Don't plan a get-together without paying attention to these pointers that will leave your guests asking as they leave, "When's the next party?"
1. Avoid Predictability
Present foods in unusual ways – serve hot soup in attractive mugs, put dips in wine glasses, desserts in crystal glasses and appetizers in small individual baskets or plates. You can even make individual “cups” by toasting pita bread inside muffin tins, then filling them with tangy Caesar salad!
2. Impressive Presentation
Make party trays fresh and colorful by garnishing with edible flowers and herbs. Find them at the grocery store in the produce aisle or at farmers’ markets. Use your most attractive platters, baskets, boards and trays, then elevate them on the buffet table by covering sturdy boxes with the tablecloth to use as “pedestals.”
3. Cooling Cucumber
Floating lemon and lime slices in water glasses is a nice touch, but slices of cucumber make a unique garnish that’s delightfully refreshing.
4. Make Ahead
Most dips can be made a day ahead. Take advantage of this when planning a party. You can also make flavorful snack mixes with Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Crackers a day or two before your party.
5. Cheese Challenge
A cheese tray is always popular, but instead of Cheddar, try treating your guests to something different, like French Cantal or Bleu d’Auvergne, or Danish Tilsit. Or, wrap a Brie with Puff Pastry for a simple Brie en Croute; then top it off savory (try pesto and roasted red peppers) or sweet (try apricot jam).
6. Front and Center Herbs
Need a centerpiece? Make one out of fresh herbs rather than flowers. Not only is it different, but the aroma of fresh herbs enhances the food, too.