New On The Blog

The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

Chicken Kabobs

Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!

Oh my!!! These chicken kabobs and the accompanying sauce are absolutely delectable. Each bite of chicken provides a tasty combination of southeast asian flavors. When you prep the kabobs, just be sure to leave at least two hours for the marinade to soak into the chicken and you will be set.

I had never made peanut sauce before and was surprised by how simple it was to create. Once you have combined the initial ingredients for the sauce, take a taste and see if you want to add anything else! I opted for a splash of rice vinegar and lime juice. In the future I think I will try throwing in a bunch of cilantro. The sauce base is yummy and easy to tweak to your personal preferences. Packed with incredible flavor, this dish is deceptively simple to make and sure to impress anyone that you serve it to!

Chicken Kabobs
Download PDF • 1.84MB

Makes 12 Servings

Preparation Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the Kabobs:

*1/4 cup coconut milk

*2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

*2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

*1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

*3/8 teaspoon garlic powder

*1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

*1 tablespoon brown sugar

*1 tablespoon fish sauce

*2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into

*1 inch chunks

*1 tablespoon canola oil

*Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation for the Kabobs:

*In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.

*In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture. *Marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.

*Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.

*Preheat grill to medium high heat.

*Thread chicken onto skewers.

*Brush with canola oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 12-15 minutes.

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:

*2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

*1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

*1/2 cup pineapple juice

*1/4 cup soy sauce

*1 tablespoon brown sugar

*1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger

*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

*2 cloves garlic, chopped

*3 tablespoons scallions, minced

*1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Preparation for the Dipping Sauce:

*In blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. (I recommend making the base then tasting and adjusting to your taste from there. I like my sauces tangy so I added 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar to the rest of the ingredients.)

*Set aside at room temperature until needed.

*Serve with chicken kabobs.

Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib