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8 Sep 2014

Cooking for Guests

Cooking for Guests

Many times when people have an occasion coming up for which they have to entertain at home, they are struck by nervousness, wondering what to cook and how to pull it off. Cooking for a crowd can be daunting, but here are some simple tips to make the whole ordeal a little easier.

Choose the menu carefully
The problem with cooking for company is that you don't feel like serving them the same, boring food that you cook every day, so you tend to choose fancier recipes that end up being quite difficult to execute. Try to choose recipes that are simple to make but which still look good enough to serve your guests. Stick to the basic courses: starters, main course and dessert, with one or two items for each.

Don't compromise on health
It's easier to give in and choose unhealthy recipes that have lots of butter and cheese since you can't go wrong and people tend to love them, but stay firm and don't compromise on health. If you put in just a little bit of effort you'll find tons of recipes that are both healthy and delicious. You never know, if they turn out well enough your friends might even be inspired by your uniqueness and start throwing healthy parties themselves.

Do a trial run
Try not to experiment with recipes that you have never tried before, because if they don't turn out well then you'll have nothing to serve. To avoid this last minute crisis, try out the dishes in advance, testing them on your family to see how they like them. This way there are higher chances of your guests liking the food and you will be much more confident while preparing it.

Decide the quantity
The hardest part about cooking for many people is assessing the quantity of food you should make. To begin with, ask your guests to let you know in advance if they are attending or not, so that you have an approximate headcount. Accordingly, estimate the amount of food that you should make, always staying a little on the higher side. It's okay if the food gets leftover, but it shouldn't be too less. There are smartphone apps that can help you decide the quantity of food that you should cook, depending on the number of guests.

Be prepared
Having company over is no fun if you spend all your time dashing to and fro from the kitchen, finishing up the cooking and doing the serving. Try to keep everything ready in advance; buy the groceries a day or two before and try to cook some of the elements on the previous day so that you have more time on the final day.


Garnish the food
People make it a point to clean up their homes and tidy up their mess before their guests come so that everything looks nice. Similarly, before serving the food, make sure you tidy up the edges of the serving bowls and garnish the food so that even the food looks nice. Sprinkle some fresh herbs on your food and add a splash of some colourful sauces on the side to give the food visual appeal. Even a little effort can go a long way and your guests will love it.


 

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