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other recent HOST articles:
o 8 Slick Tools for Mixing Drinks in Style 
Organized Fun!  

o Dress it Up! simple ways to spruce up a meal
o Secrets of the Spontaneous Host

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hosting a divine Dinner party
without losing your mind
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continued from page 2

8 Serve the salad after the main course.
Here’s my recommendation on the best order of presentation for an elegant, non-fussy, multi-course dinner: simple appetizer or fresh baked bread, main course, salad, dessert. The reason for serving the salad afterwards is simple: it’s too easy to fill up on a salad and appetizer … your guests will be too full to adequately appreciate all the effort you’ve put into the entrée. And if you need another reason to stray from the usual: it’s how they do it in Europe, so it adds that extra chi-chi touch.

9 Skip the fancy baked dessert.
At this point in the meal, you’ve impressed your guests enough with your exquisite culinary creations. Give yourself a break and go with a low-prep/no-prep dessert. Ice cream, sorbet, fresh fruit & whipped cream, a nice dessert liqueur even – these are all delectable and elegant sweets that require virtually no effort on your part. If you want to be fancy, you can always get a little creative with the presentation.

o o o o o

Obvious though it may be, the one key essential is that you remember that this is supposed to be fun. You might spill red wine on your pants just as the guests are walking in through the door, your pasta might not be quite al dente, your sauce may turn out a tad too soupy, but in the end, these are all minor details that’ll only spoil the evening if you let them get to you. Smile, relax, and enjoy the party!


check out this related host article: 
dress it up!
simple ways 
to spruce up a meal

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