Welcome to Party Tip Tuesday! This is a new weekly feature on Moms & Munchkins where we’ll showcase party experts who have some great tips to share. These tips will be about party planning, decoration, etiquette, food and more. This week I’m excited to introduce you to Coryanne from Kitchen Living with Coryanne. Many of you may already be familiar with Coryanne since she’s appeared in More Magazine, Traditional Home Magazine, she’s the co-host of Cooking with Craftsman plus she’s appeared on several daytime TV talk shows and talk radio stations across the US.
Today Coryanne will be sharing some tips with us on entertaining. Have you ever wondered how to keep party food fresh when it’s made the night before the big event? How about some great tips for easy to make appetizers for surprise guests? Coryanne will share answers to these questions and more – so let’s get right to it!
1) When someone asks you “What is Kitchen Living with Coryanne?”, how do you describe it to them?
The blog, Kitchen Living with Coryanne, is an extension of my over all brand that focuses on kitchen living for a modern lifestyle. It is a destination for seasonal inspiration focused on spending time creating a food centric lifestyle. It is where I share my experiences both in my own kitchen through food narrative and lifestyle topics, and my experiences as a Kitchen Living Expert.
The Kitchen Living with Coryanne community is active on Facebook and Pinterest and is a collective destination for sharing ideas via conversation topics on Facebook and pins on Pinterest. It is one of my greatest joys sharing, discussing and growing a community that is passionate about kitchen living for a modern lifestyle and I welcome everyone to participate.
2) When did you know that you had a passion for entertaining?
I have always had a passion for entertaining, my earliest memory is in the kitchen with the women in my family preparing for a 4th of July party. I remember the excitement, the laughter and the memories that evolved out of that celebration. While celebrating milestones is important, I often find that celebrating the ordinary is where the magic happens. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting at a table with friends and family and sharing a meal. For me, the simple act of making people feel welcomed, appreciated and loved is a gift that anyone can provide and is the fuel that ignites my passion for entertaining.
3) What’s your favorite dish to make for a potluck?
Oh the delights of a potluck, it is the one collective experience where everyone can play host and the host can play guest. I always ask the host what they need before deciding on a dish, but when the option is wide open I delight in bringing finger foods like jerk chicken salad wraps, citrus jello wedges or mini sausage rolls.
4) What tips do you have to dress up a dish to make it look even more irresistible?
I find that the trend with food photography makes even the most seasoned home cook second guess their talents. While food styling props create an atmosphere around the dish that inspire you to cook, the truth is that real food in real life is not always as glamorous.
When I create a dish for my friends and family, I want it to look clean, fresh and approachable, and for that reason I accessorize with my pots and serving spoons rather than my styling. Nothing makes real food look amazing more than serving it fresh and ready to eat.
5) What are some great ways to keep party food fresh when you’d like to make it the day before a party?
I love prepping party food and there are so many foods you can make ahead of time and so many that require immediate serving. When planning a party menu, I opt for a combination of the two.
For example, if you are making a slow cooker stew for a winter party, make it the day before with an hour left to cook and then cook it for an hour before you are ready to serve it. This way the stew has time to set, the food is fresh and you can spend your morning taking care of other party essentials.
My one tip for keeping food fresh in the fridge before a party is to clean the fridge, add an open bowl of baking soda to the bottom shelf and then make sure that any foods you do store are stored at the right temperature and in the right storage container.
6) What types of food do you recommend having on hand for surprise guests?
Few foods are genuinely seasonal 12 months out of the year. When food is in season, it tastes better and presents better, making the overall impact of the dish an instant success. When hosting a party, sometimes less is more which is why I always reach for these Mushroom Bites to serve with cocktails as a pre-dinner snack. You can always find fresh seasonal mushrooms and the prep time is minimal.
When stocking your pantry for parties, having a variety of cheese and crackers on hand with the added olives and deli meats is a buffet that no one can resist and that everyone can pull off with little skill or time.
Photo courtesy of Kitchen Living with Coryanne.
We’d like to send a big Thank You to Coryanne for being featured in this Party Tip Tuesday! Be sure to check out the links to her social media accounts (right hand side of Kitchen Living with Coryanne) to keep updated on all of the fabulous ideas she has to share. She has great interaction on her Facebook page and it’s always fun to participate in chats with her & the readers. As for Pinterest, I can only explain her boards as amazing! Honestly, I’ve never seen a more organized collection of boards on Pinterest and all of the ideas there make me want to start planning a party.
Do you have party related questions that you’d like me to ask an expert? Do you have a favorite expert that you’d love to see featured? Please contact me to let me know!