Party Food Ideas – How to Make the Best Dinner Party Planning For the Event

In any kind of party or celebration, you may find that food is one of the reasons why you’re attending one. So, if you are to organize your own party, you need to be able to come up with the best dinner party planning so that you and your guests will enjoy the event even more. Now, what are the things that you need to consider?

The first thing that you need to look at is the type of party that you’ll be holding. Keep in mind that the food you’re going to serve would depend on the party’s motif. Your party food ideas therefore would come from the type of crowd that you’ll be catering to. One of the best ideas that you can come up with is serving finger foods to your guests. These foods are much easier to consume, and that’s why you should never forget having these on your menu.

Prepare as many appetizers as you can so that your guests will be able to enjoy as much food as they want. As for the other foods, you can serve the all-time favorites which include pasta, grilled pork, salad, steak and sandwiches. Also, never forget the desserts, as your guests would really enjoy eating these after having taken a full meal.

Another thing that you need to consider is preparing food that will not affect an individual’s diet. You need to make sure that what you’re serving to your guests is not that much harmful to their diet. You can prepare a balanced choice of foods, those that can be found on nutritional charts. Doing this will guarantee you that your guests will really enjoy the foods that you’ll be serving them, including the vegetarians. Now, if you will be catering to kids, you can take the food suggestions coming from the parents of your guests. Have them list every kind of food that could cause allergy to their young ones so as to prevent any issues with the foods that will be served in the event.

Now that you have a lot of party food ideas in mind with your dinner party planning, you should also consider the budget that you have for the event, and then see if everything fits. If it doesn’t, then you can resolve it by eliminating those foods that may seem redundant on your list. For further information, you can always go online and search for more affordable food ideas for your party.

Take the Stess Out of Making Your Own Baby Food

It’s time for your baby to try something other than milk, which can be exciting and intimidating all at the same time. You sit your baby up, put a bib on, and get the camera rolling. Only to find out that your baby spits out the first bite of food that you give them. This is the start of the food battle or does it have to be this hard? I found out that my baby did not like the jarred food (even organic) because it was not a familiar taste. Not even close. As soon as I started making her food and mixing milk with it she loved it.

The benefits of making your own baby food is it taste better, it is fresher, and there is less waste. What would you prefer orange concentrate or fresh squeezed orange juice? Most would say fresh squeezed. It is the same concept with home made baby food. The disadvantage is it does take a little longer to prepare than snapping a lid open, but it is not a long process. You do not need these special baby food processors, steamers or even the baby bullet. If you have a stove with burners and an oven and a regular blender you have everything you need. If you do not have a blender but you do have a food processor they are interchangeable.

The first rule of thumb is to relax and have fun with this new experience. It does not have to be stressful. Once you have relaxed, figuring out what to feed your baby for the first time will be fun. I suggest not starting with rice cereal. It has no nutritional value and some may say it’s child abuse to feed your baby this tasteless mush. The reason most people start with rice cereal is because it is a low allergen. Avocado is also a very low allergen food and is very easy on the stomach and does not require any thing but a knife and fork to serve. Add a little lemon for more flavor and to keep the color and you have a great meal.

My suggestion is to feed all vegetables first then go to fruits. Only because once your baby gets the sweet stuff first it will be very hard to get them to even open their mouth for veggies. Would you prefer apple pie or broccoli? In the beginning wait a few days between foods to make sure your little one is not allergic to that type of food. Once you know your baby is not allergic to that food you can add another. It is harder to detect which food your little one is allergic to when you give a bunch of new foods all at once. Don’t stress yourself out about which foods to feed unless you have a family history of food allergies. It is highly unlikely that your baby will have food allergies if there is no family history of them.

Once you have given single foods and have pretty much ruled out food allergies you can mix flavors and textures. The only hard part will be to find recipes to keep things interesting for your baby, but it really isn’t hard. Feed your baby what you are feeding yourself for dinner. Mash up something from your plate and let your baby go to town. When making dinner set aside a portion for your baby before adding salt or sugar. Mild spices are great for your baby to experience. You want your baby to eat what your eating so dinner time will not result in battles. Make the process fun and don’t force feed your baby. They know when they are hungry and not hungry. Dinner time is a great social experience so don’t ruin it with “you have to eat everything on your plate before you leave the table”.

How to Make a Festive Dinner Table Setting and Get a Party You and Your Friends Will Enjoy!

There are a few important things to do when arranging a dinner table. First, try to find a theme for the dinner, then put out the proper settings and decorations, and finally you will need to set the mood. There are many themes to use for a successful dinner party; Italian Festival, Mexican Mania, European Foods, Seafood Frenzy, or Seasonal to name a few. Let’s say that you are planning a sea food dinner with crabs, shrimp and fish.

After Martha Stewart has helped you with the recipes, you can start decorating with lobster, sea shell, or other marine motifs on your napkins, glasses and place mats. If you want to use a table cloth, use a solid colored one that matches the color in your place mats or plates. Napkins should always be of fabric and never paper. A new trend is to use your fancy kitchen towels as napkins. There are some very popular ones with different kitchen and food motives or just the classic “check type” squares in red and white or blue and white.

And after dinner, you can use them to dry the dishes as well! Putting out your fine china is at your discretion and would depend on the occasion and the motif you have chosen. Sticking with our seafood theme, to really make your table setting a winner, try to find china with a nautical theme-a lobster plate with a lobster on it makes for a great conversation piece! As with everything, dinner plates are getting bigger and bigger.

Even the manufacturers of dishwashers have noticed and are now building washers with adjustable space between the baskets to accommodate our big appetites. If your china is of the normal size, a nice addition is to find a larger bottom plate that is only used for decoration. You can find them in pewter, gold or silver metal (imitations) and even leather. This small addition can really give your table a more elegant and impressive look. Now that we have our linens and china in place, let’s move on to the cutlery.

The silver ware, of course, does not have to be made of silver. Today’s stainless steel is as elegant and accepted as the silver our parents used (and much easier to take care of-no polishing!). The fork, goes without saying, is placed to the left of the plate while the knife and spoon are placed to the right. If you serve more than one dish (including salad) you should have another fork and knife set placed alongside the others. The dessert utensils are placed on the top of the plate. If you are actually serving seafood, there are special forks and knives which make it easier to dig into the shellfish. They have a long flat spoon on one side and a short two pronged digger on the other; it is the fancy version of a “spork”. This is part one of my mini series of articles about arranging a dinner party for friends.

Soul Food Restaurant – Serving Up a Taste of Home Cooking

Okay so you don’t have the skill, time or patience to cook up that perfect soul food dinner? Chances are a soul food restaurant in your area is serving up home cooking just like mom or grandma use to make. Give yourself a break from kitchen duties and here is the reason why.

Soul food restaurants have never been more popular. In fact, today you have more options than ever before. Black celebrities, seasoned chefs and great cooks around the country have teamed up to offer you a unique dining experience and familiar soul food menu.

If you live in or near major cities with a significant African American population, expect the competition for your business to be fierce. This is great news for you because in essence you will have an opportunity to enjoy a full range of dining experiences at several different types of restaurants including: soul food diners, upscale establishments, buffets, catered events, mom & pop diners, cafeteria style restaurants and much more.

Cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Memphis, New York, Philadelphia, St Louis, Oakland and Washington DC all offer unique dining experience including: live jazz performances, comedy shows, celebrity appearances, modernized soul food cuisine, artwork exhibits, gifts & memorabilia and cooking products.

Once you get out and start enjoying establishments in your area, it will be easy to see that the soul food restaurant industry caters to a diverse group.

Now that you’re sold on the idea of giving yourself a break from kitchen duties, the obvious question is “What are celebrity soul food restaurants and famous chefs cooking up?”. This question is not at all easy to answer. The simple fact is, it all depends on location and the type of clients the restaurants in your area are trying to attract.

The bottom line up front is that in most cases you can find a soul food restaurant in your area that provides the type of comfort foods and home cooking you have become accustomed too. At this point you should feel very good about the idea of eating foods any day of the week that are traditionally served only during Sunday dinner and on special occasions like family reunions, family barbecues, birthdays, etc.

So what type of dishes can you expect to find on a soul food menu? That depends on the type of restaurant you visit. For example at a barbecue restaurant you can experience the taste of barbecued ribs, chicken, brisket; baked beans, macaroni & cheese, coleslaw, potato salad; banana pudding, sweet potato pie; and more.

At an upscale restaurant you would more than likely see many remakes of traditional soul food and southern favorites. These modern meals will be more appealing to today’s taste. In addition, you’ll see soul food fusion, the combination of African American, Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine. Lastly, on the menu you’ll probably see NEO Soul Food aka New Soul Food prepared to fit the healthy lifestyle. These dishes contain less salt, fat, cholesterol and calories.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when eating at Cafeteria style restaurants, along with restaurants featuring buffets. Here you can taste and sample a variety of comfort foods including meats like smothered chicken, barbecue, meatloaf, fish; vegetables such as collard greens, cabbage, yams, okra; delectable desserts like peach cobbler, red velvet cake, pecan pie; and much more.

The Mom & Pop type restaurants will be limited to daily specials and lack variety when compared to large establishments. This can work out to your advantage because you’ll always be served fresh vegetables and desserts with fruits that are in season.

Okay now is the time to take a break do some research and rush out to enjoy some soul food at a soul food restaurant near you. Just remember there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, that offer a variety of soul food menus. One word of caution, not all soul food restaurants are created equal.