Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hosting 101

Happy Tuesday friends!!!  I know I'm supposed to dislike the first half of the week like the rest of the world... but I don't.  It brings a fresh start to the new week that is full of new opportunities.  Remember that :)

On that note, today's post deals with one of my favorite topics.... how to be an impeccable hostess.  There is absolutely nothing I love more than having people over for drinks and appetizers.  I'm 100% serious.  Dear future Lindsay, I have no doubt that you are hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas... err but I do hope that whoever you married knows how to cook a turkey.  Anyway, being a hostess isn't really that easy and there are lots of things to think about and plan for ahead of time.

1. Your house/apartment/condo must be spotless.  I don't care if you are a neat freak, a little cluttery, normally messy in a bomb went off way or whatever, if you're going to have people over your house it had better be spotless.  No one wants to hang out in a messy house - sorry, but I'm not sorry.

2. Plan what you're going to have a head of time.  This is usually not the time to test out a new recipe - if it fails, it could be an epic disaster.  Cook the things that you know will go over well with the crowd you're hosting to.  Obviously, you wouldn't serve all-meat dishes to a group of vegetarians.  Be aware of food allergies and what kind of reactions people have to them.  Use common sense.  Have a friend that breaks out in hives if she eats eggs?  Don't serve them or if you must, tell her which dishes contain them.  Have a friend that will go into anaphylaxis if they're around peanuts?  Don't serve them and make sure none of your friends show up with them.

3. Have a back-up plan.  I hosted a mini Christmas party for my friends last year and I wanted to buy mini quiche - they didn't have them at the store - so I bought frozen tartlets.  I opened them up to put them in the oven... and they were MOLDY.  Luckily, I had enough food already so it wasn't a huge disaster, but it definitely could have been.  The second moral of this story is yes, you can return food to the grocery store. 

4. Send out an Evite or make a Facebook event.  Save yourself the stamps - plus this will give you a count of how many people to expect.  I love Evite :)  For smaller get togethers, it's my best friend.  I've also created Facebook events before, but they just aren't the same.

5. Keep your cool and have a glass of wine.  It's a little stressful to be a hostess - you have to make sure everyone is getting along, everyone is fed and that your house isn't a disaster at the end of the night.  

6. Introduce people that don't know one another and encourage mingling.  You don't want divided sides of the room, trust me it never ends well.

7. Enjoy yourself!  This is your party :)   

Sample Serving Ideas

Crudites with hummus, ranch dip, spinach dip etc.

Baked Brie (you can find a gazillion recipes online - I use pecans, thyme & cranberries) serve with GF crackers

Roasted Oven Wedges serve with fat-free sour cream & chives

Spinach-Artichoke Dip serve with blue corn tortillas

Prosciutto Wrapped Dates (this recipe is coming in a few days!)

Zucchini Brownies (sub GF flour)

Do you love hostessing? Or do you prefer to be a party go-er?