The season of get-togethers and dinner parties is upon us! To ensure your Christmas dinner goes off without a hitch, eniGma has compiled a step by step guide for a flawless and unforgettable dinner party.
Make a Plan
You must first decide whether you are going for a formal dinner (the ones with fivedifferent kinds of salad forks) or will it be a casual cocktail party? If you’d like to take the convenient route, then a buffet is the best option, as guests can serve themselves without you having to worry if the food is being served quickly or not.
To make it easier on yourself use oven–to-table serving ware to keep the food warm while also saving you the hassle of switching to formal serving plates.
Get the Word Out
It’s best to invite your guests three to four weeks before the event, to make sure your nearest and dearest can be there. To make your dinner stand out amongst the rest, take a more creative route. Make it fun and different before it even starts by sending DIY invitations. You can send your invitations in a bottle or you can place it in a balloon where your guests will have to pop the balloon to get to the invitation.
The Day of
Schedule your dinner party day to the last detail with hourly intervals. Leave a free hour before the dinner for any last minute dilemmas. To better help you, make a series of hourly reminders on your phone so it can buzz you to action.
The ultimate segway to get you into the festive spirit are decorations! However, for dinner parties opt for low, floral arrangements on the dinner table so as not to make it difficult for intimate conversations to take place. Also you can use gilded nuts or Christmas ornaments between or around the serving ware to add a touch of fabulosity to the ambiance while sticking to the Christmas theme.
Make sure to provide non-alcoholic beverages for your friends who prefer the non-alcoholic route, and to use as drink mixers.
There’s a festive Drink Recipe (provided by the Cookery Co.) your guests will love.
Spiced Hot Chocolate (serves 4)
• 950 ml milk
• 10 g unsweetened co
• 30 g white sugar
• 3 ml vanilla extract
• 2 g cinnamon
• 1 g chili powder
• 1 clove
•235 ml whipped
• Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until lukewarm.
• Stir in the cocoa powder and 25 g of sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved.
• Add the vanilla, cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg, and cloves, and heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Whip the cream with the remaining 5 g of sugar and keep in fridge until ready to serve.
• Strain and serve with a spoon of whipped cream on top.
We recommend providing bites that can be prepared ahead of time or even the day before, so guests can be greeted with something as soon as they arrive. Blue Cheese–Pecan Spread on celery with a drizzle of honey is an easy option.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sides during the dinner, as it will be the go to section for your vegan/vegetarian guests. Include a lot of legumes, or perhaps a salad with cranberries and almonds. An interesting twist to a classic side of mashed potatoes is using sweet potatoes instead.
One particular food comes to mind when one mentions the holiday season and that is one big, fat, glazed turkey! Here is a great turkey recipe from The Cookery Co.
Whole Roasted Turkey (Serves 12)
• 1 whole turkey (neck and giblets re
• 415 g of butter
• 5 g thyme
• 5 g rosemary
• 3 large onions
• 3 large carrots
• 1 bunch celery
• 2 large cloves of garlic
• 235ml Honey
• Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius
• Rinse the turkey inside and out, and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
• Mix 300 g butter with the chopped rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
• With your hands, carefully separate breast skin from the meat and spread herb butter in between.
• Rub turkey inside and outside with salt and black pepper.
• Cut onion, carrots and celery into larger cubes and place on the bottom of your roasting pan with garlic. Place turkey on top of mixture, cover with foil and place into the oven.
• Roast in the preheated oven for 2 hours, checking occasionally and basting with juices at the bottom of the pan.
• On a low heat melt remaining 115 g of butter and stir in a bowl with honey, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Be careful not to let the butter brown. After 2 hours brush the turkey with the honey glaze, and return to the oven uncovered.
• Roast the turkey until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 2 more hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 82 degrees Celsius. Continue to brush the turkey with the honey glaze frequently as it roasts.
• Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with two layers of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
Diversity of Desserts
Chocolate is the most indecisive food. Half your guests will go loco for coco while the other half will prefer something with fruits. In order to please both, include some chocolate options, and also include a raspberry trifle as well. Also, a fruit salad is a must for those who can’t consume dairy or gluten.
To make sure your dinner party is memorable, gift your loved ones with take away presents like a festive mason jar filled with red and green covered chocolate or lollipops. These will not only serve as a souvenir for your guests to remember you by, but it will make them feel extra cherished with TLC.
Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey are holiday favourites, but you should also include some acoustic songs so that simulating conversations are able to proceed. However, to be a polite community member, caution your neighbors the day before that there might be some loud music that night.
Most importantly, just enjoy the fruits of your labour by relaxing! Because, remember that the host(ess) sets the mood, so as long as you’re sending good vibes, the rest of your guests will have fun too.