A Template for Elegant Dinner Party

Considering throwing a home dinner party? Throwing a dinner party is an excellent way to show off your cooking skills and spending time with family and loved ones in an intimate setting, without the added hassle and cost of a high-end restaurant. If you are trying to replicate a fine dining feel at home, there are three things to consider: the decor, the menu planning, and the table settings.

Planning ahead is crucial to pull of an elegant dinner party, but with the right preparation you’ll find that it is well within your ability to stage a formal get-together that rivals the service, atmosphere, and menu of fine dining restaurants. There are several different ways to approach dinner parties, but you are seeking to hold a formal and elegant affair, there are two directions to consider that are accessible for both beginning and experienced hosts.

French cuisine, the original form of fine dining, is a excellent choice to wow your guests with sophisticated and delicious dishes. When serving French food, the natural design is a Parisian theme. A French- inspired menu, while appearing intimidating, is relatively simple to prepare with several components easily prepared in advance. One such menu is cheese board with figs, olives, orange marmalade and baguette to begin, moving to the main course of duck confit, asparagus with aioli, and pommes puree, or mashed potatoes with Gruyere cheese. To finish, a simple apple galette will delight guests. Such a menu is a useful template to play around with different French provincial dishes. A cheese board spread with organic and locally sourced cheese and accompaniments can easily be prepared the day before. Minimizing your time in the kitchen before guests arrive allows you to concentrate fully on the decor.

A Parisian theme dinner party suggests delicate outdoor lights, in silver or twine. Cream fine bone china paired with cream lace napkins gives the table a traditional and romantic touch. Flowers are a must. If you can find cherry blossoms from your local florists, place them in bowls across the table. If cherry blossoms are unavailable, sets of tulips in pastels are a good substitute. Setting the scene outside in a garden or outdoor space will make the gathering seem like guests are sitting outside on a Parisian sidewalk.
Unsure if a French menu and Parsian theme are right for your gathering?

A Tuscan theme is also perfect for a classic evening gathering. Simply switch twine or silver lights for small floating candles placed in small, ceramic bowls of water. You can easily keep cream, fine bone china and add heavy, rustic red napkins to evoke the simplicity of Tuscany. An Italian Tuscan menu will surely impress guests and allow you to capitalize on your present knowledge of Italian cooking techniques. To start, prepare a simple flatbread with chucks of buffalo mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and ripped basil drizzled with a heavy dose of high-end olive oil. As the entree, shrimp scampi; wrapping each jumbo shrimp in prosciutto. A great tip is to buy fresh pasta to elevate the dish. Accompany the dish with a light and peppery arugula salad sprinkled with walnuts and farmers market tomatoes. You can easily whip up a homemade balsamic vinaigrette days before. Finish with roasted plums and peaches drizzled with honey and mascarpone cheese.

These dinner party themes are simple ways to get started party planning, and each theme can be adjusted to your preference and the event’s occasion. When seeking to hold an elegant gathering always remember that the menu is equally as important as the decor: candles, fine table cloths, and the correct playlist can easily transform a simple dinner with friends to a formal and memorable evening.

For more ideas, take a look  here. You’ll find simple but elegant. You’ll find a variety of settings that will inspire you and your guests!

So, what’s the deal with warm champagne? Don’t trash it till you try it!

We drink champagne for just about every occasion we can. Weddings, work celebrations, birthdays, any other reason we deem worthy enough to celebrate. The truth is though, many people do not like champagne. A big reason is they do not like the way that the chill and tingle of the bubbles combine on their taste buds. If you are one of these people, you might want to try drinking the champagne warm next time. There are actually studies that say it tastes better because at room temperature it is actually more bubbly, which means it has more flavor. It might take some adjusting to get used to the warmer temperature, but many people have actually gotten to where they prefer the warmer flavor.

It’s a great mixer!

Champagne can also be mixed with other items as well to create a mixed drink. A lot of people prefer that the mixed drink be made with warm champagne because of the flavor it brings to the drink. For example, a Mimosa is a very popular champagne mixed drink, but sometimes, depending on the temperature and the orange juice, it can be a little sour. One way to fight the sour taste is to mix the drink with warmer champagne, and even warmer orange juice.

That being said, champagne is meant to be a cold drink; however, most people actually end up making it too cold. The target temperature should be between 45 and 50 degrees. This would be equivalent to a water bucket with ice cubes in it. Typically, champagne is put in a bucket full of just ice and the temperature is brought down way lower. This reduces the amount of bubbles which reduces the flavor and makes the drink too cold for many people.

Don’t trash it till you try it!

That’s, right, don’t trash it till you try it. You won’t need to call Waste Focus or another trash hauler to come take away your crates of warm champagne (though you can learn more about them if you like)! But because champagne is meant to be a cold drink, many people hate the idea of drinking it warm. It is kind of taboo. Really, it all boils down to your preference. Do you like your champagne overly chilled, the “correct” temperature, a little warm, or room temperature. How you are drinking it might even influence your preferences as well. Basically, warm champagne is not bad and it will not make you sick like many myths have said. It actually can bring a different flavor and keep the champagne from getting too dry too quick like it might in the refrigerator. If you have not given it a try, you might want to think about it.

Either way, enjoy your champagne warm, cold, or “just right”!

6 Things to consider when matching wines with entrees

You do not have to learn difficult systems to mach a wine and a food. It does not also require being a rocket scientist to figure out how to match wines with entrees. In this article, you will discover some unique tips to help match wines with entrees easily.

Eat And Drink Things Your Desire:

It is a good idea to select a wine that you can drink without any hassle. Hoping that a food match will improve the quality of your selected wine may not be the issue. You will always enjoy what you are drinking even if the match is not perfect. However, a bite of bread or a sip of water between the glass and food may also help in satisfying your curiosity. This principle is also applicable for the food you eat. For instance, if you have anathema for liver, there is no wine match that can satisfy your taste for it.

Pair The Wine To The Most Important Items In The Food:

To fine tune wine parings, this scenario is highly critical. It is expedient to determine the dominant or leading item to get the best result. In most cases, it can be the cooking method, seasonings or the sauce instead of the primary ingredient.

Search For A Flavor Connection:

It can be an endless fun when looking for flavor links to pairing wines. The aroma of the wine may remind you of certain foods in the likes of butter, spices, herbs and fruits. On this note, you can envisage a top-notch pairing by adding items in a food that echo. You can as well make emphasis on the flavors and aromas in a wine after making a link to the food.

Locate The Balance:

Considering the richness, or body, or weight of both the wine and food remain a great way to looking for a balance. The food and wine should be equal companions, with neither surpassing each other. The match will succeed if you are able to balance the two by weight. This remains the secret behind a plethora of elegant food-and-wine pairings.

Consider Texture And Structure:

Studies have revealed that a wine’s ingredients are often balanced. However, there is every possibility to affect the balance for worse or better with the food match. Ingredients in a food can lower or increase the sweetness and acidity of a wine. The bitterness of its tannins can as well be affected.

Age Consideration:

Wines that have lasted for a long time can unleash different flavors and textures. The strength of youth usually subsides as a wine matures. Since the tannins soften, the wine will become more graceful and delicate. As the wine takes on more difficult secondary features, fresh fruit flavors may eventually give to savory and earthy notes.


With this comprehensive information, how to match wines with entrees will no longer be difficult to accomplish. You can give it a try now.

For some more tips on wine pairing, take a look at this video, or follow some great advice from Food & Wine.


Learn How to Eat Sushi the Right Way

Here’s a great little video on eating sushi the right way! More than likely, if you are from the west, you’ve been doing it all wrong.  One reason is, that it tastes so good there’s just no time to stop and learn how to put it in your mouth with any amount of etiquette . And that’s just one problem of the problems we face as Westerners.

Your kids; an important facet of formal dinners

Every now and then, we’d like to plan a formal dinner party with a variety of guests and occasions. You don’t have to send your kids away to your moms or to a sitters house. It’s becoming much more widely accepted to include kids of all ages to be the an important part of the formal gatherings we host. It is authentic, real, natural, communal and holistic.

It is the dream of every parent to create an amicable atmosphere that will leave their guests feeling more at home than ever before; and this couldn’t get even better without the active involvement of kids when entertaining your esteemed guests.It’s true that at times kids can get a bit unruly when guests are around, leaving you with silently clenched teeth and those constant glares at them, whose message, unfortunately, always goes ignored most of the time. So, what do you do to ensure that you’ll always want to give your kids a grateful hug after your visitors’ departure? Here are a few ideas that might help:

It is of utmost importance to let your kids know that you’ll be expecting some visitors. It can only be fair enough to get both yourself and your child prepared, rather than expect them to automatically adapt to the change in the living room once visitors come along. After informing your kids basic dinner etiquette, it will also do you a lot of justice to give them a few guidelines on what you expect them to do such as greet the visitors respectfully, avoid playing and making noise in the presence of the visitors, and a bunch of other simple rules that you think would be important to observe.

Additionally, you might request your kids, depending on their age, to help you in preparing as well as serving the visitors’ refreshments or meal. Many parents will tell you that one of the many things kids enjoy doing is preparing meals with their parents. Not only does this activity prove educational for kids but also acts as a powerful session of bonding with the parent. When It comes time to eat, be sure to remind your kids to observe proper table manners during mealtime.

From the pre-phase, the actual time comes when your visitors will come knocking. Time for action. At this point, it is quite important to retain the usual way you interact with your kids around the house when nobody is around. Kids can be quite sensitive to such matters and you might only get them confused if you tried acting in a more strict manner simply because your lawyer is within the vicinity. Let the whole process of entertaining your visitors seem as natural as it could possibly be.

Finally, your visitors will eventually leave. At this juncture, it’s important to appreciate your kids for what they did right and correct them with love on areas they might have messed. This will enable them appreciate every time somebody visits as an opportunity to extend the warmth and love of the family as naturally as possible.

8 Champagne Serving Facts

You might be flipping corks like they are fireworks but do you know the finer points of champagne consumption?

Here are a few simple things to remember when serving champagne:

When serving champagne, it is polite to present the bottle to the host of the party if its in a restaurant setting with the label facing them so that they can read the bottle.

The same applies also at home, the person who brought the wine should be the first to taste it and also should be the first ones to be served. The glass should be held upright; don’t slant it.

Always fill a third of the glass and not to the rim. To avoid the cork flying and hurting someone, hold it firmly and immediately the muselet is off, twist the bottle. For more cork safety tips, go here.

The host should be the first to make the first toast and afterwards, other guests can make their own toasts. Remember to ask your guests if they need their glasses to be filled before your pour the wine, it shows respect and good manners.

Even though champagne bottles have an indent that’s very deep, it is not advised to pour in the glass with your thumb being placed in the indent.

Pouring the champagne to a glass is an important aspect since if poured incorrectly, it will lose its bubbly taste. To avoid this, hold the bottle at the base with your thumb and spread the fingers along the bottle. Pour against the side of the glass instead of directly into the bottom since this will help it maintain its bubbles.

Since the bottle are stored in dank cellars which are normally not very clean, don’t let the bottle touch the glass when pouring.

Chilling champagne is very easy; you can put it in the fridge for about three hours or place it in a bucket with water and ice. It will only take roughly 30 minutes to chill the bottle. Also keep adding water since it will conduct the cold temperature.

It doesn’t need to breath like red wine does, as long as it has a champagne stopper, it will keep the wine fresh for another day.