10 Party Menu Tips That Make or Break Your Celebration
Posted on 02.02.2015 / by Cedar Door
Planning the menu is one of the best parts of throwing a party. You can include your favorite dishes and set the scene for a fun time. Your party menu can make or break your celebration. Follow these tips to make sure your food and drinks are the highlight of the event.
- Let people help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself. If friends ask if they can help, take them up on it. It’s better than keeping hungry people waiting or having a hot appetizer burn in the oven because you were a little overwhelmed.
- Serve foods that suit the hour. The time of day dictates what type of meal to serve. For example, a celebration at 3 or 4 p.m. is a time for light refreshments. A party at 6 or 7 p.m. is the time to serve dinner.
- Serve sauce on the side. Let your guests add their own portions of sauce, gravy, dip and dressing. Make sure they know what it’s for and what kind it is. A little card beside the serving container is a great way to do this for a buffet.
- Consider the weather. Cold dishes are great choices for hot summer days. Save soups and stews for chilly winter nights.
- Follow your theme. Serve food and beverages that fit. For example, provide tropical fruits and umbrella drinks with a luau or beach party theme. Serve foods that are Irish or green for your St. Patrick’s Day event.
- Observe the two-hour rule. Don’t allow perishable foods to remain at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold. Follow this rule of thumb for time and temperature when it comes to food safety so your guests don’t get sick.
- Keep it simple. Not everyone is adventurous with their palate. It’s all right to serve an interesting or exotic side dish to pique interest and start conversations, but choose mostly basic recipes for your menu.
- Presentation counts. If you’ve ever watched a food-related reality TV show, you know that what food looks like can affect whether people want to eat it. Don’t let it cook too long, and only let foods touch each other on the plate if they’re meant to be together.
- Serve a signature drink. Whether it’s a non-alcoholic punch or a blender drink, it creates a great topic for conversation. It can also potentially keep your beverage costs within budget.
- Save some time to mingle. The trick is to have it catered or make the food in advance. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time creating a celebration your friends and family will enjoy.
Take the time to put together a great menu when you’re planning your next party. If you do some of the preparations in advance, you’ll have time to enjoy yourself and your company.
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