Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host and Guest

For this week’s blog, I’m getting some help from my friend, Modern Etiquette Coach, Maggie Oldham. My husband and I attended one of Maggie’s dining etiquette classes last year and learned so much. She really has a great knack for making etiquette modern and relevant in today’s world. That’s why I asked for her help when I had some etiquette questions for my cocktail party that I had last month.  We chatted on the phone about some of my questions and I thought it would be a great idea for an upcoming blog post.  So here are the Maggie’s Modern Cocktail Party Etiquette Tips for the Host and Guest:
 

Cocktail Party Etiquette for the Host:

How do you gently ask people to leave? A great way to signal that the party is coming to a close without having to directly and verbally ask guests to leave is to gradually start turning on lights, turning down the music and beginning the cleanup. Guests will get the hint that it’s time to leave when they see you putting dishes in the sink or tying up the trash. This, in addition to the lights, will give guests a visual clue while the music gives and aural clue.… Read Full Post
Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

I believe that the cocktail party has changed since I started hosting them 10-ish years ago.  They went from an event with great food, cocktails and friends to an event that has the only main purpose of being Pinterest/ Instagram ready. I always think that layout, the look and feel are important, but I feel that often times people are so worried about it looking “perfect” that they forgo the quality of the food and the drinks.  While I do work on the aesthetics of the party, I will never forgo the experience of the party: the ambience, music, cocktails and food.   

I learned how to host proper cocktail party from my sister-in-law. She is the consummate host and has legendary Halloween parties in New York every year, among others. She has a lovely New York City apartment and everything is always set up beautifully, but she pays most of her attention to the ambience, music, food and drinks, complete with impeccably appointed servers and bartenders that tended to your every need.  While we don’t have servers at our cocktail parties, we always have a bar with a bartender to help out and add to the experience. I always request that they help me pick up glasses and plates during the party too.… Read Full Post

Gluten Free Super Bowl Party

Gluten Free Super Bowl Party Ideas

So the Super Bowl is right around the corner, but finding tasty Gluten Free Super Bowl Party food can be difficult.  Here are some of my favorites:

Chili Con Queso

According to Organic Authority‘s list of ingredients for Velveeta is actually gluten free, so you can always do the traditional Velveeta and Rotel mixture without the beer.  If you want to stay away from all those preservatives there are recipes out there that don’t use Velveeta.

Chili Con Queso Dip
Chili Con Queso Dip

Pao De Quijo or Brazillian Cheese Bread

Making pao de quijo from scratch is hard, so I like to use the mix by Yoki, you can find it here: http://www.amigofoods.com/pao-de-queijo-yoki-kilo.html

Pao de Queijo
Pao de Queijo- Quick and Easy to make

Chili

Did you see my Gluten Free Chili recipe from last week? Not only is it gluten free, but it’s easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

gluten free chili
Claire’s Gluten Free Chili

Guacamole

I love guacamole. It’s easy to make, tastes great and it is a bit healthier than some of the traditional tailgating fare.

guacamole
Guacamole- Easy to Make Crowd Pleaser

Meat and Cheese Platters

Meat and cheese platters are easy to prepare and you can use several varieties of meats and cheeses to please many pallets.… Read Full Post

6 Tips for Hosting a Brunch That’s Stress-Free and Fabulous

In mid-December my husband and I decided to host a brunch in our home.  We had been sick and missed out on several holiday celebrations and wanted to see our friends before the New Year.  We gave less than 7 days notice, so I wasn’t too sure of the turnout, but we had 12 people, including two of the best babies around.  Given that the headcount was larger than I expected, so I had to make some quick improvisations to make sure we had the table space and enough food.  I used a extra table we had and bought a two matching table cloths to make an extra long table and I also tweaked my regular frittata recipe to feed 12-14, see below.  

We served:

  • A fruit plate
  • Spinach salad with cinnamon sugar pecans, dried cranberries, apple and an apple cider vinaigrette,
  • Frittata (recipe below).
  • Cheese grits  I wasn’t sure if this would be a hit because it’s not very “Californian” or light, but there were no leftovers. I used a baked recipe, since my cheese grits recipe is more hands-on and I wanted to be able to hang out with my guests as they arrived instead stirring the grits.
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Host a Small Dinner

How to Host a Small Dinner

Hosting a dinner (big or small) can be a daunting task, especially if you’re going to cook.

Last week I decided to host a small dinner / girls night at my house, with 4 total people to be exact.  I did not have the help of my husband, so I learned a few things along the way to make it easier.  If you’ve seen the recipes on my blog, you know I love to make stuff that I can start beforehand and that makes several servings.  I decided to make one of my favorite dishes, Shrimp and Pea Risotto, which also happens to be quite easy to make too.   I am a fan of one-pot-meals, all your food groups represented in one dish…DONE.  One thing to remember with a small group 4-6 people, is that it should be more intimate and personal, so there is no need to be too formal or stuffy.

1. Let Your Guests Bring Something

All my friends asked what they could bring.  I’ve been to dinner parties where the host says they don’t need anything, but I like to feel involved in the preparation of the party instead of just being a participant.  My friends are the same way.  … Read Full Post