As the holiday is upon us and you’ve decorated your home full of cheer. It’s time to wine, dine and greet your guest to your holiday affair! To plan and host your special evening for family and/or friends can prove to be very stressful, but it is actually a time to show off your creative culinary skills.
For your guest’s diverse palate, have a variety of foods ready for them to select from when they arrive. Having prepared hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, wines and/or champagne to welcome your guest. Also, remember to have a selection of nonalcoholic beverages, such as premium tonics and refreshing glasses of water. When serving the non-alcoholic drinks it’s always best to have fresh blueberries, strawberries, lemons, limes, fresh mint, basil and thyme for your guest to add to their tonics or water. You may even want to have a juice bar station. It is those extra touches like this will give the appearance of a specialty cocktail and showoff your attention to details. It’s all in the details, of what your guests deserve, that will have them feeling special and well-served.
Picking Your Appetizers
When selecting your hors d’oeuvres menu, keep in mind your vegan family and friends. Be sure to have a healthy amount of food for them to select from as well. By having plenty of dried fruits, nuts, tons of veggies and a recipe that includes tofu will delight their taste buds. A variety of hot and cold appetizers to serve your guest is always a win-win.
When preparing your appetizer keep this chart in mind of how much you should be prepared to serve.
- 10 guests or less plan to serve at least 3 appetizers.
- 10-20 guests plan to serve at least 5 appetizers
- 20-40 guests plan to serve at least 7 appetizers
- 40 or more guest plan to serve at least 9 appetizers.
Serve dinner promptly, allow at least one hour before dinner for appetizers and cocktails. You don’t want your guests to be famished by the time they sit down for dinner.
When a main course follows an appetizer spread, skip the sweets in the first course. Save them for the perfect finish and pair with coffee, tea, or your choice of after dinner liqueurs. This will encourage your guest to relax and continue to enjoy each other.
We’ve gone over the major details of the party it’s now time to refine our hostess etiquette.
Gracious Host Etiquette Protocol
- Always greet your guests at the door
- Have available coat check or staff on hand
- If you are planning to ask your guests to remove their shoes before entering your home, preferably put it in your invitation so they aware of it before they arrive
- Have an area designated for gifts, in case they bring one, and thank them for it however it is not proper etiquette to open your gifts at that time unless they request you to do so
- Once the majority of guests have arrived the host should circulate to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and partaking in good conversation
- During this time the host should have staff serving passing hors d’oeuvres and cocktails
- When it’s time for dinner lead your guests to the area where dinner will be served, if there are no place cards or assigned seating allow your guests to decide where they would like to be seated
You’re the host, it is your duty to let your guest know when it is time to begin dinner by putting your napkin in your lap, removing the napkin from your lap once dinner is over and placing the napkin on the table on the left side of your dinner plate will send the signal that dinner is over. However, never rush your guests to finish their meal. At no time do you want to draw attention to a slow eater.
Now that you have all the details in order it’s time to enjoy your affair.
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