipe until you are sure that you’ve worked out the kinks.
Get All of the Main Prep Work Done Early
Most of the stress that comes with cooking involves chopping, assembling, and washing that you have to do to make a meal. Once you’ve picked out your recipes, see what you can do long before your guests arrive. You might even be able to have the meal mostly cooked. For example, lasagna is an easy make-ahead recipe that you can heat and serve with a salad to maintain perfect timing. Having most of the work done means that your kitchen will look mostly clean, and you’ll be able to spend more time with everyone.
Consider Open Air Dining
Even when you have a reasonably safe group of people together, you’ll still want to follow the best practices for indoor gatherings. With the pandemic, it is typically safer to eat with other people in places with good air circulation. If the weather is nice, then consider setting up outdoor furniture on the patio so that you can dine al fresco. If not, then cracking a few windows can help to ventilate your home without compromising everyone’s comfort.
Hosting a dinner party puts your entertaining skills to the test. Trying to cook and serve food while also spending time with each guest can get overwhelming. If you find yourself stressed, then just remember that everyone is there for good company. Make sure to take a break from the kitchen and mingle throughout the party. You’ll have more fun, and your guests will always remember your welcoming smile and relaxed demeanor.