The holidays are coming and it’s time to start thinking about entertaining. We all love a great party but face it — planning it can be overwhelming. Well don’t stress. We are going to share with you ideas and tips in a four-part entertaining series that will make you the superstar of entertaining and allow you to feel like a guest at your own party.
When we plan parties for our clients we love to focus on the details because that’s where the love is and those are the things that will set you apart and take your party from good to glamorous. The three must have for a successful and memorable party is fantastic food, awesome atmosphere and decor. Let’s delve right in and start with the food.
Yummy Drinks and Eats
Aside from the atmosphere and decor, the most vital aspect of your party is the food. This is definitely a make or break deal with your guests. We tapped one of our favorite caterers Yvening Event Planning & Catering, LLC to share tips, drinks and delectable dishes that will impress your guests.
Champagne & Desserts Soiree
A sexy modern approach to holiday entertaining. Let’s deck the halls by serving champagne, sparkling wines, prosecco, or even aperitifs. DIY Detail: One bottle equals 6 servings. Blend aguas frescas and flavored syrups for mixing, let your guests have fun and create their own specialty drink. Create and design a dessert bar with petite desserts, fancy chocolate, champagne grapes, and gourmet cookies.
Aguas Frescas: Liquefy in a Blender:
Fresh Peaches or Fresh Strawberries or Fresh Mangos or Fresh Oranges (rinse & remove skins, seeds, and leaves)
· 1 cup of Sugar
· Bottled Water, 32 ounces
Flavored Syrups: Boil in a Sauce pan:
Fresh Mint or Fresh Ginger or Fresh Cinnamon Sticks (rinse)
· 1 cup of Sugar
· Bottled Water, 32 ounces
· Serve at room temperature.
Winter Vineyard Social
A country chic classic celebration. Seasonal delicacies like figs, dates, warm chestnuts, and dried cranberries pair well with wine. Ask couples to bring their special brand with a recipe for romance! Serve Root vegetable stew offered with Filet mignon or Cornish game hen, Yvening pumpkin & shrimp bisque, Artisanal bread, Neo soul pecan pie, and Warm orange cinnamon tea. DIY Detail: Keep your oven on during the party at 165 degrees for warming. Dazzle your guests with a wine flight and sparkle with flair!
Yvening Pumpkin & Shrimp Bisque
1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock
Pinch saffron threads (about 24)
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion (about 8 ounces), coarsely chopped
4 fresh bay laurel leaves, torn, or 2 dried
3 3-inch springs fresh sage
2 cups pumpkin purée, fresh or canned
1/2 cup heavy cream
About 3/4 teaspoon salt, less if using canned stock
Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1. Shrimp stock: Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells. Cover the shrimp and refrigerate. Heat the olive oil in a medium (3-quart) heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the shrimp shells to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn deep orange and are just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. This step—pan roasting the shells—gives the stock much of its flavor, so take the time to do it carefully. The roasted shells should release a concentrated, toasty, shrimp aroma that will fill your kitchen. Add the wine to the pan, first turning off gas flames to prevent the alcohol from igniting, then boil it over medium heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the chicken stock, saffron, celery, onion, bay leaves, and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Partially cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pushing down on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Rinse out the saucepan and pour the stock back into it.
2. Soup: Whisk the pumpkin, cream, salt (omit if using canned stock), and cayenne into the shrimp stock. Bring the soup to a simmer, and then cook very gently uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and season with black pepper and more salt if needed. (The soup can be made up to this point up to 1 day ahead store covered in the refrigerator. Keep the peeled shrimp in a resealable bag buried in a bowl of ice in the refrigerator).
3. Finishing the soup: Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan placed over medium heat. When hot, add the reserved shrimp and sage and cook, tossing often, until the shrimp is just cooked through, pink, and no longer translucent, but not curled into a circle, 2 to 3 minutes. They should still have a tender snap when you bite into them. Arrange the shrimp in warmed serving bowls or a tureen. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then ladle it over the shrimp. Serve right away.
Substitute winter squash purée, such as butternut or acorn, for the pumpkin.
Now if you are a novice and not sure if you can pull this off then by all means please call Yvette Planning and Caterer and they will be most happy to assist you.
Why not make it completely effortless and hire Yvette Planning and Catering. Hiring a personal chef is trending pretty high these days.