Thanks to the contributing Blogger Carolyn Knight for this wonderful article. She is a writer from Austin, TX and wanted to do a guest post on this blog. From a Healthy Grocery List Down to Actual Food Preparation – A Guide to a Perfect Home-Cooked Meal It is always a pleasure to have guests around the house. When you need to entertain people or simply have a little get together with the family, it always gives you the opportunity to show off your kitchen prowess. Nothing beats enjoying a sumptuous feast among friends and family. And, don’t worry, a home-cooked meal doesn’t have to be ornate to be delicious. There are tons of easy meals that you can prepare that will both satisfy and delight your guests.
So, how should you structure your meal? Here, we lay down the guidelines for any great meal, ensuring that your dinner runs smoothly from start to finish.
Aperitif Traditionally, an aperitif marks the start of the meal. An aperitif is an alcoholic drink strategically served to guests in order to stimulate their appetite. Dinner hosts usually shoot for wines that are crisp, fresh and young to kick off the meal. Try to stay away from serving full-bodied red wines.
Appetizers or Hors d' Oeuvres Starters, snacks, or finger foods are usually served before the main course of the meal. These appetizers will give your guests something to munch on, while you finish things up in the kitchen. Prepare something that is simple and doesn’t take too much time to put together. A simple cheese plate and some nice cold cuts with a baguette could do the trick or maybe even some deviled eggs.
Main Course This part of the meal is usually very challenging, especially when it comes to selecting a great dish that all of your guests will enjoy. There are several factors you have to consider.
First, how many guests will you be entertaining? If there are quite a lot of people coming over, you will need to prepare something that you are capable of cooking while being responsible and sociable host. When you are serving food for 1 or 2 people, then the sky is the limit! You can prepare a more intricate dish while still entertaining your guests.
The second thing to consider is the time of the year. The secret to a successful dish is to acquire the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. You can check to see what foods are in season in your region on this seasonal ingredient map. The Food Network offers lots of seasonal recipes that could help give you some inspiration. Dessert Not everyone has a sweet tooth, but what’s a meal without dessert? This course is way more convenient for the busy host/hostess, since he/she can prepare most desserts ahead of time. Try a classic chocolate cake, chocolate tart, carrot cakes, and much more.
Carrot CakeDigestif or Coffee This closes the meal. A digestif usually contains bitter herbs that are believed to be helpful for proper digestion. Some examples include coffee, whisky, tequila, etc. After all is said and done, you can give yourself a pat on the back and send your guests off happy and fulfilled.