7 STEPS FOR A STRESS FREE PARTY
Are you hosting for the holidays? Don't wait till the week of to start planning. Here's what you can do right now to make the holiday less stressful and more enjoyable for you…and your guests.
2 TO 3 WEEKS OUT
1. KEEP A DETAILED, RUNNING/WORKING LIST.
Plan your complete menu with all beverages. Focus on dishes that can be made in advance with the least last-minute prep. (Check out the PAIRINGS orange-spiked carrots recipe.) Think about allergies, family favorites, what you can purchase ready made, what you can delegate, what guests may bring. Then, size up refrigerator and oven space and revise plan. (Open a bottle of wine).
2. Map out how the food will actually be served (table/counter top) and which vessels are needed for each dish: collect and clean oven-to-tableware, platters, bowls. Check for serving spoons. (Pour a glass of wine)
1 TO 2 WEEKS OUT
3. Now organize a complete shopping list and purchase/order as much as possible by at least 1 week out. This can be done in stages with delivery. Have you checked out PAIRINGS Thanksgiving sides?
Constantly revise shopping list for any forgotten items: Toothpicks for appetizers? Sugar cubes for coffee? Extra ice? Cocktail napkins? Restaurant sized saran-wrap and foil?
Make dishes that are freezer friendly and freeze them in oven-to-table ware. (Drink a glass of wine)
1 TO 2 DAYS OUT
4.Set the mood, then set the table: Put on the music, put the leaf in the table, bring in the extra chairs, iron the tablecloth and fold the napkins, then set the table with decorations and candles, plates, flatware and glasses. (Refill your wine glass).
5.Clear out the refrigerator so you are ready for the onslaught of Thanksgiving goodies. Don't waste refrigerator space: toss the near empty keg of ketchup and the freezer burned rolls and odd dregs in bottles to make room for your party food and leftovers. Also, clear any unnecessary tchotchkes from kitchen counters so there's plenty of room for the important stuff.
6. Prepare all make-ahead dishes. Defrost frozen dishes in the fridge. (Refill wine glass)
2 HOURS BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
7. EMPTY THE DISHWASHER, EMPTY THE TRASH AND MOST IMPORTANTLY PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK AND RELAX. (Toss that empty wine bottle into the recycling bin and open another.)
Welcome your family + friends with open arms.
At PAIRINGS, we're passionate about crafting dishes from-scratch; but, we know that it's impossible at home without a team of chefs. Let us lighten your load with our tried-and-true sides that go straight from fridge, to oven, to table.
recipes from our book
A CATERER'S CHEAT NOTES: HOW TO CHEAT THE CLOCK BUT NOT THE QUALITY OF THE FOOD
We share our secrets for success, including party-planning strategies (timing, mise en place, and organization), crowd-pleasing recipes, simple techniques for hosting a variety of parties, and impressive plate and platter presentations.