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Mar 9, 2013 11:40 AM

Whats your favorite kind of party to host?

Do you love planning sit down dinner parties? Having a BBQ with close friends? Do your prefer having everyone over for a sports one ala the Super Bowl? Is it Thanksgiving or another holiday? Is a big fancy brunch?

What do you love and why? What inspires you?

If your terrified of hosting a meal, if it gives you anxiety and overwhelms you tell us about that too.

Me? I love hosting parties and nothing excites me more than planning a great dinner party. From sit down multi course meals to having friends over for dinner and movie on Saturday night nothing makes me happier. From the menu planning, the shopping and the cooking it all gets me going. I am known for having a "signature" cocktail at my parties and that is fun to come up with too.

I also love planning holiday meals. I usually get to host my two favorites-Easter and Thanksgiving. What inspires me about these meals is finding ways to do the traditional but adding a twist.

Oh and the table settings! I have been collecting great things related to the holidays that make my holiday table special. Any time I have friends for dinner it a great excuse for me to break out the "good" china and silver, the fun linens, to splurge on flowers and make my dining room shine.

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  1. No one? I can't be the only one that loves to throw a good party!

    1. Okay - I'll bite. It's complicated as I live in a 2 BR townhouse with not much space. Also all my cooking friends have moved on to different areas in the US to follow their careers. So when I host it is in the eastern part of the state at our house there or my niece's house.

      My favorite that I do every year is our Christmas Eve celebration. I've been doing heavy appetizers for years and the nieces and nephew don't want me to change the menu and go for a meal. They love it - tons of different foods that they request. After a little family time our friends come by to celebrate with us, share the food and consume a little cheer. It's become a tradition over the years with family and friends and is a great time.

      Second favorite is my Mexican fiesta. I do this as my niece's house - she has a fabulous kitchen with which to work. Again this is family - has been a while since the last one and we've been talking about my doing another one soon. I have some fabulous Mexican recipes and everyone loves them. I admit I cheat and order my tamales from a favorite place in AZ - expensive but so worth it. I have everything from achiote pulled pork, tix-n-chix, black bean dip, etc. Haven't made my great recipe for shrimp ceviche as they are squeamish about eating "raw" shrimp - am going to make it next time though.

      Another favorite - cookouts. I make a mean BBQ chicken (my Dad's recipe) - love to make that, throw some kielbasa on the grill near the end with some good sides, etc. Casual fun.

      1. I am only 28 and have slowly been doing more entertaining over the years as budget and time permit. I have done very casual dinners with friends. Usually a large main dish with not a lot of sides. I have done Thanlsgiving dinner for 10-13. I have done cookouts. I have done NYE party with heavy hors d'oervres plus a light buffet dinner. I did one tapas night where we ate in the living room after grabbing te food buffet style.

        I love most of them. I prefer things where I don't have to worry about the timing of all the food. I don't really enjoy the cookout as much even though we do an annual Labor Day party because I don't grill so I at the mercy of my fiancé and his skills. Last night I went to my first proper dinner party as an adult not at my parents house. There were only four of us and the host had followed a French theme through the evening. It was all so elegant and well planned out. I think I want to try my hand next at a dinner party. I don't yet have the dishware I need I pull it off but this is on my list.

        1. My two biggies are the 4th of July and Thanksgiving -- Tgiving ends up being 30-35 people; the 4th (because it's outside with no significant space restrictions) can run to 50-60 or more. Those are a special thing indeed, and having a few months between them is a good thing!

          But I just enjoy entertaining, period, whether it's one other family who drop by and end up staying for an oh-geez-what-do-I-have-in-the-pantry dinner or a 5-course, sit-down affair for 8.

          Some of the best ones have been the last-minute, unplanned version.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunshine842

            As an American abroad, I've ended up doing Thanksgiving now for a few years now. I'm not a huge entertainer, so I really try to go all out to give a little taste of the US and usually there are a number of non-Americans interested in enjoying their first (or second) Thanksgiving.

          2. I enjoy entertaining in a casual way. My house and kitchen are too small to host a big sit-down dinner. So we have big BBQs and parties where I put out tons of appetizers for everyone to snack on and then a buffet spread for the main meal. Everyone takes what they like and then can either eat outside or downstairs in our spacious Man Cave.

            We usually do at least 2 big summer parties a year and host 10-20 on Sundays for football.