Dinner Party Season: Impress Your Guests With These Ideas

  *This is a collaborative post. The world may never return to what we previously knew as "normal," but we are a space where we...


*This is a collaborative post.

The world may never return to what we previously knew as "normal," but we are a space where we're able to safely gather with vaccinated friends and family to spend time together again. This year especially, millions of people around the world are arranging family gatherings to catch up, have a laugh, and put the past year and a half behind them. If you’re planning on doing the same, you might be feeling a bit of pressure regarding entertainment, what foods to serve, and how to be the host(ess)-with-the-most(ess). Check out some of the fun ideas below that may help as we welcome social gatherings back into our lives.

Look around for food inspiration

As a host, it can be difficult to know what to serve your guests, especially if there are picky eaters among the crowd. However, thanks to the internet and more specifically, Pinterest and YouTube, you can spend some time looking for food inspiration for your guests. Pinterest is packed full of alternative dishes and YouTube will give you a step by step guide on how to cook everything to perfection. The great thing about recipes is that they can be chopped and changed with ingredients that people prefer/alternatives to allergy related foods. Spend some time surfing the web and browsing old cook books to get some inspiration! I'm a huge fan of the different food delivery services available - the meal kits that come with everything you need to make meals at home. Many of the sites even make the recipes available without actually becoming a member, so you can still head to the store and buy what you need. Some of those meals would work great for larger settings, and we've discovered some really wonderful foods through those kits.

Pick a theme

I'm a major fan of a theme (have you met met - especially around the holidays?). A great way of spicing up any social gathering is by picking a theme for the night. You could even encourage your guests to dress up within the theme too! If you’re looking for something classy, you might choose a 1920s theme and serve cocktails to your guests - all very Gatsby-esque. Or perhaps you’d go for an all-out British theme and serve classic British dishes such as fish and chips, roast dinners, or baked chicken wings with dips? Not only does picking a theme help decide what kind of food to serve your guests, but it adds novelty to your evening and plenty of conversation starters.

Work on your presentation

We’ve all seen chefs on TV present their food in extravagant ways. Typically, chefs use the minimalistic approach with their food, but experimenting with different ways of presenting cuisine is totally fun for a dinner party. Salad and vegetables can be carved into a multitude of shapes, and you can use colors to complement each other on the plate to help make your food look sensational. I do encourage continuing to be mindful of the pandemic and when possible, have items prepared in single-servings as much as possible, or make sure you (or whoever is cooking) is the same person serving the food. I had my family over late last year for my dad's birthday, and while it certainly wasn't a sustainable as I would've liked, I felt safer being able to single serve everything. Seating is also a great way to work on presentation - I'm certainly trying to amp up our dining room seating space to something a little more family-oriented.

Provide fun

No dinner party is complete without some laughter, so why not encourage laughter and conversation by cracking out some playing cards such as Cards Against Humanity? Finding hilarious answers to already funny questions is a great way to have some friendly competition whilst laughing the night away. All you need to do now is keep the drinks flowing and their hearts full of love and laughter. Enjoy your dinner party!

Have you ever hosted a dinner party? Tell me more. Was it casual, fancy? Give me all the deets!

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