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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

Ginger Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Happy Foodie Friday! Crispy, tangy, and sweet, these brussels sprouts are sure to be a crowd pleaser. The combination of balsamic with ginger gives this dish a punchy and aromatic bite. Using an air fryer will crisp up your brussels sprouts beautifully, if you do not have one though, no fret! This recipe works just as well in an oven, especially if you move the brussels sprouts to the top rack to broil for a minute at the very end.

A member of the cabbage family, brussels sprouts are rich in Antioxidants, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. These little vegetables are not only incredibly healthy but they are also delicious.

Ginger Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Download PDF • 895KB

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Cost: $4


*1 pound of brussels sprouts

*2 tablespoons olive oil

*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

*1 teaspoon minced ginger

*Sprinkle of sea salt

*Sprinkle of pepper


*Preheat air fryer or oven to 400F.

*Rinse your brussels sprouts and cut off the ends.

*Next, slice the brussels sprouts into either halves if they are small or thirds if they are larger. The goal is to have uniformly sized pieces.

*Place the brussels sprouts into a bowl and pour the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over. Stir until well coated.

*Stir in the minced ginger, salt, and pepper.

*Place the sprouts in your airfryer and spread out so there is limited overlap. If cooking in the oven, place in one layer on a sheet pan.

*Air fryer instructions: Cook for 12-15 minutes stirring at about minute 7. Check frequently towards the end for doneness as cook times will varry depending on size of sprouts.

*Oven instructions: Cook for 25 minutes stirring at the half way point.


Recipe Creator - Alina Gersib