Menus and Party Planning
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When I attend dinner parties, sometimes the place setting can seem cluttered and I can get a bit overwhelmed with which utensils to use first. A good idea is to usually work your way from the outside in.

 

Another trick I learned was from my mother, she taught me the acronym B.E.D. B stands for “bread” meaning the bread dish will be to your left. E stands for "end of dinner"; anything that will come at the end of dinner, such as dessert utensils will be in front of your plate. Finally, D stands for "drink;" all your glasses will be to the right of table setting. Now you will have no reason to confuse yourself on which glass belongs to you, or your neighbor. Table set up

 

Below is the standard for setting a semi-formal / formal place setting. Use this guide for your next dinner party.

 

1. Put down a plate.

 

2. To the left of the plate, place forks (typically just salad and entrée forks) in the order in which guests will use them, with the first one farthest out.

 

Below are basic techniques for folding napkins . If you want to add a little creativity you can tie a ribbon or colored twine around a folded or rolled napkin, you can even slip a flower or a spring of herbs underneath it.

 

Cylinder

 

Start with a small rectangle or square. Fold it length-wise into thirds and place it folded-side down on the center of the plate.

 

Rectangle

 

Fold the napkin into a small rectangle and place it to the left of the forks.

Posted by: / July 20, 2010 / No Comments

 

The table is always the center of attention. The table needs to be inviting, not too busy and a clear reflection of your personal style. The table top and style need to work with the mood of the occasion.

 

Make sure to stock up on these tableware essentials, which will accommodate for most dinner parties (12-16 pieces).

 

Dishes

-Bread -and- butter plate, six inches or small in diameter

-Salad plate, eight inches in diameter. Suitable for salad, dessert and cheese

-Dinner plate, or the main plate, measures nine to 10 ½ inches in diameter

-Soup bowls measure six to 10-inches in diameter; ideal for soup, pasta, stew and chili 

 

Flatware

 

Basic place setting:

-Dinner knife (substitute steak knife if necessary)

-All-purpose “place” spoon (smaller than a tablespoon and larger than a teaspoon)

-Standard dinner fork (seven inches long)

If you are hosting a wine and cheese party, or simply want to serve a cheese platter at your next party, below are some basics every future cheese connoisseur needs to learn.

 

Serve only about three to five cheeses when entertaining, anymore and the cheeses will begin to compete. Take cheese out of the refrigerator half an hour before you serve it to let your flavors unfold.

 

Type of cheese: fresh and fresh- ripened

What they are: Mild, slightly tart fresh cheeses are uncooked and unripened, and range in texture from thick and creamy to moist and curdy. Fresh-ripened cheeses are briefly ripened, slightly pungent, white in color and have no rinds.

Examples: Fresh cheeses -Italian mascarpone, ricotta and soft mozzarella. Fresh – ripened cheeses – Boucheron and Montrachet.

 

Type of cheese: soft-ripened (bloomy rind)

What it is: Rich, creamy cheeses that have a high butterfat content and semisoft consistency. Molds are applied to their surfaces, causing them to ripen from the outside in (the moldy exteriors are edible).

Examples: Brie, Camembertm and double and triple creams like St. Andre

Each cocktail is served in a specific glass. Since it is impossible to guest what each guest will order in advance, below are the basic types of glasses that every bar should have, and will cover most requested drinks.

 

All purpose, 11-oz. stemware glass: Suitable for red and white wine, sparkling water sangria and champagne (if champagne will be a highly requested drink, invest in flutes). If you want to keep things really simple, these glasses are fine to use for mixed drinks and sodas too.

 

8 to 10-oz. highball glass: This is ideal for water, soda, beer and most mixed drinks. Old-fashioned: Also known as a lowball, whiskey or rocks glass, this short tumbler is appropriate for any drink served on the rocks.

 

Classic 4 to 6-oz cocktail, or martini, glass: It’s a bit disorienting to drink a martini or cosmopolitan from anything else, so invest in a set of six or eight. You’ll feel glamorous every time you use them.

Posted by: / July 07, 2010 / No Comments

When guests first arrive at an event the first place they go far is the bar – even if it is to hold a glass filled with soda. The mere act of holding a glass puts people at ease.

 

There are many aspects of having a successful, well stocked bar.

 

Make sure your bar has the essentials such as sparkling and regular water, regular and diet sodas, lemons and limes. The style and size of your party determine what you pour. For a modified bar include wine, beer and a handful of liquors and mixers. For a true cocktail party or formal affair, set up a full bar – stocked with every mixed drink under the sun.

 

Remember there is room for variations such as adding champagne and sparkling wine, and you can choose not to serve dark colored cocktails or wine if you have light furniture or carpeting.

Posted by: / July 06, 2010 / No Comments

The below is an essential list of what to stock at a cocktail party of about 50 guests (give a take of course). Assuming your guests will want a variety of drinks, below is the standard list that will cover most requested drinks: 

 

2 liters of vodka

1 small bottle (375ml) of dry vermouth for martinis

1 liter each of rum, scotch (blended), bourbon, tequila, triple sec and gin

1 bottle of Rose’s lime juice

1 bottle of Worcestershire sauce

1 bottle of Tabasco sauce

2 gallons of orange and cranberry juice

1 gallon each of grapefruit and tomato juice

6 liters each of tonic water, seltzer, cola, diet cola, and club soda

10 bottles each of red and white wine

2 cases of beer

Posted by: / July 02, 2010 / No Comments

 

There are many different types of invitations that are sent out – Weddings, Baby Showers, Birthday, Holiday Parties; any type of event you are throwing will normally include some sort of invitation. Invitations can be sent either paper or electronic, depending on type of event.

 

No matter the form of invitation or type of event, there are key pieces of information that need to be included within the invitation:

 

The reason for the event (and what to expect to eat and drink): Be as specific as possible. If the occasion is a friend’s birthday, write something such as “Please join us for cake and champagne to celebrate Jane’s 40th Birthday.” (Make sure the birthday girl doesn’t mind sharing her age). That way people know what type of food and beverage to expect.

 

Date and time: Include a start and end time, so guests know what time to arrive and can expect what time to be leaving the party. Location: This should include full address, telephone number of venue and/or host, and map and/or directions.

Posted by: / June 25, 2010 / No Comments
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