As the holidays near, many of us start our gathering planning with guest lists, menu selections and décor. While our bill of fares stray anywhere from a pre-prepared and reheat turkey dinner, prepare ahead potluck, to a 10-course amuse-bouche tasting there is one thing to be kept in the forefront of any host’s mind…How do I ensure everyone is enjoying themselves?
Hosting Hack #1
One thing to keep in mind when you are the one on the line, hosting any gathering from large to small is this: for your guests to have the best experience you should think outside the box, exposing them to your creative thought process while keeping many of the ingredients familiar. For instance, who doesn’t love the flavors of a pizza pocket for snacking? Take those flavors and elevate them to a level of execution that takes nearly no time at all by changing the vessel you serve those same ingredients on.
Here’s an idea—take those extra few moments the day before to prepare some polenta, let it cool out and cut out rounds the next day with the kids, top it with some homemade or jarred tomato basil sauce, a type of cheese and bake. Finish with a fresh basil leaf and you have given your guests the flavor profile they crave but on a different level. Twists on a classic could be just the right amount of change for your guests to really make your party the talk of the town.
Hosting Hack #2
If you have the hankering to get more innovative with your food menu why not apply it to the beverages you serve your guests? Many crowds would be more than pleased with the option of chardonnay, cabernet and sparkling cider for the kids but why stop there? Find a common thread in your menu, whether it be either a spice or fruit you can tie that into your holiday drink.
Instead of serving a cosmopolitan, batch a cranberry sangria and ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine of their choosing. For the nondrinkers and kids, keep the look the same. Sangria is fruit based so remove the alcohol and add juices to really keep the nondrinkers and children as well thought out as your drinking crowd. It is creating a level of service and adaptability that your guests won’t find anywhere else that makes you stand out.
Whether it is taking a classic frozen appetizer and giving it new life or making your drink selection shine, there are many ways to think outside the box and entertain your guests with your creativity. The team at Randy Peters Catering wishes you the most memorable of holidays!