Is Your Dinner Party Planned Right?

Dinner parties are different than other parties, and quite a bit more nerve-wracking to plan and execute. They are not impossible, however, and are very satisfying and memorable when done correctly. Unlike other parties, which tend to put the emphasis on a holiday, a certain occasion, or, possibly, the entertainment offered, dinner parties are largely about the mix of people and the food. Dinner party planning often starts with a desire to serve a certain dish or desert! It is hoped that the guest mix will be compatible and the conversation interesting, and that every guest will enjoy the food.

Dinner parties tend to be smaller and more intimate than other types of gatherings. They also provide a chance for the hosts to break out all the good glassware and china and enjoy it. If the host does not own good dinnerware (or owns too little), it can always be rented. The same is true for table linens. Many hosts choose to rent such things because it is simply easier and more efficient. The mix of guests is an important factor in dinner party planning. Table conversation will provide the bulk of the entertainment, so it is well worthwhile to insure that compatible people are seated near one another.

Some dinner parties are given for business reasons, some as an approach toward establishing a friendship, and some are simply a way for old friends to sit and visit. The host must decide what foods will be served, then shop and prepare in plenty of time so that he or she is actually available to visit with the guests. Dinner party planning usually involves drinks and perhaps some finger foods before dinner is served. Once dinner is served, guests are usually seated by the hosts. After dinner, it is customary to move to a living room or other area for coffee or drinks.

The most important thing to remember when hosting a dinner party is that it should be relaxed and comfortable. Dinner party planning tends to concentrate on the food, especially at the eleventh hour, when guests are about to arrive. The well-versed host knows to get every possible detail done beforehand, so that she or he can mingle, restart lagged conversation, and actually enjoy the feast that has been prepared. Guests take their cues from hosts. So remember that a relaxed host who is honestly enjoying the company will find that the guests are doing the same.

Soul Food Dinner Ideas For the Busy Woman

Soul food dinner ideas comes in handy especially if your boss ask you to work overtime, you have to pick you daughter up from soccer practice and the freeway traffic is packed. By the time you get home you want a fast, convenient and healthy way to give your family a balanced meal. Here’s some simple ideas to give your family a tasty home cooked meal if you’re busy.

1. Look For Soul Food Recipes Online.

You can get many soul food recipe ideas online with the click of a mouse. As the demand for more convenient ways to prepare meals grows,you’ll find more websites working to meet this demand. Trust me, the resourceful homemakers of today are using this tool like you wouldn’t believe. Many southern dishes can be time consuming if you don’t know the short-cuts to take.

2. Take Advantage of Video Recipes.

Video recipes are the new kid on the block. When it comes to seeing how the many soul food dishes come together, there’s nothing like watching an expert do it. Video recipes continue to grow because of their effectiveness. It’s much easier to watch a recipe being prepared than to read it. It’s a simple case of show and tell. For example, you can get a clearer picture of how to clean and cook collard greens or make a southern peach cobbler by watching an expert prepare. Comparing a video recipe to merely reading the recipe and it’s like night and day, especially if the recipe is complicated. Look for the video recipe site to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming year.

3. Cook on The Weekend or Off Days and Freeze.

This is a favorite solution to the busy housewife who has little or no time to spend in the kitchen on workdays. Taking part of your off day to cook for the week and freeze will give you the convenience of having a nutritious home cooked meal during the week.

4. Let Your Fingers Do The Soul Food Cooking.

This is another version of step 3 above. The only difference is instead of you spending an off day cooking nutritious meals and freezing them, you hire others to do it. Many restaurants are offering this service as well as supermarkets and other specialty caterers. Check your local phone directory or search engine for details.

5. Let Your Family Help.

One of the most under-utilized resources in helping you get soul food dinner ideas is your family. After you set down the basic rules (no pizza, chicken fingers or candy) your family can be a rich source of dinner ideas. You can even get them more involved by letting them help you in the kitchen. Make it fun and adventurous. Make your kitchen a place you bond with your children, they can not only help you create fond memories, they can be a source of help as well.

By taking the time to use these powerful soul food dinner ideas your meals will be more convenient, nutritious and satisfying as well.

5 Cures For a Dog Who Will Beg For Food

Your dog will beg for food. It’s time to take control of your dining experience! Feeding your dog from the dinner table is a big no-no. You will never be able to have a peaceful meal with your family and friends without your precious pooch’s nose perched on the edge of the table or his paws repeatedly thumped upon someone’s lap begging for that tasty morsel.

Begging is one of the most common issues that dog owners face. We love our dogs so much that we would like to give him everything that he wants. When he looks at you with those huge eyes, it’s almost too much for us to bear, we give in! All it takes is a little willpower on our part as this behavior is easy to correct.

Do not give food. It may sound obvious but do not give him food outside of his planned eating times. Feeding human food is ok. Begging for it is not. Many people feed their dogs table scraps but don’t have a begging issue because the scraps are fed in the dog’s bowl. Giving food is a form of affection, and giving affection reinforces his behavior and he will beg for food. Find the willpower to stop giving him that tasty morsel from your plate and he will learn that he cannot expect rewards for begging.

Ignore him. He is begging to get your attention. Rather than give in to him ignore the begging behavior and teach him that it does not get results! Do not talk to your dog or give him affection and do not engage in direct eye contact as you are then feeding his mental state. His high-pitched whine is an effective tool against you, and your dog knows it, because it has worked before!

Don’t feel sorry for your dog. You know you feed your dog his well balanced diet and that all his dietary needs are met at the appropriate feeding time. He is not hungry so don’t be tempted to give him that scrap off the table when he looks at you with those big sad eyes and places a single paw forlornly on your leg. If you are concerned about how much your dog should be fed, seek advice from your vetinarian.

Be consistent in saying no to begging – In any kind of training, consistency is the key to success. Your dog must learn that his begging behavior is ineffective so be consistent in ignoring his behaviour every time he begs. He will soon learn that his behavior has negative results and he will become that obedient dog at mealtimes. Make sure that everyone in the household understands and enforces the same rules. If you allow begging at the table to pay off by giving your dog a treat, you have taught him that if he keeps begging the outcome will be positive. A negative consequence should never be physical punishment. That only teaches your dog to be afraid of you.

Redirect – If you want to eliminate begging at the table redirect your dog with something tasty of his own. Tell him to sit on his bed or comfortable place in sight of the dining room table. Before you sit down for dinner give him a really good bone or favorite rubber chew toy smeared with peanut butter and a few treats inside to chew on while you eat. Within days of using this technique, you should start to notice that as dinner is ready to be served, your dog automatically goes and lies down in his favoured place. The key is to provide your dog with something really good to chew on that he enjoys. That will ensure that he will lie down and eat his chew rather than will beg for food.

Be patient as few dogs change overnight. Stay consistent and don’t give up. Your reward will be a better behaved dog!

Fast Food and the Dieter Do Not Mix

Have you grown up with fast food or are your old enough to remember back to the day when there wasn’t so much of it about? One thing’s for sure, and that is there’s something about this food type that has so many of us just craving for more of the same despite all the education and knowledge we carry around about its damaging affects to our bodies.

I’ve been on and off various diets for most of my adult life, and I used to blame the diet plans for not working, but now that I’m a little older and wiser, I realise that it’s my craving for grub like pizza, cheese burgers, and hot dogs, that lure me into relapse every time. It seems to have taken a lifetime for me to understand the concept that fast food and the dieter simply do not mix. Not even occasionally!

Here lies the problem. When I seem to be doing so well with whatever diet it is that I’m working on, the thought suddenly crosses my mind that one double cheese burger with fries and a diet coke can’t do me any harm. After all, I’ve earned it right? Just one little treat for being so good, so committed, is surely a just reward for all that hard work and dedication. Wrong! I now know that it doesn’t stop at just one burger, one hotdog, or one slice of pizza.

There’s appears to be something that happens within me that craves the oily, juicy crispy, crunchy food from the fast counter once I relapse. It’s almost like an addiction, but if I’m to lose weight and keep it that way, I have to imprint on the forefront of my mind that fast food and the dieter just do not mix! I’ll say that again; fast food and the dieter just do not mix, period! If I don’t pick up that first plate of junk food, and stick with my healthy eating and exercise plan, I can’t get fat. That’s it. Keep it as simple as that. A recovering alcoholic wouldn’t reward himself with a shot of whisky after weeks, months, or even years of abstinence, as some kind of little treat for doing so well.

For so many of us, it doesn’t seem stop at just one fast food dinner. It seems that once we take a single serving of greasy grub and see no immediate effects to our waistline, there’s this little voice in our heads that tells us if that if one didn’t do us any harm, then surely another wouldn’t hurt either. For me, and I can only speak for myself here, once I’ve feasted on a couple of convenience foods, the excuses kick in to justify more. Oh, I’m too busy to diet this week, I’ll start again on Monday, or, I’ve got friends coming over and they’ll surely want to hang out down at the Pizza Hut, so I’ll have to write today off, and so on and so forth.

So dieting is not about a quick fix, it’s about a permanent change in lifestyle, and if the dieter is not ready for that, then there’s little point continuing until that reality hit’s home. There’s no way I can lose weight then go back to my old eating habits. Not even if I promise to eat less and continue with regular exercise. Fast food and the dieter just do not mix. But be careful! This food calls us and comes in many guises to conceal its true identity. Find a good healthy eating plan, and make it a part of who you are, and not just a passing fad. The day I realized that fast food and the dieter did not mix, was the day I took the first step towards a healthier and happier new me, both physically and mentally.