Birthday’s, Christenings, Communions, Confirmations, Parties, Weddings etc..........
Holding parties at home is a wonderful relaxed way to catch up with family and friends.
Different parties require different budgets for example if you are having a party to catch up with friends over the summer you can have a very simple party with a few nibbles – enlist some help from your good friends and tell everyone to take a drink with them thus cutting down on the costs significantly.
You could host a picnic party in a public park and get everyone to bring a dish and a drink this way no one individual bears the cost you just organise it...
Breakfast/Brunches are a great way to catch up with friends in an informal party kind of way.... anything goes for breakfast/brunch from eggs cooked every possibly way, smoked salmon bagels, warm croissants, big jugs of juices, warm pastries, fresh berries with French toast its all very easy and the great thing about Breakfast/brunch is it doesn’t have to last all day ....
Drinks/ Cocktail parties are a good way to entertain a large number of people and even groups that do not know each other. Don’t worry you do not have to provide cocktails drinks – simply a selection of whatever drinks you prefer to serve but generally people serve wine, beer and water lots of water for the drivers is always important.
Be mindful when you invite people over for drinks that you specify the times it starts and ends or you will have a full on party on your hands, which is ok of course if thats what you intended. However if your intention is to have people over in the early evening after work or over the weekend just for a few hours specify this for example
‘Drop into our house on Sat 18th May from 4 to 6 for drinks and nibbles’ –
or another example...
‘Drinks & Bites to celebrate John’s 30th Birthday from 9 till late...
‘Coffee & Cake to celebrate the Arrival of Baby Jack from 3 to 5 @ our house....
If you are celebrating something special, such as a christening, communions, confirmations, wedding, anniversary or birthday ....
Here’s a few tried and tested tips that work...
- Get a notebook for all lists, menus etc.
- Write up the guest list in your party notebook and keep it safe as you will use it to record who is attending.
- Be realistic about how many people you can fit comfortably in your house and take into account how many small kids/teenagers & adults will you be inviting, small kids need room to play and put their stuff and teenagers ideally need a room where they can chill together for a while, also bear in mind where bathrooms and cloak room facilities are located.
- Send the invites... via text, email, post whatever suits you... but always put a RSVP on for at least 10 days previous. Text and email are great as they allow you to follow up the stragglers very quickly and with little hassle.
- We are all on budgets so plan the party as far in advance as possible this gives you plenty of time to spot the bargain
- Write up your budget and do not compromise when you start looking at menus etc.
- The simplest menus are the cheapest to prepare, the more choice you have the more food and ingredients you need to purchase.
- A cold buffet is the easiest to prepare as it can be totally prepared in advance place on platters & bowls ready to serve without any heating at the last minute.
- Think about the people you are inviting to your party, do they are hearty appetites, are they fussy eaters, have they any specific dietary, medical or religious requirements. Always have vegetarian.
- Choose your menu...keep it simple, pick what I call crowd pleaser dishes, that suit everyone (not just what you like)
- When you have chosen the menu - write up tthe shopping list with ingredients.
- Calculate the quantities you will need to purchase be exact multiply from the recipe how much you will need for the number of people you will be catering for and remember to over cater a little.
- Bulk up main courses with side dishes like green salad, and baskets of bread.
- Most of all enjoy the process, keep it simple and the way you want it then you can be sure you will not get stress out!
Simple Cold Buffet menu
Potato Salad – Roast baby potatoes & Sweet potato
Quinoa Salad or Orzo Pasta
Beet Salad w toasty almonds
Red cabbage & White Coleslaw
Tenderstem broccoli, green beans, sugar snaps & chilli oil
Caesar Salad w grilled chicken
Selection of continental meats & cheeses
Sweet chilli & lime salmon fillets
Baked Ham or loin of bacon
Honey Lemon Chicken Fillets
Baskets of fresh bread