Are you hosting a dinner party, or are you getting the entire family over for a special meal? Cooking for a crowd can be a nerve-racking experience, even if you’ve done it before, so here are some tips to help make the experience easier and a less stressful.

Planning Ahead

It should be just as much fun to host a party as to attend one. However, if you’re to enjoy yourself as much as your guests you’ll need to plan ahead. Whenever possible, prepare as much as you can in advance. You don’t want to be stuck inside the hot kitchen while all your friends are chatting in the family room. Pick a main dish which you can freeze and then heat up on the day. You can also make appetizers before everyone arrives and prepare salads and sides in advance. Set the table the day before and you won’t be rushing with minutes to go.

Make Simple Appetizers

It’s important to welcome your guests with drinks and delicious snacks, but don’t make it hard for yourself. If you get carried away with making tons of food items you’ll only add to your stress. Instead, put out simple items which taste great and look good but which take minimal effort. Mixed nuts, crudites and dips and crackers and cheese are all good and simple choices.

Use Your Gadgets

There are a million reasons to use a slow cooker when you prepare for a party. Not only can you use one to prepare large amounts of foods without any hands-on effort, you can also use it as a useful serving dish. You can use your slow cooker for keeping your sides hot or for serving warm cocktails such as mulled wine. An electric skillet is another useful gadget to bring out at a dinner party. You can put it on the table and prepare food right in front of your guests. How cool is that? Visit warmchef.com for more information about how to choose the right one for you.

Choose A Pasta Main

Pasta is definitely the best choice for a main dish. It feeds lots of people, is easy to cook and is impossible to get wrong. Mac and cheese or lasagne are perfect for all kinds of occasions and you can make either a vegetarian or a meat version.

Make It A Buffet

It can be a lot of fuss trying to serve everyone individually. Why not try serving buffet or family style instead. It’s fun to pass dishes up and down the table and can break the ice if there are any strangers in the room. Simply serve everything on platters and dishes and allow each guest to serve themselves. Not only will you be saving energy and time, but you’ll also allow individual guests to choose their own meal and portion size. That way, you won’t waste food.

Make A Sheet Cake Dessert

Of course you’re going to need to make a dessert for your meal, but there’s no need to make it something complicated. Try making a sheet cake. They’re super simple to make even if you’re not a brilliant cook and they serve lots of people. There are lots of different sheet cake recipes out there with a host of different toppings from chocolate fudge to strawberries and cream, so you’re sure to find something that suits you and your guests.

Don’t Refuse Help

It can be tempted to refuse all offers of help as you want your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. However, you could definitely benefit from a little help. If someone asks if there’s something they can do to assist you, always accept! It isn’t rude! Even if it’s something as simple as clearing the plants or washing some wine glasses, it’ll save you a job.

With these tips in mind, you should find it easier to host any kind of party. Although it might be a worrying experience the first few times, with our helpful advice, you’re sure to find it much easier than you ever imaged to cook for a crowd. Your party will be a great success and you may even enjoy yourself too!

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