Perfect Party Tips

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Get your party started with proper planning and enjoy the festive mood without feeling stressed and overwhelmed. From cooking, preparation, set-up to serving, learn the below handy guides to throwing a successful party.

When designing your menu for appetizers, the first key to consider is always the nature of event you are hosting. For dinner party, you can prepare a fewer selection of appetizers with 4 -5 pieces per person since you will serve a full course meal later.

For a cocktail party, appetizers will be the focus, so be sure you have prepared elections for your invited guests. The suggested number of appetizers is 12 pieces per person.

If you are expecting a larger crowd, it will be ideal to prepare at least 7 to 8 varieties of appetizers. If you have only 20 guests, then try for 4 different choices.

Cold Beverage
When serving non-alcoholic beverages, you can plan 2 cups for each person. For alcohol, count on about 2 glasses of wine, 3 beers or 2 mixed drinks per person. Remember to serve a variety of chilled non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers too.

Always review the gathering or party information such as number of guests (adult vs. children), types of parties (outdoor or indoor) to determine the beverage consumption.

Purchase your beverages on a “per can basis” or a “by the bottle basis” for more cost-effective consumption. Unopened beverages can be carried over to your next scheduled function.

Buffet Table Setting
Thinking of hosting a buffet style dinner party this Christmas? Follow the below step-by-step instructions to a beautiful buffet set up so that all important finishing touches are added without missing any detail when preparing your place.

  1. Be logical. Place plates, cutlery, food dishes and glasses in a rational order along the buffet – so guests can proceed from one end to the other smoothly. Make sure your tablecloths are fitted accordingly too. For desserts, you can serve them on a separate table if there is sufficient space.
  2. Creatively tie utensils with festive ribbon, fashionable band and fancy wire in a set for person use and place them in a bucket. This brings a neat and stylish setting to your table and guests can grab their utensils at one go.
  3. Slip a napkin between each plate. This adds colour, saves space and makes it easy for guests to pick up the plate and napkin together.
  4. To create a perfect table setting for your guests make sure your crockery coordinates with other pieces. Even if the table is well-decorated, mismatched plates do not bring the kind hospitality atmosphere you would like to extend to your guests.
  5. Use crockery cleverly to make an unusual but interesting touch: Coffee mugs can be used as soup bowls, small bowls can hold condiments or flowers, while teacups can hold candles...
  6. Centerpiece is always the key element to bring your table setting to life. For buffet, the best centerpiece is to place 2 or 3 very long branches in a tall, clear vase half-filled with pebbles or sand. To add an interesting touch, you can use ribbon or fuse wire to tie tiny tangerines or sparkling ornaments to the branches.
  7. You can use pretty homemade tags to tell guests what food they are having by placing them near each dish.

Food Presentation
Learn the below tips on how on how to relish the simplest and delicious food with fascinating art that would tempt your guests’ eyes.

  1. Choose plates with different shapes and sizes that hold food comfortably. This gives a perfect appearance that is not too cluttered.
  2. Use plates with contrasting colour to food or to sway away boredom and get visual interest. For instance, you can use white plates for dark food and rustic terracotta plate for food that are light in colour.
  3. Colours are important when comes to plate presentation. Good tasty food without a balancing act of colours is monotonous and plain. Always try to have a variety of colours on the plate when serving.
  4. Decide on a focal point when presenting your dish. This does not necessarily have to be at center of the plate. You can achieve the focal point by varying the heights of the food or be sure that the main item in the dish is prominent in the presentation. Always keep in mind food should be presented in a natural and appealing manner and don’t overdo in such a way that guests have to deconstruct the food arrangement before enjoying them.
  5. Remember that neatness counts for presentation. Thus, it is important to be sure that dishes are neat and clean before garnishing. Plate rim should be cleared of any extra sauce or spice and food should stay inside the rim. Take a hard look at the plate and ask yourself if it is pleasing to the eye. You may also use the "spill and splatter" technique to decorate plates. This can be effective, yet it must be done with restraint to suit the overall presentation. It should not look sloppy and dirty.
  6. Garnishes and decorations can enhance your plate presentation. Choose garnishes that are appropriate to the dish and echo some of the ingredients. Below are some techniques that can be considered when garnishing:
    a) Never decorate a plate with something inedible
    b) Ensure the garnish complements and enhances the dish without outshining the main course
    c) Garnishes should be easy to eat without having to be moved to the side of the plate
  7. The last step to consider is how to present the dishes in a way that allows the eye to travel in a pleasant and appetizing manner. The rule of thumb is always imagining plate as a face of the clock. Entrée should be plated at 6 o’clock, starch-like food such as potatoes, rice and noodles at 10 o’clock and vegetables at 2 o’clock.

Last but not least, you can improve the food appearance after it has been placed in the plate for a long time, you can brush lightly on the food with warm water and little olive oil before you serve them to your guests.