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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Self-Catering Tips For Party Planners

Martha Stewart's Oreo Cheesecake CupcakesImage by cupcakequeen via Flickr
By Chloe Schneider

As much as each of us would like like to be Martha Stewart and do all the party requisites by ourselves, sometimes we simply have to give ourselves a break. Everyone may benefit from an spare hand, even the most organized ones. So don't be ashamed to ask for assistance, especially in the cooking department, where the food, the life of the party, is made to perfection.

Cooking for dozens of guests isn't easy. If you insist on doing so, be ready for the challenges it will bring. The hosting of the event, the crafting of the decorations, the preparation of the activities, and the organizing of each and everything on the list would fall onto your shoulders. Top that with the organizing and the setting of the menu and you likely won't have much free time on your hands left.

Determining the type of party before anything else:

First, you have to specify the type of party you are having as your menu should depend on this. A kids' party will require kid-friendly food list. It means that you have to steer clear of using intoxicant or spicy ingredients and any food that needs the use of a sharp knife to cut down. A get-together party with your exercise and gym pals should include foods that are low fats and low calorie.

But whatever the sort of party you are having, you should always add diversity to your menu. Perhaps not all of your guests are meat-eaters, so you would be making all of them happy and content if you include a little vegetable fare for more options.

Make a budget for the feast:

You want to hold the best party in town, yes, but that does not automatically mean that you should go bankrupt after the party. Be kind to yourself and set a reasonable budget so you won't go over board in picking up ingredients and add-ons. Do a headcount of the guests and add some more plates just in case somebody has the audacity to show up without RSVP'ing.

Reasonable amount means not overly cheap either. You need to still fix realistic budget even if you are aiming for practicality. In our current economic situation, all prices are going up. Make certain your budget will still let you to purchase the needed ingredients. But even with the price raise, you can still do something to save on cost.

Search for the real steals:

Shop around for budget items. Local stores and bargain stores offer items that have discounted prices compared to your regular convenient shops. Your table napkins, dinnerware, ornaments, and others, as well as some food ingredients may be bought at other shops for a cheaper price. Go ahead, search the area for some great steals that will help you save budget.

Be sure not to be carried away, though. Stick to your tried and tested food ingredient label. Don't experiment on other brands of seasoning if your regular brand can give you the taste and quality you are looking for. You don't need to compromise quality over price.

Make your timeline:

Prepare your things to-do list by making sure the days and hours leading to the main event are set. If you have an item on your fare that calls for long planning, begin preparing it a day or so before. Examples of which are barbecues, which require to be marinated overnight. Sweets that need to be served fresh must be prepared an hour before the main event.

Although it is challenging, catering for your own party shouldn't be totally difficult. Just keep in mind to follow the guidelines and most significantly, enjoy.

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