Maybe your parents are hosting an engagement party. Maybe you’re hosting a lunch for your attendants. Maybe you’re having a post-wedding dinner for family and friends to thank all those who helped you pull off your perfect wedding. Here are a few small and easy touches that will make a difference and delight your guests.
Flavourful ice cubes
Half fill your ice cube trays with water and freeze. Now set in a mint leaf or a cherry or an olive. Fill the tray with water and freeze. Voila! Ice cubes ready to make your guests smile with delight as they accept their pretty drink.
A quick and easy appetizer. Cut an English cucumber into rounds one inch deep. Remove the centre of each round and replace with finely chopped shrimp or chicken with celery and flavoured mayonnaise.
Buy inexpensive shot glasses and fill with a rich, creamy cold soup, such as strawberry or vichyssoise. It is a sipping treat that will surprise and please your guests. This cold strawberry soup recipe makes four cups: Blend 16 ounces hulled, fresh strawberries, one cup light sour cream, half cup of milk, quarter cup sugar and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Chill.
To keep shrimp cold for a long time: Put a small bowl in the centre of your shrimp serving dish. Add an inch or two of water to the serving dish and put in the freezer. Remove when frozen and cover the ice with plastic wrap or foil. (The shrimp may stick to the ice.) Heap the shrimp on the platter and fill the bowl with your shrimp sauce. The ice will keep the shrimp firm and cold throughout a long party.
Egg shell treat
Take the top off your egg shells and pour off the raw yolk and white. (Save for omelettes on another day.) Simmer the empty shells in water. Dry off. Fill with egg salad. Top with a mint leaf, parsley or caviar. Serve with tiny spoons.
Wine glass reminders
People set their wine glasses down and then forget which is theirs. Cut circles from craft paper about the size of the base of the stem. Use a hole punch to cut a hole in the centre. Slice into the hole with scissors so you can slip them on the base of a stemmed wine glass. Everyone will know which glass is theirs (no matter how much they have imbibed!).
Place mat / cutlery holder
Use any material that needs no sewing, such as felt. Cut the place mats to your preferred size (often 12″ x 18″). Now, with an exacto knife, cut two parallel lines, one inch apart, that are inset about an inch from the outside edge of the mats. Cut these two parallel lines at each side of the place mat. Two forks can slide in on the left side and knife and spoon can slide in on the right side.
Dress up your rolls
Buy ordinary bakery rolls, such as Parker House rolls, melt dark chocolate and drizzle over the rolls for a treat that looks pretty and tastes pretty good, too.