Bringing the people you love together for good food and conversation is always time well spent. Sometimes the acts of planning and preparing become stressful enough to damper your fun. Instead of focusing on the end result, try to have fun while getting everything ready for the party. Try these ideas to ensure you have as much fun organizing as you do at the party.
- Begin With Great Food
Food equates to love for so many people. If you are one of them, you know how much joy the delicious flavors of your favorite foods can bring to others. There is an abundance of options to choose from when creating a menu.
- Choose mouth-watering ingredients such as smoked bologna to include in the meal.
- Opt for the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Base your meal on a theme, such as a movie or country.
- Invite everyone to bring their favorite dish to share (along with recipe cards to exchange).
- Have an appetizer and dessert-only menu.
After you have decided on a menu make your shopping list. Shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. If you have ingredients on hand that will still be fresh by the date of the party, make note of that and notify anyone else in your household that those items are to be saved for the party.
Next, it is time to shop. If you can, shop early for non-perishable or long-lasting ingredients. With this approach to shopping, you can save the perishable things for a last-minute trip to the grocery store, which will be much quicker than if you still need to buy everything on your list.
A few days before the party, prep as many things as you can, including:
- Set out serving dishes and serving utensils for each recipe.
- Decant ingredients into serving dishes, as appropriate.
- Chop and prepare the fruits, vegetables, and meats.
- Marinate any vegetables or meats.
- Include Refreshing Drinks
Now that your menu is in place, it is time to begin thinking about the beverages you will serve your guests. Having a selection of drinks and ingredients to choose from will be appreciated by your family and friends.
As not everyone will want alcohol, it is helpful to have non-alcoholic drinks available. If you will have guests driving after the party, and children or teens present, these drinks can be catered to them, as well.
A fun activity is to involve your party-goers to mix their own drinks. Make it entertaining and have a contest to see who can make their drink the fastest, or the tastiest! As an alternative, task one person to make the drinks or take turns playing bartender.
Watch this video for a comprehensive how-to on making your own bar-style drinks at home.
Invite your loved ones over for a dinner to remember. Plan ahead for ease, make food they will talk about for weeks, and then relax over a drink or two. Encourage engaging banter and conversations by asking fun dinner questions. It is a great way to break up the evening and get to know one another a little better. Enjoy!