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perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Appetizers, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on June 6, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten

Well last week was filled with activity. Monday night a dinner in honor of our visiting floral design presenters. Thursday morning a surprise birthday brunch at our house for my husband’s entire office. Saturday night- cocktails and a buffet for Dave’s actual 60th birthday.

Three parties, three menus, three guest lists, three centerpieces… When the last dish was put away my husband marveled that I must have been planning for months. No joke!

Seriously there is a direct correlation between the amount of pre-planning and prepping and the relative ease with which your party will come off. Best to make a list, check it twice and see what you can do weeks, days and hours in advance.

When throwing multiple parties I like to double my bets. If the guest lists are completely different then you can virtually serve up the same menu. If there is some overlap consider how the same key components can be used in different dishes or courses. My freezer is my entertaining treasure trove.


Last month I made a marathon batch of pistachio pesto. Monday night I pulled it out for pistachio pesto with grilled shrimp. Saturday night I tossed it with fusilli as a side dish to the beef tenderloin on the buffet.

Cheddar cheese tartlets

Cheddar cheese tartlets made an encore performance. These delectable bites are a bit time consuming to make so make sure you pick a day well in advance when your calendar is light.

key lime tarts

Key lime tarts were made way in advance. Birthday candles were put in right before serving.

hot sausage appetizers

And what birthday bash would be complete without my husband’s favorite- hot sausage appetizers.


The bar is as easy one, two three. Just stock it for the total amount of guests.


The same goes for the wine and beer.


One stop shop and replenish from your stock as needed.

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