THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON THE LOUDOUN HOMEOWNER,
WRITTEN BY ALINA SHTEYNBERG AT UNION3SIXTY5.

food-salad-dinner-eatingSummer is here and the time is right for throwing a relaxing and fun filled backyard BBQ – right?  If this brings back some sweat drenched memories, then our Top 5 Tips are just the antidote to turn you from a harried host to the happy host you were meant to be! Read on to be as chilled as your Rosé…

 

1. Know Your Audience

We all have our favorite go to dishes, things we love cooking and eating (or just eating!) You might prefer spicy and garlicky but not everyone you know might like to breathe fire or enjoys being able to chase away vampires with a single exhale. One marking of a great host is to cater to your guests.

We don’t mean going overboard and following every vegan/gluten/pescatarean in your crowd. What we mean is knowing their general likes and dislikes.

  • Are some of your guests adventurous eaters? If so, feel free to break out the exotic ingredients and trendy flavors of the moment (turmeric, anyone?)
  • Are your guests more meat and potato lovers that consider salt and pepper sufficient spices? If that’s the case, have something that won’t send them running for their smartphones to identify what you are serving.
  • Will there be children? While some kiddies these days do have sophisticated palates, there’s nothing wrong with having one child friendly hit.  In our experience, plainer is better and pizza, chicken fingers or hot dogs may be the fastest way to a child’s heart (and stomach).

2. Plan Your Menu

Now that you have an idea of what kind of food your guests enjoy, it’s time to plan the menu.  Start with drinks and appetizers and then the main course and desserts.

This involves not just figuring out what to make but how much to make of it. Also consider, how many plates, glasses and utensils you will need to make it through the party without you running a panicked dash to the store or resorting to breaking out your fine china because you ran out of paper party plates.

What Should You Make?

Aside from guest preferences, take these things into consideration

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