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Party Tips for the Hostess

Updated on September 21, 2018

Why are you having a party?

The first thing to consider when you are thinking about having a party is why you want to host a party or what event will be celebrated during your party?

Is there a theme that you want to follow such as a birthday, graduation or other event. Is it a holiday party? Will there be a guest of honor? All of these questions need to be asked before you make out your guest list or think about what to serve.

Who To Invite

Parties are fun if planned properly and sometimes spontaneous parties work well too. It all depends on why you are having the party and who you will be inviting. Now there's a concept! Who is going to be invited and come to your party.

If Aunt Jane isn't interested in the event you are planning the party for, don't invite her. You are never obligated to invite people to anything that will bore them even though they have been there for you since your first birthday. In fact, it may be a relief to them that they don't have to stand around and make small talk about something that just doesn't interest them. But, if Aunt Jane is a staunch football fan, by all means invite her to your game day party.

When inviting your guests, be sure that they will mingle well. Even the excitement of the game will pale if your team is not on the scoreboard. So you want to be sure that your guests will be comfortable with each other.

Never invite more guests than your apartment or house can accommodate. If Aunt Jane comes and she can't find a place to sit down, she is not going to have fun even though her team is running away with it.

What to Serve Your Guests?

A good host or hostess knows what their guests eat and drink.  Maybe our sweet Aunt Jane is a vegetarian but the rest of your guests are all hearty meat eaters.  You need to keep in mind a variety of food so that Aunt Jane will have something to choose that she actually likes to eat and doesn't feel left out at the buffet.

That's another decision to make.  Will you have a buffet or sit-down dinner?  The buffet is spontaneous and take less planning.  But, if the occasion calls for a sit-down  dinner, you will need to be sure to have a menu that everyone will enjoy.  If Aunt Jane is invited, you may want to consider a vegetable lasagna as your main dish and work around that.

Both of my son's make excellent meatloaf.  When Dave has a party at his house, his guests expect that meatloaf will be one of the items on the buffet table.  In fact, just recently meatloaf was not on the menu and someone commented they had been looking forward to having that.

At some parties, the buffet table starts out with a crockpot dish such as Ham Barbecue or Sloppy Joe.  This type of sandwich is messy and you don't want to serve it if your furnishings are light in color.  In that case, you would want to serve something like a sandwich ring heaped high with good meats and cheeses.  If there is a spill, your guests wont be so embarrassed because they soiled your good furniture.

An assortment of snack foods goes well.  Sure you want to have potato chips, pretzels and the like but you want to have some other variations that show off your cooking skills.  Maybe glazed meatball appetizers, zucchini appetizers or shrimp dip along with a cracker tray.

Another good thing to make is a tray of deviled eggs.  These little egg treats are always a favorite on any buffet table.  Another variation for a hard boiled egg is to make Scotch Eggs by using small or medium eggs for those hard boiled eggs.

You always need some sweets to go along with those vegies; so, a tray of cookies always goes well, so bring our those pumpkin cookies or an assortment of sliced banana nut bread, pumpkin bread and zucchini bread.

It's Fall so you will definitely want to take advantage of those apple treats and have them on your table.  Maybe an apple upside down cake or the apple chunk cake

Whatever you decide to serve, remember to keep a variety of foods so that everyone has something to choose from on your table.


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