Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thinking Thursday - Party Countdown- Part 3 in a Series

Thursdays are for "thinking" out of the box. Together with Yummyday Tuesdays and Why Worry? Wednesdays - Thursdays are a part of the Simple Party Planning Series I am posting this month.

Party Countdown Schedule - if you've been following the entire series - this countdown will help you prepare for your Holiday Brunch

The 10 days to 1 Week Before:
Make a guest list for 5 to 6 couples – what ever your table will comfortably accommodate. For a simple last minute brunch, no need to mail invites. Call, but do not email, your guests.

Look through your kitchen to see what items you have on hand and make a list of what you will need (use LIST below for recipe items.)

Check all dinnerware, crystal and utensils and wash everything that needs it. Use real dinnerware, not disposable for small intimate gatherings – it makes your guests feel important.

Polish any silver you plan to use

Two Days Before:

Survey your front walk and front door, use simple decorations

Iron your linen tablecloth and go ahead and place it on the table.

Set your table with correct place settings, add place cards for an added touch

Set up the food table – See HINT #2, chose what serving dishes and utensils you will need, place on table and label with a post-it note

HINT #1: When setting up the food table, go ahead and place the serving dish and serving utensil needed for each item on the table. Using a note card, label each piece so you know where everything will go. This will allow an early guest to help place food on the table while you are doing last minute things in the kitchen.

HINT #2 - Never deep clean your home before a party. The only time your guests will be alone to take note of your housekeeping is in the guest bathroom. Be sure to deep clean here, but the rest of the house should just get a light cleaning.

Go to the grocery store. (See Shopping List Below)

The Day Before:
Follow the Prep list below:
Slice the oranges into circles, cover and refrigerate
 Chop Red Onion into fine pieces, place is small bowl. Cover – refrigerate

Put capers on a bowl that matches the red onion bowl, cover and refridge

Mix 4oz. Cream cheese with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder

Make the cheese ball - see recipe

Prep the grits, but do not bake yet

Bake the Scones - see recipe

Setup the coffee and tea station - Get the coffee pot ready, set out sugar, stirrers, and cups

Place a carafe for the tea

Chill the champagne

The Morning of:

HINT: If your brunch is set to start at 10:30, go ahead and shower first thing in the morning. Put on work clothes until 9:30, then change. If your party is a late brunch, wait until 1 ½ hour before starting time to shower – you’ll feel refreshed. You need to be dressed 1 hour before start time to ensure you have time to do all last minute details w/o worrying about finishing your makeup!

Make the Russian Tea – See Recipe – When finished, place in carafe

Bake the Grits – once done, leave in warm oven until time

Set out cheese ball so that it can come to room temp.

Place crackers on appropriate tray by the cheese ball

Set out capers, red onion and cream cheese dip

Place additional crackers near the salmon tray

Sautee the onions and garlic for the spinach – reserve for last minute

Bake the bacon IN THE OVEN – Line the pan with parchment paper, preferably on a rack. Be sure to use a pan that has sides to catch the grease.

Cook the Sausage – keep in warm oven until time

Last minute:

Start the coffee

Place Salmon on appropriate tray. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary
 Take grits, sausage and bacon out of the oven and place on table

Pour the lemon glaze on cold scones, and then warm the scones in the microwave

Put the grapes around the cheese ball and salmon for garnishes

Sautee the spinach with the pre-cooked onions and garlic, drain on a paper-towel and add to table.
 Double check that everything is out on the table

Open the front door if you have a storm/screen door

Last check to make sure the bathroom is freshened

Take a last minute look around, put on some lipstick, make yourself a mimosa and enjoy!

Next Thursday.....Final Notes..... For more party planning tips visit The Kendal Companies

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