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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Dinner Party Tips

Okay, so I am gearing up for another BIG nosh dinner, in fact this could be my most exciting and challenging dinner thus far.  I am attempting 6-7 courses as well as the aperitif and digestif.  How on earth does it all come together?  (A question I ask myself every time I do one of these things!!) But there are definitely a few things that make it easier and more organized, so I thought I would share a few of my tips.

First create the menu in advance and if you can test the recipes you have never made before, do so.  One thing I have also realized is cooking a recipe for two is very different than cooking it for ten, so make sure you consider this when choosing your menu.  The beauty of recipe testing is you can sometimes figure out ways to enhance the recipe and make it even better.  Of course you also might figure out that it is way too tricky and not going to work or it is disgusting and you wouldn't be caught dead serving such rubbish to friends or strangers for that matter :).

Groceries...get yourself to the grocery store in advance (if you are able), even if you buy some bits and pieces leading up to the date.  And definitely make the grocery list with your menu in hand!  I have had several occasions where the amount of trips I had to make back to the shops because I kept forgetting something was ridiculous and a huge time waster.  So, as you make your grocery list use your menu to guide you.

Cleaning and organizing: if I am able it is always best for me to do the cleaning and tidy up the day before or in the morning, there are always some things you might save for the last minute but try to do as much of this in advance as possible, so you are not stressed with cleaning and cooking at the same time.

If you really want to be organized I would suggest taking the time to write yourself a run-sheet.  The dinners I have done using a run-sheet made the evening so much smoother and certainly kept me on top of everything.  You can be as detailed or as basic as you like, but I highly encourage this.  Especially to help with 'timing' reminders, which can be VERY key depending on what you are cooking!

 With all of this being said it is now time for me to go and do some prep for one last note, if you can pick a few things on your menu that can be made in advance this will make your life SO much easier!  And I am now signing off to prep my dark chocolate mint truffles, tomato jam and apple chutney.


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