Planning a Party – by guest blogger Epic Dad
Hello, All! While I take a brief hiatus from the blogosphere (I miss you! Call me!), please enjoy this post from my fellow blogger, Epic Dad. Maybe it will inspire you to throw a bash. If you do, be sure to let me know if you use any of these tips!
Also, check out Epic Dad if you get a moment. His tag line is “Be a legend. Have an adventure. Be a dad.” Love that.
Hosting a party always scares me. I remember the first time we had people over to our house in graduate school. We were serving burgers and potato salad to 15 guests and I burned the burgers so they came off the grill resembling the chunks of charcoal they were cooked over rather than the delicious patties I had hoped for. That was five years ago and we’ve hosted a lot more parties for a lot more people and here are nine things I’ve learned.
- Serve something big in a bowl. It doesn’t matter if it’s a salad, soup, chili, punch, whatever. Anything that fills up a large bowl and can fill some part of your planning should be done. This is also something that will be really easy to make.
- Start cooking 10 minutes before you think you need to. Our meals are habitually late, waiting for something to finishing roasting or toasting.
- If your guests ask to bring something suggest they bring something to drink. I hate stocking drinks for parties because of all the options. Diet or regular pop? Wine or beer, both? Water? If guests bring their own drinks preparation on your part will be a lot easier.
- Burgers off the grill will keep for at least 20 minutes. This is why you can start early.
- Don’t be afraid to grill vegetables. Try to grill them soft, remove, cook your meat, and then return the vegetables to crisp up.
- Chicken 1. Consider beer can chicken.
- Chicken 2. Pound your breasts. You can pound a chicken breast down to about 1/4 or 1/2 and inch and it will be incredibly tender, soft and cook very quickly. We’ve started making these in lieu of burgers most nights.
- Find one dish to make a real effort on and skip the rest. Forget about bacon wrapped dates – though they aren’t that hard and a wonderful treat – if you’re trying to an enchilada platter from scratch.
- Share a signature drink. While guests bring most of the drinks we do have a few bottles of wine we especially like and serve when guests come to visit. It creates a nice tradition.
At any of our parties now I try to have things done so I can visit instead of sautéing onions, mushrooms and garlic.
One final thing for a great party is to ask people a lot of questions. If you find you’re not that outgoing towards other people or someone is there you may not care for, just ask them a lot of questions. People love talking about themselves and I always discover something new.