It's time to celebrate family and friends. Cooking up our best specialty dishes and pulling out our favorite party wear. As these moments are a lot of work, they are also a lot of fun and special. The key is to keep it fancy, yet simple. So, here are some tips for holiday hospitality.
The new trend is to create a specific menu, without an entire buffet of mix match foods. Less is more, so choose taste over volume. Pick an elegant style dinner with your choice of meat, starch, a light salad, bread, and a few vegetables. The same goes for desserts. Decide on a dessert that pairs with your main course. Make it amazing! Gift bags are a nice touch for guest to take home, filled with your signature treats!
Remember when creating your menu, consider guests that may have any dietary restrictions. For gluten free you can use almond flower, also try cauliflower for crusts. Other tips use butter substitutes that come in a stick, rather than in a tub. Coconut, soy, rice and nut milks can take the place of regular milk. To replace sugar, try Swerve, honey, agave or maple syrup. You will be amazed at the results!
Decorations make the experience. Choose theme colors, three usually works well. Sketch
out a blueprint of the area you’ll be decorating. This will save you time from shopping, deciding where to place things, and how much supplies you’ll actually need. It can become overwhelming, not knowing where to start. Soften the area with some candlelight or soft string lights. Also, do not over clutter your area. Soft touches feel cozy. Choose a special background music to top off your ambiance.
Your table setting tells a story! Maybe personalize it with guest name tags that could be used as an ornament, or napkin rings that they can take home. Don’t forget chargers under your plates, they richen the look. Center pieces are great; however, make sure they are not too tall so your guests can conversate.
Plan a pre-dinner light appetizers and beverages. This will get your guests moving and socializing. I love sharing thankful thoughts prior to dinner. Keep in mind any guests who may have experienced a difficult year, add them to your prayer. Have an estimated time to serve, don’t forget the champagne toast prior to serving.
Take a moment to look around the room and reflect on your circle of love. As your guests leave and you prop your feet up, know that all of your hard work has created a lasting memory in the hearts of many. This I know after so many years of event planning and hospitality. When you receive the huge gestures of gratitude, it wasn’t that hard after
all! Blessings to you are yours during the very special time of the year!