The words “Dinner Party” can strike fear into the heart of any new cook but they don’t have to. Sara Kate from TheKitchn.com sat down to her computer and joined us for a Twitter chat to show us how dinner parties and entertaining can always be fun.
In honor of her new cookbook Good Food To Share our one hour, 12 question twitter chat was called #Food2Share. It was fast paced, quick witted and tons of fun.
When the dust settled we had a fantastic dinner party guide, perfect for any new cook or entertainer.
First things first, to establish the tone and size of your party you need to answer two questions:
- What kind of party do you enjoy?
- What’s the ideal number of quests?
No matter how big or small, casual or formal your party is, it was generally agreed upon by all in our chat that the two most important ingredients are good food and good friends.
Sara Kate suggests “6 [guests] if you want to have conversation” but she admits some of this is due to living in a “tiny NYC apartment.”
Once you’ve established the tone and size, it’s time to pick a menu and start prepping. First time hosts often try to impress their guests with hard-to-make dishes that inevitably cause stress and chaos. To avoid this cook something simple with the best possible ingredients.
“For new cooks and first time dinner party hosts: if the recipe has more than 5 ingredients, find something else to make” – Sara Kate.
Having your guests help with the cooking can cut down on the stress and encourage you to relax and enjoy.
“I like to prepare ahead of time but not so much that there isn’t anything for the guests to help out with” – Sara Kate.
Get your guest slicing, dicing and snapping the pictures. Pizzas are a great dish to have your guests help with, they can pick their own toppings and personalize their pizzas.
When asked what her “Hard and Fast Rules of Entertaining” were, Sara Kate provided #SKGRules:
- Don’t stress when you cook. It makes the food sour.
- Music when you cook.
- 1st glass of wine before anyone arrives.
- No champagne flutes.
- If people drink too much, send them for a walk. This applies to the host, too.
- No paper plates, napkins, etc. Ever. Even with kids.
So grab a bottle (or two), a few friends, some great ingredients and get cooking!
About the author: Tre started her love affair with food in her parents’ kitchen, taught by her mother the baker and her father the cook. Her passion for food and the culture surrounding it combined with her desire to travel has had her eating Fish ‘n’ Chips on a rainy day in London, fried plantains in the jungles of Nicaragua, curry from street stalls in Cambodia, and black rice pudding for breakfast in Bali. At home in her houseboat, her galley always smells of garlic and rosemary.
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