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Fine Living Gourmet: Style and Elegance in Entertaining

Entertainment Tips

Plan an Elegant Dessert Reception

Published by: Claudine McDonald

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 26

Looking to plan a dessert party?

A dessert reception/party is one of the easiest and lease expensive ways to entertain. It requires a few desserts.  They can be prepared ahead of time and served when the guest arrives.  A dessert wedding reception is very elegant reception.  The menu can be planned on very limited budget. Drinks and candy are also served. The flowers, table linens, china and flatware,and decoration should be selected to complement the occasion.

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Let’s Have a Tea

Published by: Claudine McDonald

391
comments:
  • Feb
  • 9

Let’s have a Tea

A tea party has become one of the most frequently used types of entertaining today. Tea parties are used for bridal showers, baby showers, open house, welcome parties, going away trips, or for any occasion to honor a person.

While drinking tea always pick up the saucer and cup together. Never pick up the cup by itself. Cups are placed in saucers, they are never stacked.

Informal Tea: The hostess will pour the tea for all of her guest. Many times, a tea tray is used with everything that is needed on the tray. The tray, filled with steaming tea, sugar, cream, lemons, silverware, cup and saucers and small plates for the food, is placed on the cart.   The food for the tea is laid out on a table covered with a beautiful table cloth.

Formal Tea: When hosting a formal tea, there are many guests invited and the tea is very formal. It takes place in a formal dining room. The hostess should use her most beautiful table linens. Fresh flowers and other decorations can be used to further enhance the table. The food is placed on the table. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or punch is served. All items needed for the tea are placed on the cart, including the filled tea pot, sugar, lemon, cream and tongs. Coffee and items needed for the coffee service are placed on a separate table. Plates of tea sandwiches are placed on both sides of the table. Three tier trays are also used for serving.

The order of placing the food on the three tier tray is as follows: scones are placed on the top tier and cookies and small cakes are placed on the second tier. Sandwiches are placed on the bottom tier. There should be two tier trays on the table. The scones should be served hot with jams and jelly. Candy and nuts are also placed on the table.

High Tea: A high tea is served from 4-6 PM. The same food is served at a formal tea. High tea can also take the place of dinner. Again, the tea tray is used with all the items for the tea and it is placed on the tea cart. Gloves and hats are usually worn by the guest for a high tea.

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Luncheon

Published by: Claudine McDonald

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 9

Plan a luncheon

A luncheon can be a special time for the ladies to gather together and have fun. There are many special occasions to celebrate: engagements, bridal and baby showers, farewells, welcomes and birthdays.

Flowers should be incorporated to create the most beautiful table setting possible. They should set the mood for the day.

This is the time to use your silver serving pieces, beautiful table linens, and decorative china. The location can be the living room, dining room. A patio or a garden room will also make a perfect setting for a luncheon.

A buffet table with a tall centerpieces can be set up for food. Small tables with small centerpieces can be set up for guests. The hostess can make the luncheon as formal or informal as she desires, but her aim should always be to accommodate her guest.

The food can be made as attractive as possible. A soup and salad can be served as the first two courses. When the guest arrives, the food and table should be ready for the guest. Never invite your guest in to help you finish a dish. It is not her place. She should come to relax and to enjoy the occasion. The hostess should also have the opportunity to enjoy the guest. Ladies usually wear dresses, suits or other appropriate attire.

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Brunch

Published by: Claudine McDonald

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 9

It’s time for Brunch!

Breakfast is over and it is too early for lunch. What can we serve? It should be a leisure meal with lots of beautiful food. It can be after church on Sunday, before a football game or any time that you want to share an easy but simple meal with your friends. Guest should arrive between 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM. When your guest arrive they can be served a Bloody Mary, a Mimosa, champagne or fruit drinks. Food should be served hot, following one or two drinks.

Food can be planned around breakfast food or lean toward lunch, but just not too heavy. The food should be placed on the table so the guests can help themselves. The hostess should always serve the tea or coffee.

The bread can be passed to the guest. Fruit breads, and hot breads are preferred.

Fresh flower arrangements are always beautiful and can set the tone for the day.

The table linens and napkins should be beautiful as well.

A brunch is an elegant way to entertain your guest. The planning, and much of the preparation, can be done ahead of time.

A buffet set-up is preferred. It should allow your guest to move about easily.

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Entertaining Tips

Published by: Claudine McDonald

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 9

Learn some entertainment tips

Your table sets the tone for your party, informal or formal. Your table should reflect your personality. Setting a table with a beautiful centerpiece, beautiful table linens, china, glassware, and flatware is the foundation of your meal. When a table is set correctly, it is beautiful -a work of art.

At informal meals, the food may be passed from person to person or served by the host. The heated food should be placed in front of the host and the filled plates passed to the guest. At formal meals, the food should be served by the waiter or waitress, course by course.

When serving a dessert after the meal, everything but the centerpiece is removed from the table. The hostess may serve from the left. Coffee and tea should be served from a serving tray which is placed in front of the hostess. She should pour the tea or coffee and start the cream and sugar around. In a formal meal the dessert is eaten at the table and coffee can be served in the living room later.

The Buffet

A buffet table can be arranged anywhere: porch, backyard, dinning room, kitchen, patio or family room. If the table is against the wall, the centerpiece is placed in the middle of the table. Card tables or small tables with chairs should be set before the guest arrives. There should be a centerpiece placed on each table.

The buffet table should always be arranged with a good traffic pattern in mind. You should decide if your guest will move from left to right or visa versa. Also decide which hot food will be served first.

The napkins and plates are placed on the buffet table first. They should be the first thing that is picked up. The silverware may be rolled in the napkins. Knives are only placed on the table if needed, and salad forks are never used at a buffet meal.

Hot food, cold dishes, and condiments are placed together and are arranged so that the guest may reach each dish easily. Bread and butter are always placed at the end of the table and should be the last things that are picked up by the guest.

Desserts and beverages may be served at a separate table, or later if the hostess prefers.

Centerpieces for a buffet table should have some element of height. The small tables for guest should have small and low centerpieces.

When using candles, the light should be high enough that the light is not at eye level. The candles are always lighted when the table is in use, with one exception.  At a dinner or reception, candles may be placed on the table to be lighted after daylight.

 

Fresh Flowers

Flowers are living breathing plants and they will grow and thrive if they are cared for properly. They will bring beauty and life to any room and table. When you bring them into your life, on a daily basic, they will become a part of everything you do. When arranging fresh flowers in a vase, they should neveer be crowed. There should always be enough room for them to have proper circulation. When using any flower at a table for a centerpiece, they should be kept low enough that they don’t block the view of guest from each other. In arranging fresh flowers, they should be about 2 1/2 times the height of a container.

Flowers have meaning to people receiving them.

Orchids- You are my highest prize

Roses- Beauty and loveliness

Carnations- You are special

Lily- Dignity

Iris- Sincerity and honest

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Planning the Perfect Dinner Party

Published by: Claudine McDonald

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 8

Plan your dinner party right

Dinner time is the most important time of the day for a family.  It can be as elaborate as the hostess would like, or as simple as she wishes it to be.

Your guest list is the first thing you must consider.  How many people will you invite and how many family members will be present must be decided. The next important item to decide upon is your “Menu.” Then you must make your list and shop for your food.

The table can be set a couple of days before the dinner.  This will allow the hostess to make sure she has selected the most appropriate and attractive china,  silver ware, crystal and table linens for the dinner.  It can be an informal or formal dinner that is planned.

The selection of a beautiful centerpiece is decided on after the above items are done.

Two days before the meal, start your preparation of dishes that can be refrigerated.  The meal should be completed before the guest arrives.  Never ask your guest to join you in the kitchen to finish a dish.  The hostess and host should be relaxed and ready to receive their guest when they arrive.

When the guest arrives, appetizers may be offered with cocktails or other beverages.  When all are seated at the table to start the meal, the host is seated at the end of the table and the hostess at the other end.  They should always face each other.  It is best if the hostess is seated closer to the kitchen.  A female guest should sit to the right of the host.  A male guest should sit next to the hostess.  Never seat husband and wife next to each other. Alternate men and women.  This will help with a good flow of conversation.

The soup is served as the first course, and the soup bowl is removed after the soup is finished.   The salad is served next and salad plate is removed after the salad is finished.  The main course is served next.  The dessert can be placed on a table with silverware and plates nearby for the guest when they are ready to be served.  Coffee and tea can be served in the living room after dinner or with the dessert if desired.

Let's Have a Cocktail Party

Published by: Claudine McDonald

541
comments:
  • Feb
  • 8

Entertain your guests with a cocktail party

A cocktail party is a wonderful and elegant way to entertain your guest.  It can be planned for evening, before the dinner hour.  It is one of the most desirable ways to entertain today.  The hostess should first decide on the number of guest that will be invited.

Next, the menu is planned- how many cold canapés will be served and how many hot hors d’oeuvre will be served?   You can serve heavy hors d’oeuvre or light ones.  And, of course, how many different types of drinks will be served.  Also, the table linen and a centerpiece are selected for the table. It can be a very large centerpiece because the guest will not be seated at the table.

Cold canapés, such as fresh fruit, cheese trays, cold dips, and relishes are always placed on the table for guest to help themselves.   They can be picked up with the fingers or a tooth pick. They should also be arranged beautifully on trays and garnished with fresh parsley and fancy cut vegetables.

Hors d’ oeuvre – French for  “ outside the main work”   Hors d’oeuvres should be hot and they should be passed by the hostess on trays to her guest.  Small plates can be supplied to if needed.  The hors d’oeuvre should not repeat the ingredients of the main dish or be similar to it.  They can also be eaten with the fingers and also with a small fork.   A few examples are, caviar on bread or crackers, seafood cocktails, marinated fish, and stuff mushrooms.

The guest should be able to move freely from room to room with small plates of food. If the weather permit, the patio or back yard is a wonderful place for your guest to be relaxed and enjoy friends. The cocktail party should last several hours.  Have plenty of chairs for guest to be seated.

The drinks that will be served are also an important element of the party.  A designated person should be appointed (or hired) to maintain the bar. The bar should be set up away from the table with the canapés.  A fruit punch may be made for guests who are not drinking liquor. Allow two or three drinks per person.