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Get the Party Started

The next time you are tasked with hosting a party we have a few suggestions to help make it a memorable and fun occasion.

First, know your guests. Find out if anyone attending has a food allergy or preference.  Knowing in advance can prevent any uncomfortable situations the day of.  Just think how appreciative a guest with a gluten intolerance will be that you thought ahead and made Gluten-Free Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes with Maple Icing. How many children will be attending, or will there be any at all. If you are inviting a lot of people with children this may also determine the time of the party.

Emailing invitations is fine if a casual event.  Paper invites are only expected for formal events such as weddings where guests will want a keepsake and RSVP’s are essential to planning.

Is this an outdoor or indoor occasion. If the former include a rain date in your invitation. Are you traveling to the party site or is it at home. Will you need a cooler for drinks or will the wheelbarrow in the back do.

What time of the day is the event.  If a morning party you could do something “easy” like Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup.

Plan your menu, choose the recipes, and make your shopping list. Depending on the season, utilize your local farmers’ market for some beautiful produce (it can serve double duty as a table top show stopper and delicious ingredient). When it comes to the bar have one or two house cocktails, beer, and wine.  No need to have a full bar unless you are throwing a cocktail party and hiring a bartender (the one place you should spend money other than a cleanup crew).

To make it easy on yourself, and because most guests like to bring something to a party, either make the party BYOB (not appropriate for a cocktail party but welcome for an outdoor screening) or ask guests to bring a dessert (perfect for a barbecue).

Remember, the guests want to see their host so have fun at your party!!!