EatInEatOut Holiday 2015 - Page 25

1. Invitations come first Before you start planning, ask yourself: who is coming to the party? Friends? Family? Work colleagues? If it’s the latter, keep things professional and avoid mixing groups. Be clear about what kind of party it is. Sending an old-school paper invitation is a classy way of inviting small groups. For larger groups, send an online invitation. It’s fast and effective. 2. Timing and food is crucial If your party starts between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., you better be feeding your guests more than a shrimp ring! But if things get underway at 8:30 p.m. or later, sticking with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is totally acceptable. A food tip: if you have a limited amount of finger food, arrange it on a tray and pass it around the room. That’ll ensure your Uncle Bob takes one item instead of six, as it’s harder for people to pig out when you’re looking at them! If you’re going buffet style, place food in different sections of the house to keep people moving. Also: place a small carton or bin in a visible place so folks have a place to throw their used toothpicks and napkins. SEE THE RECIPE! SEE THE RECIPE! 3. Set the mood Entertaining 101: turn off those ugly lights! Strong, overhead lighting can create unflattering dark circles on people’s faces. Dim your lights, if you can, or use candles to make your guests glow. Curate a music playlist that’s consistent and keeps the party pumpin’. Don’t just plug in your personal iPod, hit shuffle and hope for the best. There’s something about going from Beyoncé to Willie Nelson that just doesn’t feel right. Also, be mindful of what music you’re playing when you want your guests to leave. Opt for slow jams when it’s time to say goodnight. SEE THE RECIPE! WWW.EATINEATOUT.CA 25