Entertaining – A Lost Fashion. Five Steps To A Killer Party

Five Steps To A Killer Party

Over the July 4th weekend, Joe and I had a last minute idea to throw a little party together for our friends and family. We had been wanting to do something like this for some time, but with the seven months of construction on our house followed by a vacation to Israel, it was next to impossible to host a party.

Joe and I live in a beautiful home built in the 1820's which calls for get-togethers with friends and family. Inspired by my trip to Israel, I decided to put together a mixed Mediterannean/American style menu for my guests; somewhat unconvential for the 4th of July, but I've never followed the rules in life anyway. We had deep fried cauliflower with herbed labneh, French Nicoise salad, Caprese salad, grilled vegetables, spinach dip, Italian hoagies and Polish kielbasa. Ok, so it was a Polish Mediterranean/American meal! I'm Polish, so I guess I couldn't ignore my roots. Joe made an infused cucumber-vodka cocktail and made sure to have a supply of alcohol to accommodate everyone's requests.

Home entertaining really is a lost art. I learned the importance of it from my mother who was always big on entertaining. You came to my house as a kid, you would leave well-fed! I'd go to other friends' homes for parties and left either hungry or unsatisfied. I'd get a frozen hamburger on a packaged hamburger bun with a cup of soda. Yum.

There is a go-out/take-out trend amongst us as a culture, causing many of us to be lazy, frankly, in the home-entertaining department. Many people avoid having parties, because of the work involved, and some who do, don't quite know how to do it well! And, truly, home entertaining is a fashion! From the right ambiance, to a beautiful spread, to the perfect décor, you can put your own stylish spin on things.

Here are five musts in putting on a fabulous party this summer season.

  1. A signature cocktail. It takes your party to a whole other level and makes your guests feel extra special. All you have to do is follow a recipe, and voila, you're a bartender! In addition, make sure to have a supply of a variety of alcohol and mixers for your guests. The worst thing you can do is to have one keg only, and hope everyone will want a beer. They won't.
  2. Balanced Food. Not just hot dogs and hamburgers on cold, packaged buns, but decent, legit food. The key word here is balanced. At the very least, hit the three food groups for your main course: Meats/fish, Fruits and vegetables, Starches. It's a good rule of thumb to serve at least two options in each category depending on the size of your party.
  3. Music. It sets the mood and gets everyone going. Put on the right tunes, and people will be in party mode.
  4. Be the Perfect Host. If it's your party, then it's your job to make sure everyone is having a great time! So often I've gone to parties, and I never see the host, or the host is off drinking with his or her close friends. As the host, initiate conversations with your guests. Be a social butterfly. Show genuine interest in your guests' lives. Ask questions, even if you don't care! This is probably one of the most important parts to a great party. You should be the "party manager". Keep track of time between courses. Are people's drinks filled? Have they had a chance to check out the dessert table? You, the host, sets the tone.
  5. Dress to Impress. Whether it's you or your home, you set the style. Make sure you look clean and presentable. Hair and nails should be clean as you will be handling food and alcohol. Your house should also be clean, with things put away and plenty of places for people to sit.
  6. XO, Stay Chic!