There are some party planning professionals who believe you should never try a new recipe when hosting a party. I'm not one of those party planners. I think it's exciting and fun to experiment with a new dish at a party. If it's not great, I don't feel bad, I simply explain to my guests that it was a test. Reader AmberHoney agrees; yesterday when describing a recent dinner party menu, she said, "Always new recipes. Our friends are all foodies and we love experimenting so it's never the same thing twice." Exactly my sentiments, Amber! How do you feel about the matter?
Who says you need a birthday or anniversary to throw a fabulous party? Recently a friend hosted a welcome back party — for luggage! She attended a wedding on the East Coast and on the return flight her luggage was lost. After waiting nervously for three weeks, it was finally returned. It happened to be a Friday and she decided a celebration was necessary. She sent out a last-minute email inviting friends over for a party.
Trader Joe's catered and she stopped by the party supply store for a welcome back sign and balloons. The suitcase served as a centerpiece and when guests arrived they were asked to wear a luggage tag as a bracelet. I supplied the cocktail and voila, instant fiesta! It ended up being a fantastic night and reminder that one can throw a party for just about any reason.
Have you been to a party that celebrated something out of the ordinary?
- Lobster: Get it while it's cheap!
- Lobster: Get it while it's cheap! — The Atlantic
- Meet TasteStopping, the website that takes Tastespotting's rejects. — Eat Me Daily
- Spice things up with Padma's chili honey butter. — Serious Eats
- What’s the right answer to “Can I bring anything?” — Chow
- Deep dish blueberry maple French toast. Enough said. — Endless Simmer
- The next time you host a baby shower be inspired by the letter B . — Hostess With the Mostess
- In September, David Chang and Wylie Dufresne will let a group of French chefs take over their kitchens. — Eater
- 21 top-rated burger recipes, including beef, turkey, cheese, and veggie varieties. — Epicurious
At female-centric events like baby showers or bachelorette parties, it's easy for cliques to form and cattiness to flourish. Recently, my sister attended a bridal shower where the majority of guests went to the same high school. However some girls, despite knowing my sister, were cold and unfriendly. To make matters worse, the hostess did not say one word to her! While I understand that everyone present may not get along, it's totally unacceptable for the hostess to ignore her guests. It's up to the hostess to ensure that gossip and grudges don't ruin the party. This means that she must put aside any hard feelings and greet everyone equally.
Have you ever been to a party where the hostess made you feel unwelcome? Please share your stories below!
It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you're hosting a party (any kind that involves food) get in the habit of checking the dishwasher before the the soiree starts. Parties always generate a lot of dirty dishes, and the last thing you need after a night of wining and dining is a sink full of dirty dishes. It's also a good idea to take out take out the trash and recycling before the event begins. That way you won't have to deal with disposing of a full bin of trash when you should be mixing a martini for your guests.
Got a tip for better party prep? Please share with us below!
Recently I attended a dinner party that started at 7:00. The hostess was having a culinary student cook the meal for me and 11 other guests. However, he was totally unprepared and I ended up helping in the kitchen the entire night. He chose a complicated menu that wasn't ready until 11:30! While I've been a witness to every type of party foul from one sided introductions to a lack of utensils, this was by far the worst! Having to wait three and a half hours till dinner is totally unacceptable.
Now that I got that off my chest, I invite you to do the same, readers. I'm sure you've seen plenty of bad behavior and ill etiquette, so do tell: what's the worst dinner party foul you've observed?
Recently I attended the opening reception for a new bar in San Francisco. Like most bars these days, the establishment had a list of tantalizing specialty cocktails. According to the menu, the cocktail I ordered, a Bloodhound, was a mixture of Hanger One vodka, Campari, and grapefruit juice. However, when I watched the bartender mix the drink, he made it with Smirnoff! Listing out specific ingredients and making a dish with different components is not okay. Can you imagine the repercussions if a restaurant did this and served an item that caused an allergic reaction? When hosting a party of any sort, be sure to give guests exactly what is described on the menu.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Where you asked for one thing and got something totally different? Please share your stories below!
Recently, I hosted an event where I wrote "Significant Others Welcome" on the invitation. You can imagine my annoyance and frustration when some people showed up with husbands and children. The party was a happy hour, an occasion that children do not normally take part in.
When you receive an invitation, it's important to read the fine print. One should never assume that a significant other or child is invited unless specified. The names listed on the outside of the envelope are the invited guests. If it says Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the Smith children are not invited. However, if addressed to The Smith Family, then the kids are welcome to attend.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Share your stories with us below!