12 Tips to Entertain Like a Pro

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Posted October 28, 2013 by Guest Writer in Life After Five
summer-dinner-party

CGN is delighted to host Kit Graham, founder of The Kittchen, and author of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook. She offers us 12 tips to entertain like a pro! Just in time for the holiday season….

 

The holiday season often leads to lots of entertaining. Whether you are hosting your in-laws Thanksgiving dinner or inviting your friends to a holiday cocktail party, some simple tips can save you time and impress your guests.

  1. When planning your menu, choose foods that do not require much last minute preparation. This way dinner is already in the oven when guests arrive. Always pick recipes that you have successfully made before.
  2. Communicate with guests to find out if they are planning to bring any food or drinks. Ask them if they will need any platters or serving spoons and if so, have they set aside when they arrive.
  3. Make sure you have all of the serving ware and dinnerware you will need. Make sure you have all of the serving spoons you will need.
  4. Everyone loves a cheese tray. Invest in a nice platter, presentation alone goes a long way towards impressing your guests. Then select 3-4 cheeses ranging from soft to hard, and pair them with at least 2 types of crackers, and 2 types of meats.
  5. Stock up on essentials: have club soda and paper towels on hand because spills happen. Make sure you have plenty of trash bags and toilet paper too.
  6. Always run and empty the dishwasher and take out the trash before guests arrive.
  7. If you are hosting a big party and you run out of space in the oven, you can use crock-pots to warm side dishes. Another option is to use aluminum pans and warm the items on a grill over low heat.
  8. Create a designated area for drinks with glassware, corkscrews, bottle openers, and ice. This will keep guests out of the kitchen.
  9. If you are hosting the party with a significant other or friend, divide and conquer the responsibilities. Decide who will take the guests coats, who will be in charge of drinks, who will clear plates, and who will serve dessert. Having a coordinated plan will make it look like you know what you are doing, even when you don’t.
  10. Have a few decorations to create a festive atmosphere. Flowers and unscented candles are always a great start.
  11. Create a great playlist that will appeal to your guests. When in doubt, play Adele.
  12. Always have a nice bottle of wine and a 12 pack of beer just in case.

For more tips and to find some easy, fabulous recipes visit TheKittchen!

 
Kit Graham is the author of thekittchen.com and The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook. She is a self taught cook and data privacy specialist. Kit spends her free time organizing networking events for bloggers, working out, and exploring Chicago restaurants. To learn more about Kit and to connect with her visit Twitter,  PinterestFacebook, or  Instagram.

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