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How to throw a Christmas party at home, by the team at the A Summer Day Cafe

Ask an experienced entertainer and he'll tell you that one of his favorite parts to throw a Christmas party is not just the party itself, but also the beginning: the ritual of planning, cooking, Curating and serving, which can be exciting and stressful for any host at the same time.

To accompany you through your first (or your next) holiday party, we've partnered with the restaurant's professionals in New York City A Summer Day Cafe for tips on how to celebrate a memorable party without stress , For who better to ask for advice than those who care for hundreds of people every night? Here are two of our favorite hosts with sophisticated strategies that elevate entertainment into an art form.

About Food:

. When it comes to menu planning, more is more!

Even if you have a limited budget, it's better to have more food than too little for your guests, since you want everyone to be satisfied with their food intake with alcohol and alcohol, says Michael Oliver, more culinary Partner at A Summer Day Cafe. Look at this list of simple, healthy appetizers that you can quickly stir up for public gatherings (PS: They do alright Breakfast leftovers ).

. 2 But always anticipate the needs of your visitors.

To be fair, by balancing the amount of food you need (to make sure you're safe enough, but not going beyond that, leaving tons of wasted scraps left over), you feel more like a delicate science than a well-founded guess, but Oliver says one way to help you plan is to ask yourself, "Are your guests big eaters or more a grazing crowd?" Take this note as a way to get your creativity started by writing a menu theme that is satisfying but not overly forgiving.

. 3 Offer a joint meal as an appetizer so your guests can break the ice while preparing the rest of the meal.

For your holiday party, Oliver recommends preparing at least one interactive dish so that people can eat small bites while eating. "I like to raise my guests with home-made salad wraps. My target is Cresent Duck Breasts from Long Island, "he says. He recommends serving them with pickled carrots, cucumbers, spring onions, chicken sauce and some Sriracha for a small kick (the full recipe is below). Another great idea is a cheese and sausage board on which people can fortify themselves. Fill olives and pearl onions with a toothpick and a piece of parma ham from Parma for the perfect bite. Bonus: This also prevents everyone from being in the kitchen while working on hot dishes.

. 4 No matter what's on the menu, think like a cook and be always ready.

Prepare ingredients to freeze them so you're always ready to "whip" something quickly. Some light ingredients for large quantities which Oliver recommends are always labeled bags of chili, broth and even braised meat. Pro Tip: Keeping these items in your freezer will impress your friends when you have spontaneous gatherings.

. 5 Concentrate on one thing only.

A big party should be flowing, and as a host you should not try to do it all at once (honestly, it's impossible). Start the night with snacks that guests can nibble on. Then flatten all the cold sauces and prepare them in the refrigerator. When the protein is ready, plate it and remove the sauces from the fridge. Always have at least one court ready for the end of the party, which you can bring after everyone drinks, says Oliver.

. 6 Instead of disposable paper plates and utensils opt for unique vintage plates and serving bowls.

These antiques or market finds not only make good beginners, they also make the noise of idleness enough fitting sets for a seated dinner. Stack them in a corner of the room for dining in buffet style.

BS-Foto / Getty Images

For drinks:

1. Equip your bar cart or designated bar with timeless items such as glassware, stirring spoons and an ice bucket with tongs so guests can help themselves.

"When you give your guests the opportunity to pour a simple drink, socializing is a good start to a party. It also gives the host the freedom to focus on completing the night's celebrations, "said Matthew Hunter, beverage chief of A Summer Day Cafe, opposite SELF. Pro Tip: A Japanese jigger $ 8, helps with measuring, and mixing glasses is great for cocktails.

. 2 To determine how much alcohol you need for your guest list, it's generally appreciated that your guests drink a bottle of wine each.

Assuming most of your guests are drinking, a realistic approximation may not over-spend you on alcohol. "I think it's wise to think that your guests will drink at least two or three cocktails in an hour, and if you serve Aperol Spritz, you will receive 12 servings for a 750 ml bottle," says Hunter.

. 3 Look for durable acrylic glassware that's good for a crowd.

Aromas are muted in single use plastic cups – not to mention they are lavish – but glass is not the best choice for a party. The solution? Durable, reusable acrylic glassware that you can combine with each other. Try this textured by Crate & Barrel $ 5 each,

4. Do not spend a cocktail lesson and make a point of mixing the drinks of each person.

If you want to be the host (dining) with the most (est), you need to prepare the ingredients for a signature drink for your guests. Rest assured that the recipes below seem complex but understandable enough for everyone. In addition, the minimum ingredients can be easily increased to serve a large amount if you want to make a large amount.

Here are some of Hunter's favorite drinks for a party at home:

Aperol Spritz:


19659031] 3 parts Prosecco

2 parts Aperol

1 part Soda


  1. Pour Aperol and Prosecco into a short Tumbler (also known as
    Rocks Glass ) with ice, then add a dash of soda.
  2. Stir gently to mix, then garnish with half a slice of orange.

Cynar Spritz:


1 oz Cynar (PS: Cynar is a bitter aperitif made with artichokes and has a richer taste for chicory, coffee and chocolate)

1 oz punt e mes

½ oz fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon. lemon

A splash of Fevertree Tonic


  1. Pour cynar, punt e mes and orange juice into an ice-filled stone glass.
  2. Add a teaspoon of lemon and coat with a Fevertree tonic
  3. Stir gently to combine.

Orchard Sour (a mocktail ):


4 oz sparkling cider (such as Duche de Longueville ))

2 parts fresh pink grapefruit juice [19659054] 1 part cinnamon syrup

½ ounces of fresh lime juice.


  1. Mix two pieces of pink grapefruit juice with a portion of cinnamon syrup called a classic tiki syrup Don's Mix.
  2. Shake two ounces of Don & # 39; s mix with half a gram of fresh lime juice.
  3. Strain.
  4. Top 4 oz Duche de Longueville.
  5. Pour into a highball with ice cubes. 19659063] Garnish with a grapefruit decoration over the drink.

And here is a recipe that chef Oliver shares for his famous P Ekin Duck Salad Wraps.


2 Pekin Duck breasts

1 head of Boston Bibb salad

1 cucumber

2 carrots

1 bunch of spring onions

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch Thai basil

Bean Sprouts


Togarashi (a Japanese spice mixture)


Hoisin Sauce

Sriracha Sauce


Duck Cook:

  1. Place the cold duck breast with the skin up on a chopping board.
  2. Using a sharp knife, scratch the skin diagonally, being careful not to cut the meat.
  3. Turn the duck breast around and score in the opposite direction.
  4. Season the duck with salt and Togarashi.
  5. Place the duck skin side-down in a medium-sized pan and start making the duck golden brown.
  6. Cook the breasts and the meat lightly side-down until the desired cooking is achieved.
  7. Remove the duck from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Preparation of trimmings:

  1. Carefully pull apart the bibb salad cups, wash and dry.
  2. Cut all herbs with scissors and place in a bowl of water. Dry all herbs and put them on a towel to dry.
  3. Cut the spring onions into thin slices with a sharp knife and set them aside.
  4. Julienne the carrots and cucumbers with a sharp knife or a Japanese mandolin with attachment.

Setting up:

  1. Arrange julienned vegetables and Bibb salad cups on a plate.
  2. Place the cut herbs, spring onions, bean sprouts and sauces in small bowls next to the plate.
  3. Cut the duck into thin slices and place on a plate
  4. Let your guests craft and enjoy themselves!

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