Monday, November 8, 2010

Planning a holiday party?

Good morning everyone,
Hope you're all having a great start to the week. 
Well, Christmas is on the horizon which means I've had to pick up a few extra shifts at work {actually I'm working full-time for the next three weeks}
 I'll admit to going somewhat overboard at Christmas.  What can I say, I LOVE TO SHOP.  Unfortunately, to spend it you have to make it!
What I'm trying to say is, I'll be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks so I've scheduled several guest bloggers to help me out in the interm.
I'm always very excited to see what fresh new ides a guest blogger has to offer.   

Speaking of Christmas, Jen B is here to help us plan our holiday party(s). 

Planning a holiday party?

No matter your theme, location or number of people- everyone loves to get together during the holiday season for beverages and munchies!

The task may seem daunting, but the good news is, there are tons of resources out there.  Remember to PLAN EARLY and pick a date.  The holidays are already very busy with work parties and childrens’ stuff.

Martha Stewart (I love her), has a great party planning checklist. Just print it out, and follow the directions! I am going to use her checklist as a guideline to give you some ideas and resources:

Party-Planning Guide

1 Month Before:

□ Choose the type of party you want to host.

□ Set the date.

□ Prepare your guest list.  Decide if it will be "adults only" or family-oriented. Make sure this is clear in your invitation.

□ Mail or e-mail invitations, or call guests to invite them.   Check out Evite for a great paperless alternative to traditional invitations.
Or, a budget friendly option is to print your invite on fancy paper from the dollar store.

3 Weeks Before:

□ Choose the menu; organize recipes for easy reference. Check out great recipes sites like the Kraft Site or All Recipes.  They even have holiday sections.

□ Create a time line for preparing your chosen recipes. Figure out what will take longest, what you can make ahead, and what appliances you will need.

□ Read through recipes and make lists of the ingredients you need to buy. Stock up on pantry items, such as sugar, flour and other non-perishables.

□ Try out any new recipes you want to troubleshoot.

□ Prepare any items that can be frozen.

□ Arrange to borrow, rent, or buy serving pieces and other items that you might need, such as platters, glasses, flatware or table linens.

□ Hire a bartender if desired. Or just volunteer your partner.

2 Weeks Before:

□ Purchase wine and liquor, and arrange to have cases delivered to your home. We don’t have delivery, so again, you may have to volunteer your partner.

□ If you’re throwing a potluck, or if friends have offered to bring something, let guests know what to make.

□ Set the table, as a trial run, to make sure you have all the dishes and serving utensils you’ll need.

1 Week Before:

□ Call or e-mail guests who have not yet RSVP’d.  Also, it's a good idea to  follow up with guests who have offered to bring a dish.

□ Make space in the refrigerator or freezer so you’ll have room to store groceries.

□ Prepare recipes that keep well up to a week.

4 Days Before:

□ Purchase all remaining non-perishables.

2 Days Before:

□ Wash serving pieces, plates, flatware, and glasses, and polish if necessary.

□ If using cloth napkins or tablecloths, iron them.

□ Place frozen food in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.

1 Day Before:

□ Purchase any perishables, such as salad greens, fresh bread, and seafood.

□ Pick up fresh flowers {or have them delivered}.

□ Assemble any foods that can be made in advance.

□ Wash and prepare salad greens and other vegetables, and blanch vegetables for crudites (keep these wrapped in paper towels). Refrigerate all separately, in airtight containers.

4 to 7 Hours Before:

□ Set up the bar, if it isn’t already done.

□ Place flower arrangements. Poinsettias are great because they are relatively inexpensive and and take up alot of space. Also try something new, like a bowl full of water and floating cranberries.

4 to 5 Hours Before:

□ Chill white wine and sparkling wine.

Up to 1 Hour Before:

□ Finish preparing food.

Thank you Martha! Just awesome- she forgot to say, get yourself ready (and your husband and kids) before people start arriving.

Remember to have fun, relax and enjoy some social time with friends and family!


Kataroo said...

I am saving this list right now! Thanks Jenn :)