We all know them: the people we truly love but who are extremely picky eaters. We’re not talking about people with genuine allergies or intolerances. Catering for them might be a challenge, but it should always be a joy to help people eat something that’s good for them. Today we’re talking about people who just have very specific tastes. When you’re planning a dinner party this can pose a challenge but we’re here to help. Read on to find our tips for catering for everyone at your table.
1. Serve a range of dishes
This almost goes without saying, but it’s the key to pleasing your guests. Serve a wide range of smaller dishes rather than one large dish. If you’re serving something spicy, make sure you have something milder to serve alongside it. Try serving some basic foods such as bread or rice with your dishes.
2. Put sauces and dressings on the side
Instead of dressing your salads or covering dishes in sauces, serve them on the side. This way your guests can make their own decisions about the flavors on their plates. Serve hot sauce for those who love things spicy and a cooling yogurt or mayo for those who like everything to be creamy. Put out dressings that work well with each element of your meal so that guests can mix and match.
3. Ask guests to bring dishes along
This is a great way to lessen the stress of entertaining, but it works especially well if you know you have guests with different needs. Ask them to bring along one of their favorite dishes and you’ll know that there’s at least one thing for everyone there.
4. Create dishes that encourage building your own meal
If you don’t want to serve a huge range of different dishes, try cooking something that can be different for everyone at the table. Tacos or burritos work well for this because guests can choose their own fillings. You could create a salad bar for your diners to choose from. You could serve a dish like raclette where the diners even get to cook their meals to their liking.
5. Make trying new things part of the fun
Of course, you want your guests to go away from your meal satisfied, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage them to step slightly out of their comfort zone. Maybe start with an appetizer of unusual meats or cheeses, or even ask guests to bring along the most unusual ingredient that they can find for you all to sample.
6. Dish up a great dessert!
Almost no-one is fussy about dessert. Serve up a showstopper along with some basics like ice cream and chocolate truffles you’ll satisfy even the pickiest eaters. It’s all the last part of the evening, so they’ll remember your fabulous dessert even if the rest of the meal wasn’t so great for them.
Overall, try not to worry too much. Even if there is are picky eaters at your table they are there because they love you. All they really want is to enjoy your company, so enjoy theirs and don’t put too much pressure on making your meal a success.
If you’re anything like us, you love throwing a dinner party!
Today we’re giving you our tips for hosting a fun soirée. If you’ve never cooked for a group, or you want to tackle a meal with several courses, read on to find out how to make it possible.
1. Plan your menu with plenty of time to spare
If you’re serving several courses then you’ll want to make sure that you plan ahead. Give yourself time to pick up all of your groceries. Try to plan so that you can make almost everything ahead of the party. You want to be able to spend time with your guests and enjoy their company instead of being stuck at the stove. If you can pre-make everything then you’ll just need to warm, finish and garnish your dishes on the night. Make sure that you check if your guests have any dietary requirements so that you can cater to them.
2. Enlist your guest’s help
Your guests are coming for a dinner party but they aren’t expecting you to do everything! Ask your guests to bring along a dish or a side. You could ask someone to bring the salad course or a side dish to go with your carefully selected main. If you’re happy to cook the food but need some help with the entertainment, you could ask a guest to bring along a board game or even create a quiz for you all to play.
3. Mix your guests up
Don’t be afraid to mix people from different parts of your life. Sometimes it’s easy to stick to the same group of friends or to only meet with family but it’s fun to host diverse groups who might not have met each other before. If you think your sister might get along famously with your colleague or you want your best friend to meet your partner’s best friend then get them together for a dinner party!
4. Plan drinks that add to the fun
Whilst a good bottle of wine on the table is great for a dinner party, you might want to start with a round of cocktails. You could even provide your guests with ingredients and start with a competition to make the best cocktails. If you can start with great drinks and encourage your guests to get to know each other then you have time to complete your last minute preparations.
5. Think about dishes and flatware
If you’re serving several courses, you need to make sure that you have enough dishes to serve all of them without frantically washing up between each course. You could get creative with smaller dishes like ramekins or large wooden boards for sharing courses if you don’t have enough traditional plates and bowls. You can also hire dishes to use for the occasion or even ask your guests to bring some along. The same goes for glasses. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but do check ahead of time so that you’re prepared.
Have we inspired you to plan a dinner party? Let us know what you’re planning in the comments!
If you’re anything like us here at Shisler’s Cheese House, you love entertaining. We’re always looking for great new ways to share food and fun with our friends and family.
If you haven’t had a Raclette dinner party yet, then today we’re here to tell you why this might be your next big hit.
What is Raclette?
Raclette (ra-klet) is a semi-firm, salted cheese made from cow’s milk. It originated in the Swiss canton of Valais, but is today also produced in the French regions of Savoie and Franche-Comté.
The term raclette derives from the French racler, meaning “to scrape”. Raclette cheese is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners’ plates.
What is the history of Raclette?
Raclette is mentioned in medieval writings and was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or “roasted cheese.” Traditionally, the Swiss cow herders used to take the cheese with them into the mountains. They would cook it by the campfire and scrape it onto bread.
How can we enjoy it at a dinner party?
These days, you don’t have to go into the mountains or start an open fire to enjoy Raclette around the dinner table. Electric table-top grills with small pans make the job of melting the cheese easy and fun. Each guest fills their small pan, known as a coupelles, with cheese and melts it before adding it to their plate.
What should it be served with?
This is where you can let your imagination run wild! Anything that you think might be delicious with cheese could be tried, but there are some classics that are essential for a Raclette party:
- Small boiled potatoes
- Sliced vegetables including carrots, peppers, celery, mushrooms and any other favourites
- Sliced fresh bread
- Meats or seafood
Whilst the cheese is melting in the coupelles, guests can cook their meat or seafood to their liking on the top of the grill. They can even throw the vegetables on to cook them slightly or crisp the potatoes up. The beauty of this is that everyone can select what they would like to eat and how they would like to eat it.
You can also serve apple slices, to cut through the sweetness, and other treats that you might usually serve with cheese.
Could I serve other cheeses?
What drinks should I serve with Raclette?
A white wine is a great choice to pair with Raclette. A Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio would all work well. You could also serve a light wheat ale or a fruity Pinot Noir for red wine lovers.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some supplies and you could be hosting the dinner party that will have all your friends hoping for a second invite!
How do you serve your Raclette? What are your top dinner party tips? Let us know in the comments!