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Plan in advance and keep the menu simple

Exercise & Fitness By Paroma Bhattacharya , Jagran Cityplus / Jul 27, 2010
Plan in advance and keep the menu simple

The year is coming to an end and people are eager to welcome the New Year. Everyone loves a party but a lot goes into making your party worth remembering. Here’s what you need to do...

The year is coming to an end and people are eager to welcome the New Year. Everyone loves a party but a lot goes into making your party worth remembering. Here’s what you need to do...


The general tendency is to keep it easy and quickat partied as you also want to enjoy the party as much as your guests do but meticulously planning becomes a tedious task. Listed out are some valuable tips to host a perfect party:


Planning the menu  The trend is to keep healthy food in parties. "Apart from the regular wine and cheese balls, people try to keep it light for the main course too. More continental food is preferred than the Indian menu," says food expert Shilpi Behl. Presentation matters too, so go in for a colourful platter of veggies. Just try to serve some nutritious alternatives to traditional bread and snacks. Be sure to serve foods with a variety of tastes. Include both hot and cold dishes, serve creamy dips with a crisp assortment of unique vegetables and try not to go overboard with one particular flavour or spice.


"Try to make one dish of one particular flavour; don't keep it too spicy or too sweet in the entire menu. The easiest preparation could be a mixed vegetable, soup, some sassy macaroni and chocolate ice-cream," Behl says. Go for finger foods Party foods that can be easily held with one hand are an important consideration. Your guests may be standing for most of the party and if so, trying to balance a plate of food and a beverage could be a disaster. The most disorganised section of a party comes when you need to serve. Avoid a buffet, if there are many people invited. Well according to me, the general guideline could be three appetizers per person per hour for a cocktail party. If appetizers are replacing dinner, then plan on at least six to seven appetizers and try to have at least four variant choices.


Presentation matters  According to Shilpi, the time available before the preparation is very relevant for any party. "Sometimes people get so busy with the decoration that certain food items are missed and replaced with substitutes. If you're short on time, concentrate on the presentation of the food rather than cooking. Buy pre-packaged party foods and arrange them on beautiful dishes with some creative garnishes. For example, if you didn't get time to buy sweets, then try to serve some homemade recipes. If you have Marie biscuits at home, then put some jam and garnish with a little sugar or if you have forgot to manage some snacks then serve some Monaco biscuits with cheese on the top."If you are planning a home cooked menu, prepare as much of the food as you can ahead of time. Keep a list of what needs to be done, so last minute touches are not forgotten. "All the items should be brought in advance to avoid twelfth hour chaos," she says.


Finishing touches Try to set up some small tables with red table cloths to encourage socialising. "On the tables, cover boxes with a tablecloth to create variety of heights. Set your party food dishes on the covered risers to add an element of interest to the table. You should always keep some small eats on the tables so that people have their choice to taste and talk about the food," Shilpi says. Party food doesn't have to be elaborate and complex. It just has to be presented well, taste great and allow you some free time to enjoy your party!




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