Are you a social butterfly but are scared off by entertaining at home?
Secret of entertaining, always be prepared. Plan in advance how you imagine your table will be laid and what you hope your guests will feel once they have left your home.
Catering can be intimidating, whether choosing finger foods or dishes of stews or lasagne? so many options.
As your guests arrive, offer them something to drink, maybe bubbly, a glass of vino or even a cocktail. A drink will help guests to ease into the evening and relax.
We suggest keeping the snacks lite to start, you don't want your guests to be too full by the time mains are served. Mini phyllo pastries with cherry tomatoes are fun, or some beautiful chorizos and salamis with dips and crackers. A snack that can be shared around a table will act as an ice breaker for friends to mingle and chat.
Having something already cooked will also help you, so that you aren't flustered and running around causing a stir. You need to be able to sit and enjoy your night as much as everyone else. In a way the host sets a tone for how friends will feel. If you're under control and organized, guests will feel at ease too.
Always ensure if you are doing a heavier meal like a lasagne or pasta that you offer veggies or a fresh crisp salad to balance the meal out. Speaking of balance, don't be too carb heavy or go crazy with sauces. If you have a variety of different people dining with you, remember they all have unique tastes. A very rich meal might not be enjoyable for some. Keep a sauce as a side in a pouring jug and people can choose whether they'd like it.
If your mains have been rich, choose a lighter fruiter dessert option such as a pavlova with fresh berries and whipped cream, maybe even a dash of lemon curd for some acidity. If you've had a lighter main course then something like a halva pudding or a cheesecake could be a delicious and decadent option with some after dinner coffee. Cheesecakes are versatile, and can be topped or served with fresh berries or meringues. It's our favourite dessert of choice. nom nom nom...
Now my mouth is watering...