Our guest blogger and Katrina Lander @fitnessfodmap_ guest edits this blog post for Cole & Mason UK.
Spending much of my spare time hosting is one of my favourite things to do. I get such an enjoyment from being able to have all my friends/family around one table, and you can’t deny that feeling of achievement when someone really enjoys your food.
When hosting there are a few things that I consciously try to stick to, as I want to make it as enjoyable as possible, not just for my guests but also myself, and two, I host to be able to spend time with the people I have around my table, not to watch from a distance in the kitchen! So here are my top tips...
Firstly, be sure to ask about any ingredients your guests are allergic/intolerant to, and don’t forget to ask if there are any ingredients they don’t enjoy. There’s nothing worse than making a mushroom risotto, to then find out on the day one of your guests doesn’t eat mushrooms… I think we’ve all been there!
I like my food to link together, I usually come up with one dish that I know I want to make, I will then look at what other dishes/courses to make to go with it - i.e., if I’m cooking fish for main, I tend to follow with a lemon-based dessert as I know these two ingredients go well.
In my opinion, it’s such a key component to hosting, and ensuring you spend as much time with your guests as possible. I much prefer choosing one or two dishes (usually starter and/or dessert) that can be made in advance, leaving little to do for when your guests arrive.
Some recipes may not be possible to make from start to finish in advance, however many recipes can be part-made and finished before serving – these are my go-to.
Cook in season
Buying in season has great benefits, you get the best flavour (think super sweet strawberries) along with perfectly ripe produce, it helps the environment and is more nutritious.
Don’t forget your nibbles
I’m not sure about you but I do love nibbles! There’s no need to go over the top, but some crisps/olives/peanuts always go down a treat.
This one depends on who you’re hosting for, and for what occasion, however I love a decorated table. For me it’s those little touches that make a difference. It doesn’t have to be expensive – pick some flowers from your garden to place in the centre of your table, fold your napkins in a ‘fancy’ way, if it’s for someone’s birthday tie up balloons or have them loose, scattered over the floor.
Finally, be present and enjoy it!
The Cole & Mason Gold Derwent Salt and Pepper Mills set go perfectly on our table, here it is, paired perfectly with the Duo Oil Pourer.