Hosting holiday parties can be great fun and is a wonderful way to gather your friends and family to enjoy time together. But how do you help ensure your efforts pay off and your guests enjoy themselves (and get plenty of good food to eat)? I’ve come up with five tips (not coincidentally, using PARTY as an acronym!) to help you on your way to hosting a successful party, gluten-free or otherwise!
P lan. As the years go by and I host more and more parties, I do this more and more. In order to save sanity, planning is essential. Write it all down. Start a grocery list, and make a schedule. Write down all preparation tasks – everything from making tasty appetizers, to ironing tablecloths, and putting up decorations. A good, written plan will keep you from running around panicked.
A sk for assistance. My family and friends often know I tend to want to do it all, and when it comes to food, make it all from scratch, especially since food allergies are front-and-center in my home. News flash: you don’t have to do it all! Ask others to help by bringing something or coming over early to help you set up. If there are a few ready-made items that fit into your plan, such as gluten-free crackers for hors d’oeuvres, then take advantage of them. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull off a unique and successful party! And if you have a Breville Smart Oven (I’d love it if Santa brought me one this Christmas), you can relax knowing your timing spaced out perfectly – and things will be done faster! I can’t think of better assistance than that!
R emember how much space you have. If you are hosting in your home, and you don’t have but about 100 square feet of space for the party, you can’t invite everyone you know. Keep it to 20-25 people. You don’t want everyone rubbing elbows. Also, there is no rule that says everyone must sit down to a formal dinner in order to have a good time at your holiday party. If you have more guests than places at the table, why not instead lay out lots of hors d’oeuvres on the table and make it a standing-room party?
T hink about the needs of your guests. People have different tastes and different needs when it comes to food. Check with guests about food allergies and preferences, and then plan a well-rounded menu that ensures there is a little something for everyone – gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, carnivore, etc. This needn’t be complicated. Check out the list of recipes at the end of this post for ideas.
Y ou don’t have to go all out. There’s no need for the most expensive champagne, a full bar, and high-end treats for everyone. Make a reasonable budget and stick to it. Often times, sticking to ingredients in your dishes that are easy to find, mainstream, and naturally gluten-free can keep you from emptying your pocketbook at the grocery. Dips are always a hit and can stretch your dollar. Spice things up with interesting dippers, such as a variety of colorful and nicely sliced vegetables, or even scoop it onto endive leaves for a pretty presentation. A successful party doesn’t have to put you in the poorhouse!
No matter what type of holiday party you host, keeping these tips in mind can put you well on your way to cooking up a beautiful time! I’m curious – what’s your favorite holiday hosting tip? Share in the comments for a chance to win your choice of amazing Breville products. See below for more details.
Need more holiday recipes and cooking inspiration? Check out these dishes, perfect for your holiday party. There’s something for everyone!
Breville has released new, time saving products such as the Smart Oven, just in time for the holidays! Take the guess work our of holiday cooking with the Smart Oven, the oven that does the thinking for you. Check out their website for more information on this product and other great gift ideas.
And don’t forget to reply below for two chances to win your choice of amazing Breville products either for yourself or as a gift to a loved one: YouBrew, Tea Maker and Smart Oven products ($250 ARV)