Your First Dinner Party In 3 Easy Courses

5600262cbb0e66f305c2a7ee125489c6Whether you’ve invited a tight group of friends or a mixed bag of colleagues, the key to any successful dinner party is making people feel comfortable.

First Course: Play to All Five Senses

Soft lighting, a simply set table and colorful food presented to please the eye.

Stay away from scented candles or heavily scented flowers as they can be distracting. Focus your guests attention the delicious smells coming from your kitchen instead!

Choose a palette of complementary flavorsspicy, savory, sweet and tart are just a few of thecombinations you may consider. Having anethnic theme or a gourmet twist on a favoritecomfort food can provide an anchor for other decisions such as drinks and dessert.

 

At a recent gathering I attended, all of the guests were asked to bring a wine from Oregon as the hostesss alma mater was playing in the big game that night. Who knew Oregon produced such a wide range of delicious wines!

Second Course: Select a Signature Drink

Arrange your appetizers around well pairedwines. Spicy thai with a dry Reisling or a Vinho Verde with seared scallops in citrus butter.

If you do decide to gather everyone around a traditional table for the main dish, be sure toprepare an entree that will be easily served so that you arent running in and out of the kitchen and missing all the fun. Think roasts, baked pasta or dinner salads and lots of fresh bread.

 

Third Course: Make One Course a SHOWSTOPPER.

One of the easiest courses to really impress people with is dessert. If youre not a pastry chefby trade, consider taking a bakery staple to new heights by adding freshly whipped cream ordrizzling sambuco on the really good ice cream and serving it in fancy chocolate shells andbiscotti.

If all else fails, serve champagne in tall, sparkly flutes.

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