Since founding of Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor we have hosted several dinner parties. I wanted to share what I learned on being a good host and tips for making your dinner party seamless. Here are my 7 tips for Hosting a Dinner Party, PLUS a *bonus* Ramadan prep e-book I’ve created along with my friends at The Cozy Home Chronicles
Amanda’s 7 Tips For Hosting a Dinner Party
1. Ask About Dietary Restrictions
When invites go out, I include a line asking if anyone has any dietary restrictions. I would prefer to find out about allergies and any preferences ahead of time. This also helps with menu planning and sets the tone of consideration and hospitality before your guests ever arrive.
2. Plan Your Menu and Prep Your Kitchen
I plan my menu at least three days in advance as this allows for two days prior to be shopping for ingredients and one day before I can make desserts. When prepping my menu, I also set out the serving plates and utensils I plan to use for the dinner, so I know exactly where each dish will go. This really helps create a seamless and stress-free kitchen.
Also, if you are planning on making a new recipe during a party, I would advise making it once before 😀
3. Prep Your Home & Set The Table
For me this happens the day before the dinner party. We tidy our home, ensure the garbage and recycling is taken out, bathrooms are clean and any things that need to be replenished are (toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, ect).
I set out the candles I wish to light, water the plants, and sharpen my knives.
I task Hussein with setting the table. This means ironing any linens and laying out plates, utensils and drinking glasses.
4. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
And I mean this one literally. We are a shoe free home and so I purchased these Unisex White Slippers from amazon to help guests feel more comfortable with taking their shoes off, especially during summer months.
We also clear our coat closet so guests have a clear designated place for coats and bags. I also have phone chargers out and available 😀
5. Timeline and Flow of the Party
It is important to make a mental note of how the party will flow. For example, if you have guests over during Ramadan, ensure that the food will be kept warm during prayer time. I do this by keeping my oven on its lowest temperature and keeping my food inside. The salad and other cold items stay in the fridge.
We hosted a Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor during Ramadan and I wanted to be sure our guests had an activity to do, while we prayed. I had a card making station set up with blank cards, markers, stickers and asked if the guests could write letters to children in the hospital. They wrote and decorated several and we mailed them to Cards For Kids This also may be a good activity for older children, post dinner during Iftar gatherings 🙂
After dinner, we have dessert (duh!), and dessert is usually set up on another table. We ensure there are dessert plates and enough utensils set out there too!
Other times, I always prepare an appetizer, that is out for when guests arrive, so they can enjoy a small bite as they wait for other guests to arrive and dinner to be served.
6. Keep Dish Washer Empty
One of my favorite ways to keep my kitchen running smooth during a dinner party is to ensure ALL prep is done at least 2 hours ahead of time. This means everything is chopped and ready to be cooked, and all tools, cutting board have been washed and put away (aside from the cooking vessels).
Keeping your dish washer empty makes it so much easier to clean up post dinner! Your sink will be empty and ready for the dirty dishes to be rinsed off and the dishes will fit right into your dish washer!
7. Have Fun!
This may seem like a no-brainer. If you’re not having fun as a host, chances are your guests aren’t either! I remind myself to not sweat the small stuff and to truly be present and enjoy the people who are sharing their time and energy with me.
Do you have a trick for hosting? Let me low below!
I am excited to share this little e-book for Ramadan, my friend Sammy from The Cozy Home Chronicles created for you. I hope you find some helpful tips in here and for those who celebrate, Ramadan Mubarak!