Party Faves :)

I wanted to list a few party decoration and food ideas that I found useful in my dinner parties. It's always fun to have people over, lately I am discovering that I enjoy the company of 2 to 4 people more than larger parties. That way you have a chance to actually have a conversation with someone and get to know them better. Of course there is something fun in larger gatherings as well, it's good to see all your friends together at one place and get to know new ones. Luckily for you, my party-fave tips work for either scenario :)

In terms of party organization and cooking, I am a recovering perfectionist. I get sooo nervous before each gathering. The formula I found is to get (almost) everything done beforehand. I LOVE cold salads and side dishes that can be prepped the previous day (like the bean salad or lemony steamed veggies) or a soup that can be heated in 10 minutes. I also prepare my tea/coffee trays and dessert plates/forks beforehand, so that all I have to do is when the dessert time strikes, get them from the kitchen and return back to the conversation! :)

When setting up the house or preparing the menu, my main goal is to have the guests feel comfortable and enjoy a nice evening. At the end of the day (unless your food was a disaster :), people won't remember what they ate, but they will remember how you made them feel. And that is the single most important thing: 'making your guests feel welcome'. Your interpretation of how you do it may differ, but I think as long as you make an effort, people will recognize it. It's all about the intentions :)

I find that setting up the stage with a clean house is a great start. Then adding personal touches like a good table setting and candles complete the picture. For a nice conversation, I find that lowering the lights and creating a softer light landscape are great tools! I love the glow of candles to soften and warm-up the light of regular electric lights. And your decorations don't need to be fancy! I recently purchased some old glass tea cups from a Goodwill thrift store for 50 cents a piece. With the addition of tea-lights, they give out an amazing glow with all the beautiful glass engravings they have! This whole setting cost me $3 only. I think that's a steal! Also you can use what you have and get creative :)

The other food tip I have is to keep things natural. The old days of greasy chips and too-much-salty salsa are over in my book. I don't want to feed people processed, trans-fat filled non-food substances! So as much as possible, I try to keep things natural. Lately I have been adding a veggie platter to the appetizers on my coffee table. Anything from thinly sliced celery and green peppers to small pieces of romaine (in fact romaine or any kind of lettuce is a very tasty thing to dip to hummus or baba ghanush! And it has been a party hit for my guests so far!). In addition to adding color to your table, these wholesome pieces ensure that you aren't slowly killing your guests :)

You can also think about making your own dipping sauce. Here is one I mixed up the other day: 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoonful of dried dill and regular non-fat yoghurt (I used two small danone containers, about 2 cups total), a little salt and pepper, and you end up with a great dip for your no-trans-fat veggie crunches! :)

Another favorite is a large stainless steel thermos. This is a great way to keep your tea or coffee warm and saves tons of trips to the kitchen to refill cups!

Last but not least, I suggest 'Purely Decadent' brand coconut milk Vanilla and Chocolate flavored ice cream as dessert! yum and yum! :) This dairy and soy free ice-cream is unbelievably good! Even better, I found it in Giant :)

That's it for now. What are your favorite party tips? :)


Popular Posts