Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

The Basics of Good Hosting -- Dinner

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1.  Invite guests at least a week in advance so they can plan accordingly.
2.  Keep any allergies, religious rules, and/or medical issues in mind when planning the menu.
3.  Serve a dish you have prepared successfully before.  Now is not the time to experiment unless you are a foodservice professional.
4.  Choose a dish that requires minimum attention once it meets the heat so that you spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.
5.  Be concious of portion control when shopping for groceries and drinks.  Purchase bags of ice if your freezer doesn't make enough at once.
6.  Do as much food preparation as possible in advance.  You should not be cleaning, trimming, chopping, marinating, or mixing as your guests begin arriving.
7.  Begin serving appetizers and drinks after putting away the first guests' coats.
8.  With a few major exceptions (e.g., Super Bowl Sunday) a moratorium should be called on computer use or television during the gathering.  Background music, however, is usually desirable.
9.  Enjoy your guests!

shhh its me:
10 Serve the meal on time (if a meal was indicated) if your hosting through meal time you must serve a meal

11 Provide a variety, some dishes should be meat free, some cheese free ,some vegetable free and some wheat free(serving just one casserole is allowed but should be announced).  There should be a choice of  non alcoholic beverages.  Diet and regular soda's, milk, water , coffee/tea , water and one or two juices.  

12 Do not use any ingredient in everything. Just because you can incorporate spinach into every component of every course doesn't mean you should.

Edited to clarify
 Apologies I was rushed and didn't phrase that well ....   

I was thinking this  ......... coffee or tea , water then one sweet drink (soda or juice or iced tea) and one not sweet/low sugar drink (diet soda or milk or iced tea)  but if I used iced tea as the sweet and not sweet I'd add one non-caffeinated choice.

So for an 8 person party I'd end up with coffee , juice, water ,add your own sugar/sweeter iced tea.

Or I'd have coffee, water , regular/diet soda and juice , but I'd only buy 1or 2 liters of the diet and 1 liter of the juice based on past experience and 24 ish servings of the regular soda if it was a dry party.  I'd wouldn't have 16-24 servings of each.


May I add to be sure to put out a new roll of toilet paper, a new bar of soap or a filled soap dispenser, and plenty of clean handtowels in the freshly cleaned bathroom? One of my pet peeves as a guest is an unprepared powder room.

14. Close up any animals in a spare bedroom - they'd probably be more comfortable in there anyway (I say this as an animal lover. But animals and crowds and littleblack dresses can be a recipe for disaster)

15. Be psychologically prepared for adapting. Guest accidentally turns the oven on "self clean" while your beef wellington is cooking? Well, pizza on fancy plates can be nice too.

- Make your guests aware of any travel or parking issues, such as road construction in your area, or assigned spaces for your building. Provide a phone number and answer your phone on the day of the event.

- I know the host is not required to give out party details beforehand, but I think a head's up as to the size and scope of the event is nice. It's especially helpful to the shy or socially anxious to know what we're going to be walking into.


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