Don’t Procrastinate, Reciprocate!

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You’ve just enjoyed a wonderful dinner party at a friend’s house. On the drive home you talk about the wonderful food, the great conversation and how you would love to return the favor by hosting your friends at your house next time. In the days following you send a beautiful hand-written thank you note and although your intentions are good, life gets in the way and somehow you never get around to extending that invitation. Stop procrastinating and start reciprocating! Take the first step and host a dinner party:

  • Don’t delay. Pull the trigger – pick a date, pick up the phone and extend the invitation.
  • Although for me eight (including you and your spouse) is the perfect number of dinner party guests. If that stresses you out, start a little smaller. You and two other couples for a total of six.
  • Have fun selecting the guests. In addition to the couple you’d like to host, think of whom else would be a good match and where connections can be made.
  • Choose your menu carefully – go with a simple soup or salad as a first course, choose a main course you can mostly make ahead and a definitely go with a make-ahead dessert.
  • Set the table the night before. Turn the glasses upside down and turn them back up right before your guests arrive, fill them with ice and water and you are good to go. BTW – great job for your spouse while you are busy putting the finishing touches on the canapés.
  • Speaking of which – don’t go overboard with the canapés. A simple cheese board, small bowl of nuts or chips, and one other item is more than enough before a three course meal.
  • Have your spouse be in charge of cocktails, wine, etc. Talk through the evening in advance and let him/her know how he can best help you – working as a team will ensure the evening runs smoothly.
  • Create a seating plan – with less than eight you don’t need placecards, just make sure you and your spouse are on the same page and know where each guest should be seated.
  • Use the Kitchen Moxie Worksheet as a cheat sheet for the evening. Having everything written down on one page will make it much more simple to stay organized and on track.
  • Plan for chocolates and after dinner drinks. That’s what the dinner party is all about – extending the evening, seeing where it takes you and making the most of your time with special friends.

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