My epic failure as a hostess and a blogger (a food blogger at that) is that I forget to take photos. My entire party was centered around food and I didn't take a single shot. So instead, I will give you the menu with the links to the place I got a lot of my ideas!
I always write a schedule/menu for my dinner party. This is one of the first things I do when beginning my planning for a few reasons, but the primary being: the menu you start with is NEVER the menu you end up cooking. Why? Timing.
I have cooked my way through dinner parties on many occasions and it sucks. You do not get to enjoy yourself and your guests are left entertaining themselves! So when I began organizing my menu this way-it allowed me some time to edit.
Note: I dont have actual times written in. I'm a firm believer in Party Magic. The element of a party that takes over and lets the night take on its own shape-those always make for the best parties. I also plan for food that has a bit of 'give' when it comes to serving it. Things that need to be kept hot may require me to grab a cheap chafing dish at the dollar store. Some items need served immediately and some need overnight prep. You really should only make your menu as big as you can handle and allow for that one couple who is always 30 minutes late.
In addition, Another rule I live by: have some food and drink ready at the open. I do not enjoy waiting to eat. It makes me hangry! Whats worse-waiting for a drink. I've been in food service for too long to make my guests wait for either. A drink will grant you 10-15 minutes before people start getting antsy-food, about an hour.
Last year, Levi and I did a beer tasting to kick-off the night. We had a few couples that had never met and we were worries about mingling time-plus, it gave Levi a fun project to participate in prior and gave him something to do to welcome our guests and help settle them in!
Ladies, if your man doesn't know how to participate-send hin to Friar Tuck with $50 and tell him to get 4-5 of the big bottles of beer for a beer tasting and then sit back and let him take care of it!
I took two of my recipes from: http://downtonabbeycooks.com/ - as I figured this being an English book, why not English fare? For the record: both the Yorshire pudding and the soup were the hits of the party! Plus they were SO incredibly easy to make! I am definitely doing these again!
Dinner Party Schedule/Menu
Beer Tasting & Appetizer:
· English beers
· Deviled Eggs
· Wheat Bread
· Pumpkin Pasties or a pumpkin tarlet with whipped cream cheese frosting
· Witches Brew (Brand of spiced red wine)
*Amanda – Gluten Free
*Anna – Nut Allergy
Always be sure to double check allergies and preferences-people try to be polite about their needs sometimes, so just be really direct.
This is the same menu I used the Howler to display!