Carrying out a Dinner Party Theme

Carrying out a Dinner Party Theme

 Last, but not least, part three of my interview by Bonjour Events for Dinner Party tips. We asked Cindy Zuccarino of Ciao Tavola how she tastefully carries out a dinner party theme for her clients.  Below is a great excerpt from her interview.  Theme dinners are fun.  It is important however, to keep the decorations tasteful.  You don’t want your guests to think they are at the local amusement park or at your child’s birthday party. Once I hosted a fundraiser dinner – the theme was “A Trip to Italy”.  The handmade invitations (your guests will appreciate the creativity and effort) were written in Italian, thanks to my Italian mother-in-law. I also included an English translation.  Upon arrival, my guests were treated to Prosecco and Italian-style appetizers.  After 45 minutes, I summoned them to the family room where I had an opera singer waiting to serenade them for the next 45 minutes.  The singer was a complete surprise! Dinner was served on my Deruta place settings…all the while, opera CD’s were playing softly in the background.  We finished the evening on the terrace enjoying my homemade Tiramisu and coffee. Your dinner party can be whatever you make of it; it just depends on how much energy you invest.  Remember…the idea is to have fun!

Preparing for a Dinner Party

Preparing for a Dinner Party

In 2008, I was interviewed by Bonjour Events for Dinner Party tips. Here is part one. Two and three, coming soon.

Prepping for a dinner party is never an easy task. We asked dinner hostess Cindy Zuccarino of Ciao Tavola: What are five things every hostess can do to feel more prepared for her next dinner party?

*  When creating your guest list, consider who you are inviting…make sure there are not underlying problems.  If you know there will be a couple/people who do not know the other guests, think ahead for a common thread.  It is up to the hostess to make sure everyone feels included.

*  Try to come up with a general menu at least a week ahead of time.

*  Learn from your mistakes!  If something did not work before (food, people, conversation), do not do it again.

*  Create a general “to do” list.  Try to think of everything, especially things that don’t have to do with the food like reserving the babysitter, taking the dogs to the kennel, etc.

*  Make a mental note of a rough time-table for the evening…how long will cocktails take, at what time should the guests be seated, etc.

And most importantly, be flexible, relax, and always have a good sense of humor!

 

Elegant Way to Chill Wine or Champagne

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A beautiful way to chill wine/champagne.  Perfect for dinner or holiday parties. Use different decorations for your occasion. For example, I used Fall leaves for my Thanksgiving mold. Valentine’s Day? Hearts/red beads. Halloween? Add ghosts/pumpkins/skeletons. Christmas? ornaments/gold string beads. You get the picture. Also, seasonal foliage adds nature’s beauty. Be creative and have fun!

Items you will need:

  • 5 qt. ice cream bucket
  • 2 liter plastic bottle (cut away top 1/3)
  • weights to keep plastic bottle steady (rocks)
  • decorations of your choice.

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 First step:

  • place plastic bottle with weights in middle of ice cream bucket
  • fill bucket (not plastic bottle) with water
  • insert decorations/foliage/berries in water – this may take some work as branches are not always cooperative. be patient.

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Second step:

  • place finished mold in freezer.  let freeze 24 hours
  • remove from freezer. wiggle and remove the 2 liter plastic bottle. pour warm water outside the ice cream bucket to help loosen the mold.
  • insert bottle and chill away!

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Third step:

Place in shallow bowl to capture water as it will melt eventually. CHEERS!