When the thought of dinner parties come to mind, I think of lavish expensive silverware, catered good quality fresh food, elegant decor, the sound of clinking wine glasses and proper English accents (Hollywood must have something to do with that). Apart from the accent, all this sounds quite expensive, and since the GFC never really ended anyway, my question is, is it possible to host a classy dinner party within a reasonable budget? My answer to this is yes! (Take the tip from Curtis Stone feed your family for under $10)
Now according to Stone’s under $10 recipe, it serves a family of 4, so if you were to have 12 people at your dinner party, it only equates to $2.50 for a meal! You might like to try to recreate his barbecued chicken, zucchini and rocket salad as an entrée dish, complete with video tutorial guide.
So with one meal already well under budget, there’s only 2 more courses to plate up. Aside from the 3 course meal, some alternative easy ideas for simple preparation no fuss nibbles that’ll keep guests entertained include garlic bread, bruschetta, carrot and cucumber sticks dipped into hummus, water crackers with cream cheese and salmon served on top, pretzels, cheese & meat platter, assorted nuts and chips.
Keeping food to one side, let’s talk about the decor. For me, what says elegance and class is how the dining table and its surrounding is set. This is the first visual impression your guests will see and will have a fair idea on what to expect as far as food and service goes. Stick to a theme, be it a colour theme (max 3 colours that blend in with each other) or the classic James Bond style, (think silver/white) but don’t overdo it, keep it simple otherwise it comes off as a bit tacky and overwhelming.
For example, the picture below, is really quite simple and elegant, have a look around IKEA, your local discount retailers like Target, Kmart and Big W for some affordable dinnerware, glassware, cutlery, napkins and table place mats.
To those that are a perfectionist but are unfamiliar with table arrangements, it might come across as confusing, I mean where exactly do you place the wine glass? 45 degrees from the plate or is it 60 degrees? Thankfully, there’s a handy cheat sheet to use as a guide.
Another cute idea is creating your own place cards for guests, here’s something to get you going
See how easy it is? Glue two bits of paper, cut a rectangle and write your guest’s name neatly and there you have it!
Hosting a dinner party is a great idea for gathering close friends and family. Whether it be for a house-warming, being a first home owner, birthdays, engagements or just about any occasion to celebrate a special event.
Have you hosted a dinner party? Share your experiences and your favourite dishes to cook!
Stay tuned, because my next post will be what to wear as the hostess/ host or the invited guest to a dinner party.