Cooking at a party is always going to be stressful. You invite your friends over, you want to enjoy your time with them, but you always want to impress them with your amazing culinary skills, and make sure they are well fed. Sadly throwing a dinner party typically means you'll be the one in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys the party, occasionally seeing your head pop out of the kitchen while you bring them delicious food. To make the most of your own party - and keep stress levels at a minimum here are my top tips.
1: Buy in bulk. There are lots of website where you can buy food in bulk, COOP style places, some are membership only, some will only do businesses, and some you can order from yourself. Buying in bulk will save you money, give you plenty of left overs, and allow you to get fresh and good quality food while feeding multiple people.
2: Pre prepare everything that you can. Do whatever you can days in advance. If you can precook certain items and freeze them - then do it. If you can chop the veg the day before then get that done too. Anything that will save you time on the actual day, you're going to be very thankful for later. And the less time you spend chopping and preparing - the more time you can spend sleeping in and joining in on the party.
3: Get as much help as you can. Unless the challenge of the party is to cater it 100% yourself [like a come dine with my style event] then get some help. This doesn't need to be paid help. It can be friends making and baking treats for the party. It can be hiring a cleaner for after the party. Take out as much of the stress as possible. You'll be thankful you did when the party is over!
4: Make simple meals! Don't go too crazy with the meals. Keep them as simple to prepare and make as possible. At the end of the day you don't want to be putting together individual bits of the meal that are fiddly to put together. Remember that amazing quality food does half the work for you. Simple great flavours go a long way to making a great meal that will impress your party goers.
5: Be careful when scaling up recipes. Read up and see what you can scale up. Certain things should scale up fine with no issues but its always worth double checking and looking up the recipe online to see if all the ingredients scale up to the level that you want. You may need to make some recipes in smaller batches.