Monday, May 24, 2010

Hostess Secrets

Even if you are the best hostess in the neighborhood, sometimes you just can't do it all. To be the ultimate hostess, sometimes you have to admit to yourself that you need help.

For all of my parents' recent parties where we have hosted 40 or more people at our family home, we have discovered that the secret to throwing a fantastic party AND actually enjoying it yourself is hiring a little help. For example, a bartender is clutch if you plan on serving anything more complicated than beer and wine. A neighborhood teen or college buddy can make some quick extra cash if they work a few hours serving up martinis and Jack and Coke. This also allows a bit more portion control on the booze, saving some pennies, and hiring them instead of a professional means cheaper for you, too.

The other big coup is a caterer. My mom and dad are amazing, amazing cooks, but sometimes they really want to be able to enjoy their own party, too! For my brother's graduation party, my mom made about half of the party food herself, and then used a fabulous caterer to make some of the larger dishes.

I am sure you are thinking, yeah right, a caterer costs a bajillion dollars. Well, think first about how much it'd take you to make, say, a huge pasta salad dish yourself. Sure, the pasta is cheap, but what about in bulk for 50? And with all the other ingredients, and making a dressing for it all. And buying a huge serving platter to hold it. Plus the time it'd take to do all that. And that's just one dish. Hmm, no longer very cheap.

Laura, aka the Sophisticated Sardine, is our fav caterer. Based in Roswell, GA, Laura happened upon the world of catering when she was called in to help out a friend in need at the last second for a party. From there, her business has grown into one famous in the local teacher and school circuits, and I wanted to tell you about her today in case you are going to be throwing a big shower or other affair this summer and might want some help. Plus, she is just the nicest person, so you will love working with her.

You will want to try everything off her catering menu. If you are wondering where to start, try the Shrimp and Vermicelli Salad. Oh my goodness. It's chock full of veggies and huge shrimp, and covered in a creamy yet light dressing. Ah-mazing. The strawberry salad with brown sugar walnuts and feta is another local favorite. All of her salads are $2-6 per person, depending on your party's size. 

Not throwing a party? Laura also cooks dinners for families of 4, each priced at $16.50.  Some of the selections are Cooking Light or Weight Watchers, so you can enjoy some tasty food even while watching your waistline. The lasagna and enchiladas are fantastic. We have gotten them frozen from her so you can just take them out on a busy night and put them straight in the oven.

Last, if you are just looking for some sweet gifts (literally), try her loaded toffee. $13 of insane chocolatey goodness. I am making my own mouth water thinking about it.

Do you know any other local caterers that you can share here? You never know when you or a friend might need a recommendation for the next big soiree!


The Mailman said...

I really kind of hoped this post would be about the snacks- you know, Ho-Hos, Ding-Dongs, Twinkies. Hostess Secrets. HOW DO THEY MAKE THEM KATHERINE

Unknown said...

If you're ever in need of a bartender, two of my favorites are always looking for side jobs. Also love the Fancy Pantry for affordable quality catered food!

Unknown said...

Colin, how could I have forgotten those details?! I will research and get back to you.

And Ari - thanks! I know you have the best hookups in that industry!!