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  1. #1

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    Party hosting no-no's

    I thought with the holiday season approaching, this might be fun, and helpful.

    I attended a party not too long ago, which inspired this thread topic.

    For beverages, they had some wine which was fine. But for non-alcoholic beverages, they had nothing but diet sodas and water. Why would you throw a party and have as your choices for non likker be diet soda and water? And the food. OY! Lets just say it was lacking significantly.

    So hereís a few tips from me:

    Have a variety of non alcoholic beverages. Not everyone likes diet soda (I know I canít drink it because it gives me a headache), and being at a party, Iím going to want to drink something other than water. Have something like Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and maybe a juice like cranberry. Poof, you have non alcoholic drinks that can also double as mixers! Also, have some water available as well and maybe even some coffee.

    If itís not a dinner party, make sure you have plenty of appetizers and snacks. Have chips and dips out. Veggies and dip are good too. Cheese and crackers and maybe a peanut/M&M combo. These are all good spead all over the house in a variety of rooms and on end tables and such. For an actual buffet table type set-up, spinach dip with bread is good as itís filling and easy to make. For an easy way out, buy some pre-made appetizers to heat up like chicken satay, or maybe mini quiches. I usually buy one package each of whatever I am buying to heat up for a large variety of appetizers.

    And always plan on having more than you need for drinks and snacks. You just donít want to run out and either have to leave your party, or send someone out for you. Thatís bad hosting in my book.

    I have a lot more ideas but thought Iíd get this started and see what everyone else has to add.

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Never just pick certain foods you like, try and get a variety of snacks and appetizers.
    Har har har

  3. #3

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Yes! Very true!

  4. #4

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    My favorite thing plate:
    Get a large selection of a small amount of good cheeses with a variety of pear slices to go with your wine. Doesn't cost much, it's purdy, filling and klassy. I like to get one of each type of pear to slice.

    Know your crowd:
    Most of my friends don't drink traditional sodas, so I get an assortment of bubbly and flat juices from Trader Joe's.

    I also have many vegetarian friends, so I make sure to make 25% of any carnivore items (like chicken quesadillas) meat-free.

    I like making little caprese salads on a stick as an appetizer. Chunks of real mozzarella, a basil leave and a small tomato on a toothpick, drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette. Yum.

    Hot freshly re-heated flat bread with a variety of hummuses.

    A plate of a variety of olives is always a hit and pretty cheap when you go to a grocery store with an olive bar.

  5. #5

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Cheese Blocks (Brie, Smoked Gouda, Havarti) and crackers are always good. Add grapes or strawberries for a nice look. Even swiss and cheddar or salami slices with crackers would do. Antipasto plates with peppers olives, etc. are also nice. Bruschetta is always a crowd pleaser.
    Teriyaki chicken or steak on mini skewers and pinwheels are also great.
    Last edited by thmar; 11-09-2007 at 12:42 PM.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    I recommend trying any new recipes ahead of time. My rule of thumb is if I am not willing to eat it or serve it to someone I love, then I am not going to pass it on to guests at my party.

    If your hosting a dinner party I like to try and have 3 main courses to choose from. When we did my brother's wedding rehearsal dinner (70 people) we had chicken parmesan, meatballs, baked spaghetti, and some plain ziti noodles. We prepared a marinara sauce and an alfredo sauce served it buffet style so all the guests had choices.

  7. #7

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    A friend of ours made delicious French onion soup for our very vegetarian book group....but DER the broth was beef.

    So half the crowd couldn't eat the main course. That still gives me the giggles. She made a big production of it being a veggie meal, too.

  8. #8

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Quote Originally Posted by pratt55 View Post
    My rule of thumb is if I am not willing to eat it or serve it to someone I love, then I am not going to pass it on to guests at my party.
    Now come on, I use parties to get rid of my left overs and other crap I don't like. Of course this could be the reason no one shows up to my parties.

    On topic now and about the non-alcoholic drinks, if you are throwing a New Years Party make sure to pick up some sparkling cider or some other non-alcohlic champagne substitute. I went to a New Years party years ago and my girlfriend at the time was the driver and she had to toast with a Coke.
    Stalking is when two people go for a long romantic walk together but only one of them knows about it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    I have been to parties where they ran out of plates and utensils. I always buy extra- I can use them at home afterwards so its no loss there, or save them for another party. People had to resort to using napkins- not easy.

    If it is a dinner party, make sure you also serve appetizers. Not much is needed, but there should be something for the guests to snack on as they wait. Easily enough done is italian antipasto - row of dried sausages and rows of cheeses separated by crackers, olives can be added. Veggies and dip are also good- and helps if you have vegitarians in the family.
    Know your guests.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Don't put out chairs for every single person to sit at. You'll end up with chairs galore all over the place!

    If the chairs/sofas in your living room (or wherever you host the party) aren't enough, put out some folding chairs and place them around the room(s). You WANT people to mingle, and it's easiest to mingle when meandering around as opposed to sitting the entire time.

    If someone gives you wine as a "thank you" for hosting, the proper thing to do is to NOT open it up that night. That was a gift for YOU to enjoy at a later time.

  11. #11

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Great tips O'Nut.

    I'd also suggest, if you don't drink Diet soda, to make sure you don't just have regular soda for those that do drink diet.


  12. #12

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Have food that's appropriate to the type of party you're having, and where it's being hosted. If you have food that requires silverware, then make sure you have enough place settings for everyone (and real silverware is appreciated - not the plastic stuff that'll break if pushed on too hard).

    If you're doing appetizers/snack foods, have places for your guests to put either their drink or their plate down. Ever try to juggle your plate and drink while standing and making conversation?
    She did it!


  13. #13

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    1. Please take compliments well... if your house is CLEARLY spotless and I complement what a nice place it is, I dont want to hear about all the reasons I am wrong. I dont care that you did not get around to dusting your picture frames as planned, or whatever else you are going to throw out there to counter my compliment.

    2. Please dont be overly worried about every little thing, and if you are dont fill the room with tension over it. It is no fun if the host is making no effort to hide the fact that she is about to blow her top because the meatballs were not perfectly timed and now they must be served a whole 10 minutes after the other hot finger foods... this leads into my third...

    3. Please dont be overly apologetic about these minor things that NOBODY else would have noticed or cared about.

    Can you tell I have been to a few parties where the host could not take credit for anything good about the party. If someone is hosting a great party I like to give them full kudos for all the effort.

  14. #14

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    We have big family holidays and such or invite people here because the resturaunts around here SUCK. So a lot of dinner parties.

    What I learned is you can plan and stress and get into every detail, but at the end of the day it doesn't need to go perfectly because it will be a story to tell later. I planned every single detail of my mom's 50th surprise birthday party. Then in late April, early in the morning, we find out it is going to snow up in the mountains. Weather was great, and then at 4:39 it snowed and everyone left, leaving my mom with ton of rich 1950s inspired food. I thought it was ruined. She loved it. Nothing needs to be perfect, just with heart.
    Last edited by knittingknerd; 11-09-2007 at 07:59 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Party hosting no-no's

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell View Post
    My favorite thing plate:
    Get a large selection of a small amount of good cheeses with a variety of pear slices to go with your wine. Doesn't cost much, it's purdy, filling and klassy. I like to get one of each type of pear to slice.

    Know your crowd:
    Most of my friends don't drink traditional sodas, so I get an assortment of bubbly and flat juices from Trader Joe's.

    I also have many vegetarian friends, so I make sure to make 25% of any carnivore items (like chicken quesadillas) meat-free.

    I like making little caprese salads on a stick as an appetizer. Chunks of real mozzarella, a basil leave and a small tomato on a toothpick, drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette. Yum.

    Hot freshly re-heated flat bread with a variety of hummuses.

    A plate of a variety of olives is always a hit and pretty cheap when you go to a grocery store with an olive bar.
    Very good!! I like the fact you also do meatless for the vegans. nice touch and shows you do care if they have good eats to!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell View Post
    A friend of ours made delicious French onion soup for our very vegetarian book group....but DER the broth was beef.

    So half the crowd couldn't eat the main course. That still gives me the giggles. She made a big production of it being a veggie meal, too.
    I am picturing that, sooooo funny!
    Also did you know there is a wonderful cream cheese and sour cream by tofutti. soooooo good and makes some delicious apitizers.

    Sounds like you are a wonderful hostess!

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