September 7, 2012

The School of Entertaining is now in session

My friend who recently bought a house is all excited to start entertaining.  Something she felt she couldn't really do in her small apartment.  I for one am excited too. Someone else to throw the parties so I can sit back and enjoy.  I LOVE throwing parties, but lets face it, sometimes a party girl just wants to enjoy someone else's party.

School is now in session. Let the lessons begin.

LESSON #1  Just because you have an apartment and not a house doesn't mean you can't entertain.  I'm all about the mini party.  So all you apartment dwellers, throw a party. It doesn't have to be big. Your guests will have just as much fun.

Now my friend is a newbie to entertaining and will make rookie mistakes.  We all do, don't let any party diva tell you she doesn't make mistakes.  That's like an actress/model with a 10 for a body telling you she never works out.

My friend had been bragging for a month about how amazing her home-made pizza is. She sent out an email to me and another friend and the date was set.  I bet you're thinking the email invite is lesson #2. Nope. For an impromptu mini party, there were 4 of us including her husband and herself,  an email is just fine.

My friend set the time for 1:00 p.m. and said we'd have pizza and watch a movie.  Both of us arrived at 1:00 p.m. -ish but we didn't eat until 3:00 p.m.  My stomach was objecting.

LESSON#2 When you set a time for a party where you'll be cooking food for your guests you want to have it ready within 30 minutes to an an hour of your guests arrival.  Both of us were expecting to eat sooner.  The reason for the delay was my friend was giving a house tour. I had seen the house already. Problem was, it was the long side tracked version of the tour.

The pizza WAS delicious. She used Trader Joe's pizza dough, herb and something I think. We got to choose our ingredients.

This was really good pizza. After we ate pizza and salad we watched the movie. During the movie my friend decided to make cupcakes because it sounded good.


LESSON #3  Don't make cupcakes with an electric mixer while your friends are trying to watch a movie you invited them over to watch.  Neither of us could hear the movie while the mixer was going.
The other guest had to leave before the cupcakes were done because of the late start.  I stayed.

My friend has been trying to perfect this chocolate cupcake recipe from The Joy of Cooking  .  She's been tweaking it trying to make it richer and more chocolatey. Sadly, this batch was on the dry side.

Are you gasping that I would write all this about my friend. Aren't I worried she'll see this, you're thinking. Not at all. I already told my friend all of this.  She asked for advice and appreciates it because she knows without feedback, how else will she be able to perfect her entertaining. Plus all my friends know I'm known for my bluntness and not to ask me my opinion if they can't take it :)

5 comments :

  1. All VERY good tips! I agree about the mini party and sometimes they can be the most fun. Do you think you'll have a follow-up to this for tips to throwing a large party? If so, I have some suggestions (learned the hard way):

    1. Make sure you have cutlery and don't run out of forks. No one really uses knives and spoons at events like showers and kids birthday parties, but FORKS can become a hot commodity, disposable or not.

    2. Ice! If you are serving beverages that will need to be chilled, don't forget the ice!

    3. Once people start arriving, relax. You've done all you can do and people will one day laugh about how you ran out of forks, but everyone will still have a good time. As long as you didn't make them starve. (I went to a Catholic wedding once and didn't eat until 6 hours after the start of a noon wedding. I'm not even exaggerating).

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    1. Thank you Jenn. I hadn't thought about that but yes, I should have a follow up about large parties since I've thrown a fair number of those as well.
      Good point about the forks. I rarely use the spoons and I don't ever seem to use the knives.
      Ice is a good one too. I have many ice cube trays in shapes. A fun way to add to the party theme.
      #3 I totally agree with. A relaxed host helps guests relax and have fun. ugh! 6 hrs, I can hear my stomach already!

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  2. These are all great tips, and reading through the comments, yes, I may never have to buy plastic forks or spoons again... Those packs with all 3 are deceiving. But to by one small pack of spoons and knives and about 30 packs of forks... ;)

    The tip about eating within 30 mins to an hour is a really good one. In my opinion though, if it's even going to be as long as an hour, make sure to have some chips and other munchies out for your guest to snack on.

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    1. ** I meant I may never need to buy plastic KNIVES or spoons again...

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    2. I agree Stacy, I don't buy the packs of 3 anymore. I agree with that too, a snack to munch on would be great. My friends know at my parties if it says 1 p.m. we're eating no later than 1:15 p.m., if you're late and the food is cold, you know where my microwave is ;)

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