Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Chrystina’s Mom

Party Hosting Tips from Chrystina Noel's Mom, Debbie, including how she got started, recipes, tips, and tricks.

In month’s featured hostess for Great Party Tips series I’m featuring one of my favorite people, my mother! I had to get my love of hosting parties somewhere, right? Well it all started with her while watching her host family events. That said, this was the first time I’ve really asked some of these questions, so it was great to hear the answers. (And now I have all that go-to advice from mom written down so I can google it later.)

Tell us about your party-hosting style.

Everything needs to be in place for the first course when company arrives. Dishes and serving utensils for the following courses are laid out. I like to be totally prepared.

Where did your love of party planning begin?

I went on maternity leave one month after we moved into our new home. The kitchen was huge and ideal for entertaining. My husband (your Dad) travelled a lot and I passed my time by planning get-togethers and trying new recipes.

What are your go-to appetizers?

I dislike appetizers, I think that they take away from the main course. I would rather serve an antipasto or serve shrimp cocktail rather than appetizers. However … I realize that there are times when you need appetizers due to timing. At times like this, I like bacon wrapped pineapple, spinach dip with water chestnuts and clam casino dip.

What are your go-to entrees?

Manicotti served with Meatballs, Italian Sausage, and Braciola in a homemade tomato sauce. I have recently served Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Chicken Marsala, and Chicken Cacciatore. I like these entrees because everything is ready before company arrives.

What are your go-to desserts?

Tiramisu – lady fingers soaked in coffee and Kahlua then layered with mascarpone cheese and heavy cream – Heaven!

What are your go-to beverages?

I went to a bridal shower at Tony Di Napoli’s in New York City. They served white Sangria that was light, sweet, and fruity. The waitress showed us how they made it and White Sangria has become one of my favorite drinks. I also like a fruit punch served with sherbet and ginger ale. It is refreshing and looks festive.

What do you usually bring to a potluck?

I prefer making desserts. Tiramisu, Scandinavian Almond Bars, and Epicurious Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding.

Do you decorate for the festivities?

I enjoy setting the table so it looks festive and welcoming. Name tags with a little favor for each person is always a nice touch.

Tell us about the best party you ever hosted.

I wanted to try something a little different for a Fathers’ Day Luncheon. I had recently travelled to Savannah Georgia and brought back a gift pack of different flavored honeys from the Savannah Bee Company. For dessert, I set up a tasting station with the different types of honey with a card that explained each variety and the undertones of flavor in each. They were paired with chocolate, green apple and sour dough bread. Even though there were many desserts, everyone tried all of the varieties of honey. It was something different!

What’s your biggest hostess challenge?

Having everything ready and the house clean when the first guest walks in the door.

What’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party hostess?

Relax and enjoy the moment – that’s the reason you are entertaining in the first place.

Don’t forget to check out the tips and tricks of some of my other favorite party hostesses below!

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Chrystina NoelChrystina Noel Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring DebbieChrystina’s Mom Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Jessica from Sweet Love and GingerSweet Love & Ginger
Tips to be a great party hostess featuring Beth from Recipe for SuccessRecipe for Success Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Brigette from Brigette I Design
Brigette I Design
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Heidi from Parties for Pennies
Parties for Pennies
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Sarah from Pretty Providence
Pretty Providence
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Andy from Plum Deluxe via Chrystina NoelPlum Deluxe

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