10 Nov Simple Holiday Party Tips & Tricks with Mary Crafts-Homer
When the holiday party season comes around, our team is lucky to have such wonderful partners that we can depend on to create such memorable holiday events. When it comes to catering, Culinary Crafts is our go-to source for crafting the perfect holiday menu for any occasion. Even if you haven’t booked this dream team for your holiday entertaining, they’ve still got everything you need to pull together a delectable holiday table at home. We had the opportunity to chat with hostess extraordinaire, Mary Crafts-Homer, to bring you all of her insider tips on making your next holiday party one to remember!
“The Holidays are such a crazy time and it is almost overwhelming to think of adding a personal holiday party of your own to the list. I have a few tips to make the idea of having guests in your home seem a little less daunting. If you are a novice entertainer, keep the guest list small so you do not have to be concerned with extra seating and outside help to pull off the evening. If you are an experienced hostess with the most-ess, invite whatever number of guests your home will allow. If you leave the timeline in an open house styling with the time spread over several hours, your home can accommodate additional guests as they won’t all be there at the same time. Think of selecting a menu mainly comprised of items you have cooked before or can pick up from the local deli with a few splashy items that will make a huge visual and taste impact. There is nothing as satisfying as when a guest remarks, “This is fantastic! Did you make this yourself?” And you can honestly reply, “Yes, I did”! “Oh, Honey, I just don’t know how you do it!”
When I put a menu together for my personal entertaining, I design it from a timeline perspective. What items can I make ahead? What items require last-minute attention? Make sure you have limited last minute items unless you’ve hired some outside staff (or family) to handle the final details. The hors-d’oeuvres are the most important part of the evening. People love to mingle and reconnect with friends. You can be creative and trendy with the hors-d’oeuvres as guests can be adventuresome knowing that it’s only one bite with lots more to come. When I open the dinner buffet, I go back to the comfort foods of the home and holidays. If you are purchasing the dessert items, have lots of small selections that can create a festive dessert buffet. If you are making your own dessert, consider a single selection that is out of this world and present it beautifully plated on individual plates.
I love unique salads to spark up a dinner buffet. My Apple Fennel Salad is the perfect winter salad.
One of my favorite comfort foods for a dinner buffet is my Cheesy Cornmeal Waffles! They can be made in advance and then reheat in the oven covered with foil. Place them on the buffet in a warming dish. The toppings for the waffles are numerous. You may choose pulled pork with bbq sauce and coleslaw, or a seared salmon with curry carrot sace, or some crispy chicken tenders with real maple syrup. The choices are endless depending on your taste preference, sophistication, and ease of preparation. You may opt for just some homemade sausage gravy. It’s all delicious with these homemade waffles.
For a fabulous single dessert presentation that will get you more compliments than you can imagine, try my Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake with caramel glaze and whipped cream. Place a high-quality chocolate truffle candy on the plate to complete the look.
The one thing I can promise you regardless of the menu you select. There is something special about inviting friends into your home. There’s something special about breaking bread together. There’s something special about traditions that last a lifetime. And remember to fill your life with scrumptious food and joy!”
CEO & President, Culinary Crafts
We love working with Mary and her team and know you’ll love them too! If you’re looking for more holiday party ideas, recipes, or catering tips they’ve got it all and more at CulinaryCrafts.com. Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for more from some of our partners in events for more tips this holiday season!