Dinner Party Place Setting

There are a lot of ways to set the table for your next dinner party.

Casual, Formal, European.

It can be elaborate or simple depending on your style and theme.

Here's the basic place setting I use and you can build from there.

I like to use chargers and/or placemats. Forks go on the left, knives on the right. Be sure to use the dishes that are appropriate (i.e. salad plate, bread plate, spoons, bowls) depending on what you are serving.

Also offer wine glasses and a water glass.

For a more formal feel, I put the napkin on the plate but this can easily be switched up and placed under the knife.

Hosting a Super Bowl Party

Or any sport-themed party!

Sports parties always call for the classic bar food and drinks. We hosted this year's Super Bowl party and it went off without a hitch. Here's how I did it.

1. Set the Menu - of course Super Bowl parties remind me of fried, bar snacks and dips. I brought the deep fryer out of storage and used a few crock-pots to keep food warm throughout the night.

Make sure to put out condiments for all the different snacks including marinara sauce, ketchup, mustard, etc.

2. Prepare for your guests by setting up the living room with enough seating for everyone. Set up a projector screen if you're really intense, we did! 

3. Set up the table - I highly recommend using tablecloths especially with messy foods like chili, meatballs, and dips. It will save you so much time during clean up. Position those messy foods at the edge of the table so no one spills all over the table when making their plate. 

Also set up a beverage table with beer and wine on ice, bottled waters, soft drinks, cups, glasses and an ice bucket. Don't forget the bottle openers. Everyone can help themselves without having to go into your fridge or cabinets.

4. Time to prepare the food! Choose your platters and label them with sticky notes so everything is ready to go when the food is prepared. Most of the menu needs to be served hot/warm but do as much as you can beforehand like any prep work. I also staggered some of the food so everything wasn't cold by halftime. This will take away from you watching the game but if you're like me, I'd rather cook than watch football! If you prefer to stay out of the kitchen during your party, I'd suggest food that can be served room temperature.
Chicken wing dip stuffed jalapeno poppers