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What Your Dinner Party Says About You

The reemergence of the classic dinner party in today’s culture gives everyone the opportunity to entertain, while also displaying their personal style. However, the thought of planning décor, food, drinks, and ambiance can be overwhelming to those just dipping their toe into the world of entertaining. With a few simple tricks and planning, you can provide your guests with a cozy, elegant get-together that feels effortless.

TABLE SETTING:

Whether you’re starting from scratch, or already have a few table staples, you want to gravitate toward neutrals while shopping. Starting with a neutral pallet as a base can give you a blank canvas to create a stunning table scape all year long. Once you have the basics, you’re able to add pops of color and seasonal flair to keep it fresh and festive, without breaking the bank during every seasonal change.

Basics to consider:

  • White Linen Napkins
  • White Table Cloth
  • Woven Placemats
  • White China
  • Simple Silverware
  • Clear Glassware
  • Candle Sticks

Embellishments to add throughout the year:

  • Table Runners
  • Floral Arrangements
  • Colorful Linen Napkins
  • Napkin Ribbons
  • Festive Embellishments

BAR SETUP

There are a few options when it comes to curating the bar. Considering you’ve done all the shopping, cooking, and hosting, don’t be hesitant to ask your guests to BYOB. However, if you do decide to stock the bar, one light and dark liquor, and a classic red and white wine option should do. Regardless of the drinks being served, it’s always important to have the bar set up properly, so you don’t have your guests asking for mixers, ice and garnishes while you’re trying to cook and mingle.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ice bucket with scoop
  • Mixers: Club Soda, Tonic, cola etc.
  • Garnishes: Limes, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit, Olives
  • Rocks and wine glasses

DINNER

The options are endless when it comes to the menu selection for a dinner party. The key things to remember are guest preference, and timing.

The most important thing to consider when hosting a dinner party is the comfort of your guests. When inviting them, be sure to ask if they have any food allergies, and if there is anything they absolutely will not eat or do not enjoy. With this simple step, you can rest easy knowing that everyone will be accommodated.

Once you have the food preferences of your guests determined, it’s time to consider a dish that is appropriate for your time frame. I personally like to make things that can be prepared in advance, with a little tending to once dinner is ready to be served. For beginners, I’d say this is the best route for your first go around. This dish can be prepped ahead of time, and requires little fuss.

RECIPE:

Parmesan Crusted Snapper with Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc (yields 4 servings)

Ingredeints:

  • 4 skinless Snapper Filets
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Italian blend grated cheese
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs and spices.
  • Place snapper filets on a parchment lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the tops of the filets with olive oil, and neatly spoon the breadcrumb mixture atop the filets.
  • Set aside until 20 minutes prior to serving.
  • Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes depending on thickness. Broil for the last few minutes if topping isn’t brown.

Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter cubed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Pour wine, lemon juice, and garlic in a sauce pan on medium heat. Let simmer and reduce until 1-2 tablespoons of liquid remain.
  • Reduce heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the butter, only 2 cubes at a time, whisking constantly until melted and emulsified.
  • Once this step is complete, remove from heat and spoon in capers. Season to taste.
  •  

This fish can be served with mashed potatoes, jasmine rice, or a simple green vegetable. Bookend the meal with a fresh salad, your favorite dessert, and you’re on your way to becoming a host with the most!

Head over to my page www.GirliInTheGreenApron.com for a bonus salad and dessert recipe and more dinner party tips and tricks!

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