Click here to return to Home Page Click here to return to Home Page
Click here to return to Home Page
  The Author 


 Seasoned Cooking  Food Wares  Noteworthy  Epicurean Travels

 Menu Menu Archive  Salad of the Month   Soup of the Month  Food Bites  


powered by FreeFind


If you're a novice cook, or a new bride and find yourself in charge of planning, executing and creating a dinner party for four, six or eight people, you might find the following tips helpful.  If you need more help than these tips can provide, you can contact me via email at and ask any other questions you may have.  I'll be happy to help you make your dinner party a success.  I'm also available to be your Personal Chef if you live anywhere in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut and feel that cooking the food is more than you'd like to tackle!

  • Make a list of your guests names, with the date and time of your dinner party.
  • Plan the menu - write or type out and make two copies; one to help create the shopping list and the other copy of the menu to put on the refrigerator as your guide
  • Send out invitations if it's a formal affair, or just telephone or e-mail  your invitation at least 2 weeks prior to the date.
  • Be sure to ask all of your guests to let you know of any food allergies or foods they just can't eat
  • When using recipes from a cook book, take the time to photocopy 2 copies of each of the recipes which will save wear and tear on the cook book.  One copy to aid in making your shopping list and the other copy to be taped to your kitchen cabinets while you are preparing the foods.
  • Create a shopping list using the menu list and recipes. Check your refrigerator and pantry for staples that will be needed for the recipes.
  • Determine which ingredients in the recipes can be prepared, cut, chopped or pre-cooked the day before or on the day of the dinner party. For example, many vegetables can be parboiled or blanched, shocked in ice water, dried well and refrigerated the day before only to be re-heated just before serving.
  • Determine which of the menu items can be entirely made ahead a day or more before the dinner party. For example, stews such as Coq au Vin and braised dishes such as lamb shanks,  benefit in taste when made a day in advance.
  • A few days before the dinner party, check to see that your linens are clean and that you have sufficient glassware, candles and  flowers.  You can even pre-select the CDs you'll want to play during your cocktail and dinner time.
  • On the morning of your dinner party day or even the day before if space allows, set the table, chill bottled water and other beverages in a picnic cooler to save room in your refrigerator. Time your schedule (with the exception of last minute re-heating) to leave about 1-1/2  hours before your guests arrive to relax, shower and dress -- and of course have a glass of wine.




 Menu Menu Archive  Salad of the Month   Soup of the Month  Food Bites