Parties are for many busy adults the best opportunity to catch up with friends and relatives. That’s why, even though our lifestyles are getting increasingly hectic and busy, we carry on organizing party dinners for our guests. It’s the occasion for us to get together and maintain our bond with the people in our life.
Finding a reason to plan a party is a lot easier than it sounds. Milestone birthday parties are popular, so if anybody is about to hit a new decade, you can be sure that a party is relevant. Celebrations, such as anniversaries or engagements, are the perfect excuse to cheer, toast, and share memories together. But it could be something much more trivial, such as landing a coveted promotion or coming back from a long holiday. Or, perhaps, you want to get the people you love in one place. You always find a good excuse to invite people for a casual or formal dinner party.
The only problem with dinner parties, however, is the dinner part of it. Your choice of food is essential, as you want your guests to be enjoying themselves rather than complaining about how hungry they are – or worse, they could be complaining about the quality of the food. While the main reason for a party is to get together, it would be foolish to pretend that food doesn’t play a role. Food is the unsung hero of the party. Nobody truly came just to eat but preparing a dinner that both sustains and satisfies is what ensures your guests will stay. For a lot of modern households, the idea of organizing food for guests can be stressful. After all, most of us don’t have time during the week to brush up our cooking skills! But food doesn’t have to be hard work as long as you know what you’re doing. Here are a few things to consider to feed the party:
How do you choose a menu?
Inviting dozens or more guests to a dinner party is nothing like cooking for your in-laws. You need to plan ahead to make sure you can get everything ready in time. Additionally, when it comes to deciding on a menu for many people, you can’t afford to make assumptions about their dietary requirements, allergies, or preferences. You have to take the time to ask everyone to prepare an entirely inclusive menu. Ideally, once you have a list of what they like and can eat, it’s a good idea to pick the easiest dish from your menu list. Ultimately, you don’t want to make things more stressful than they are. Therefore, opting for something that is easy to cook and ticks all your guests’ boxes is guaranteed to improve your preps a lot! Alternatively, you can also ask your guests to contribute to the preparations by bringing some nibbles or a dish.
Feeding kids without compromising on taste
Inviting kids to a dinner party is a little like… well, like having to deal with guests who may be picky about food, don’t eat large portions and are likely to make a mess if you serve something sophisticated. If you know that kids are coming, you should adapt your menu to them. Ideally, small and manageable food bites or portions are the best approach. You don’t need to take inspiration from your local restaurant’s kids menu, but instead, you can rely on a bite-size buffet for everyone. From mini burgers to simple cauliflower arancini, you can build a nutritious meal that your guests can eat with their fingers!
Can Rex join in?
If you have pets around or if you know that someone is bringing their pet, it can be helpful to add food that you can easily share with a dog. Small bites are fantastic because you don’t need to prepare anything else. You can pick some food directly off the buffet table and put it into your dog’s bowl. For dogs with dietary requirements, such as diabetic dogs, for instance, you can check this handy article from diabeticdogfood.org to find out what Rex can eat. Watermelon is a perfect snack, for example! Lean protein, such as cooked chicken, is excellent for diabetic pets and pets on a weight loss diet.
While you don’t want dogs to be begging for food at your party, you have to consider that they too would want to mingle with the people. After all, it’s a party! Therefore, planning some dog-safe food can make sure they can have fun with their human friends.
Getting the timing right
When you’ve got plenty of guests chatting and laughing, getting everyone to come to the dinner table on time is a nightmare! There will always be someone who turns up late, someone who disappears in the bathroom just before dinner, or someone who needs to make a phone call for half of the evening. In other words, the food is going to get cold. You have to accept that it’s impossible to get everyone ready at the same time. Therefore, you need to find solutions for your food. When a cold buffet isn’t part of your plan, you can consider heated trays. You can find inexpensive trays that keep your dishes hot at Target. They are a lifesaver and will keep all your guests satisfied – even those who are late to the dinner party!
Should I order food?
While it might be tempting to cook from scratch and impress your guests, there’s no need to make things more difficult for you. If you find cooking too stressful or time-demanding, but you still want a delicious meal, why not order food instead? There are plenty of catering services available, and you’ll be pleased to know that some even offer exciting delivery options, such as delivery by drones! Not only does it avoid all the hassle of cooking, but it’s guaranteed to impress your guests too!
Planning for quantities
How much should you cook or order? Estimating food amount for a party is a delicate art to master. Ideally, you don’t want your guests to be left hungry, so it’s best to round UP your estimates at all times. You can find helpful guidelines on thespruce.com to figure out how much you need to prepare. Additionally, you can also decide whether you can freeze and reheat your leftovers at a later time or throw them away. If you want to keep leftovers, you don’t have to worry about making too much.
How early should you start planning?
You can be too early with party planning. Ideally, 4 to 2 weeks before a family event is plenty of time to get yourself organized when it comes to the menu. If you want to turn the food into the main attraction, such as hiding some in the cake for the birthday boy or helping with a secret proposal during the party, you may need some extra time to get ready. However, as a rule of thumb, if you plan food too early, your guests are going to forget or change their minds!
Do you want to set yourself a challenge?
Do you want to finish your dinner party with a bang? You can bake a beautiful cake for your guests. Contrary to common beliefs, you don’t need to be a professional baker to deliver a beautiful cake. Taking inspiration from this YouTube video, you can practice your cake baking and decorating skills to give your guests a WOW moment.
Feeding the whole party is a challenging task. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible! With strategic preparations and some smart thinking, you can get a lot done without any hassle. It’s time to make food the true hero of your party.