Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Being a Good Host/Hostess Part 2: Three Simple Steps to Meal Planning

Now you know you don’t need to be perfect to be a good host or hostess. Let’s all take a deep breath and sigh that the huge pressure we’ve place on ourselves has been lifted. Okay, let’s host!

The first thing that we must do is invite people! This helps determine how many people you must cook for. If you are new to hosting, I would encourage you took cook for smaller crowds and allow people to bring something. Determining how many people are coming and if they are bringing anything, allows you to know how much food to prepare. I always overestimated because I don’t like to run out of food. Another bonus is leftovers!!

Two, I check for food allergies, special diets, or food preferences. I have some allergies and greatly appreciate when others ask. So, don’t feel awkward, your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness. If you are a guest, don’t be shy telling people if you have allergies. Your hostess will be glad they don’t make food you can’t eat or food that could make you sick.

Three, plan your meal. When I host, I like to have a main course, 1 or 3 sides, and dessert. If I am feeling extra ambitious, I will also make or assemble an appetizer. Let’s take is step by step (day by day).

Appetizer – make it easy. I like having appetizers available to your guests if they arrive hungry or at different times. Appetizers also provide you a buffer in case dinner is running late.
Hummus and Veggies

Main course – I love a casserole or something to fix ahead and forget. Or, choose a nice cut of meat as your budget allows.

Mexican Cornbread

Chicken and Biscuit Dumplings
Pizza Bianca

 Sides – I like to offer a couple options in case people don’t like one. Think – salad, bread, veggies . . . so man choices. Just choose a variety. Think about what complements your main course. Then, think about varying colors, textures, and flavors.
Asian Green Beans
Butternut Squash Salad
Winter Vegetables Soup

Dessert – I love desserts! I don’t think you have to offer this when you are hosting, but it is nice to have. People usually linger and talk over coffee and desserts. This is the signal to the end of a meal. Usually, it is my favorite part. The cooking is done and I can enjoy my guests. I love meeting new people and getting to know them better.

Red Velvet Cookies

Pumpkin Pecan Crisp
I hope this simple, casual approach helps enable you to be a better planner, takes any fear away from entertaining, and encourages you to host more.  I am not perfect; I am still working on being a good hostess and not putting so much pressure on myself. The best way to get better is to practice. So, here's to practicing! For more on being a better host/hostess see part 1 and stayed tuned for part 3.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter. Or, you can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin, which is a free app that automatically updates every time a I publish a new blog post.

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