For people who lives in such a teeny, city apartment, we love to host. I love to welcome friends & family in our space, cook for them & just spend quality time together. I’ve listed a few of my hosting tips & tricks below to make sure your next party goes off without a hitch!
1.Don’t stress. I often find that the hostess sets the tone of the party and stress permeates through a room like a bad smell. It’s tangible and your guests will absolutely pick up on it. Most likely, these people are already your friends so don’t worry and just enjoy everyone in your space.
2. Create an atmosphere. Have a playlist selected & light some candles. I also love a fresh arrangement of flowers. If you don’t want to get an arrangement made, grab some flowers at the grocery and make two or three small arrangements.
throwing in the final ingredients at the last minute
3. Prep. Do as much as you can before guests arrive. If I’m planning a labor intensive meal, I’ll usually opt for a stress-free dessert, something I can make before and can pull out again after the meal.
4. Nibble! Let me paint this picture for you. You’re a guest a party. You spot the most beautiful cheese plate. You can tell someone has spent hours, blood, sweat & tears perfecting it. Do you want to be the first one to take the grapes and plunge the knife into the cheese? NO! I’m a sucker for beautiful food but make sure you get to enjoy it too! Guests will feel much more comfortable partaking if they don’t feel like they’re wrecking your masterpiece.
5. Don’t feel like everything has to be ready when the first guests arrive. The last time we had friends over, I made homemade pasta. The dough was ready, the Sunday sauce had been simmering for hours but I wanted to wait until they arrived to cook our al dente pasta. My biggest tip here: have the easy stuff ready! Music, bar, light snacks.
6. Empty the dishwasher. A simple idea but make sure you have an empty dishwasher at the beginning of your party, it makes the clean up process so much easier! If you don’t plan to use dishes, I highly recommend these recyclable (and compostable) tray from paper greats.
7. Chill out. Literally and otherwise. Our apartment is small and when the oven is fired up the temperature skyrockets. Add a full house into the mix and everyone is melting. Make sure you crank up the air with enough time to cool down your space to accomodate the crowd.
8. Practice mise en place. A french term meaning ‘everything in it’s place.’ Have all your ingredients out and ready to go before you start cooking. This is a great way to discover you are short on ginger in time to run out and grab more.
9. Be flexible. There is always room for an extra seat. There will be enough to go around. You can make it work. I always cook for 1-2 extra guests. If someone is extra hungry or brings a plus one, we’re set; if not, leftovers!
10. Parting Gifts. This is one of my favorite things to do. We love to have our friends over for dinner on Sundays. Since we’re far away from our family in Ohio- our east coast family comes over on that day. I love to prep a little baked good for our friends to take away to enjoy later. Sometimes a scone for Monday morning or a little bag of my homemade salted chocolate chip cookies to unwind after a long day back at work.
Most of all, just enjoy the time spent together.