Hosting a holiday party can be a daunting task, but doesn’t have to be. With just a little preparation and some help from your trusted Thermomix®, you can spend less time worrying and more time mingling with your guests. Check out some of our best tips for throwing a stress-free soiree!
Making a (Guest) List And Check It Twice
Whether you’re sending out digital invites, a group text, or old-fashioned invitations, you’ll want to get a headcount as early as possible. From there, you can figure out how many place settings you’ll need and how much food to prepare. Do a quick inventory to see if you have enough silverware, napkins, glassware and chairs. Is your party kid-friendly? Don’t forget to include them in your seating arrangements or set up the “kids table”.
But First, Drinks.
If you’re serving alcohol, guests will generally average one alcoholic beverage an hour, so plan accordingly. One bottle of wine equals about five or six servings (depending on who’s pouring), so six bottles is a great jumping off point for a dozen people for dinner. If you want to serve liquor, pick one type and mix it into a signature cocktail. We really like this Warm Caramel Spice Martini. And of course, offer up some seasonal non-alcoholic selections, like sparkling water with a little cranberry juice or hot apple cider. Make room to store anything that needs chilling, and don’t forget to load up on ice to chill wine, water and Champagne. Hot tip: If guests ask if they can bring anything, you can always suggest a bottle of something for the bar!
Set the Mood With Music And Decor
Pick a festive playlist like Holiday Hits, Christmas Jazz, or this New Year’s Eve one from Spotify. Use the twinkly lights from your Christmas tree (or hang a few strands of lights) as the central lighting for your evening, and supplement with tea candles and table lamps. Tabletops can be spruced up with simple evergreen or olive leaf garlands for an elegant, Instagram-worthy decor. If you’re having a plated, sit-down dinner, place cards and napkin rings are a thoughtful touch, as well.
Keep The Food Flowing
You’ll want to make sure there is something to eat for guests as they arrive, and keep it going from there. A cheese platter and colorful vegetable tray are excellent choices to start, as are perennial favorites like Spinach Artichoke Dip or Hummus and crackers. For a simple yet impressive appetizer that goes well with cocktails or beer, try your hand at these Spicy Cheese Straws.
For main dishes, use the Thermomix® to conjure up traditional winter favorites like Beef Bourguignon or Roast Beef, served alongside mashed potatoes and seasoned vegetables. Crowd-pleasers like Lasagna or Meatballs with Tomato Sauce can also be served family style, eliminating the need for fancy plating. If you prefer individual dishes, this quick recipe for Cheese Souffles makes six single servings that can be served alongside a seasonal salad or roasted vegetables.
Make Dessert Self-Serve
If you’re having a sit down dinner, you can certainly pick one dessert to plate up for your guests like this Chocolate Pudding recipe. But for a tantalizing display that you can set up in advance, plan a dessert buffet with an assortment of cookies and sweets, letting guests serve themselves as they please. Load up the table with Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti, Peppermint Frost Chocolate Cookies, and Panforte, and serve with a side of coffee or a carafe of hot chocolate (option to top with these Gingerbread Marshmallows).
Relax, And Enjoy Your Party
No one wants to see their host stressing out, so don’t worry about getting it Martha Stewart-perfect. Once the appetizers are out and the music is on, your guests will find ways to entertain themselves as you finish up in the kitchen. Thermomix® makes it possible for you to enjoy some face time with your guests without having to stand watch over the stove, while your dish is cooking. So grab a glass of wine and mingle!
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