The holidays are the perfect time of year to host a dinner party and catch up with friends over good food and cheer.
Entertaining can be easy; just make sure you give yourself lots of time to prepare. Pick a day when you won't be rushed, and in the week leading up to the party, do a little bit of prep work each day.
Here are some tips to make your party a success:
Choose menu items you can make beforehand so you can relax when it's party time.
Make friends with your butcher. Call ahead so the meat is ready when you go and pick it up.
Set the table before guests arrive. This makes them feel welcome, and avoids a last minute scramble to find enough utensils for everybody.
Invest in tags for glasses so people can keep one glass all night. Or for a less expensive option, use a semi-permanent pen to write people's names right onto their glasses. The marker will wipe off easily at the end of the night.
Set out a pitcher of ice water so guests can help themselves.
Pick your music carefully. Make playlists ahead of time so the atmosphere is set when your guests arrive and you don't have to juggle DJ and chef duties.
And most of all have fun. If you're having fun, your guests will too.
Here are some easy recipes to help you plan your menu: