Tips for entertaining from Ina Garten

trayI was watching Friends last night, and I saw the episode after Ross and Emily's wedding.  If you rememeber, The party after the wedding had a buffet that served steak.  A clever humorous moment had Joey standing in the middle of the room eating a steak with his hands like beef jerky.  It made me wonder, is there a correct way to entertain if you do not have enough seating?  Can you in fact, properly throw a dinner where the guests are allowed to eat on the couch with their plates on their laps?  Obviously, I knew steak wouldn't be the best choice for a casual food-in-your-lap get together, but someone somewhere must know how to appropriatley have the kind of casual dinner us new entertainers want to throw. 

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself, to the rescue.  She answers questions for iVillage's House Beautiful column on the best way to entertain.  Some tips for lap dinners include the obvious:

  • No food should require a knife and fork.

And less obvious:

  • Match the temperature of the food to the season.  Serve warm soup if it's cold out to help heat the holder up.  

  • Avoid messy food.  If you don't want it on your floor, you probaby shouldn't serve it to your guests.

The article also contains other helpful entertaining tip from the Contessa.  Check it out. Try it out.  And let me know what you thinK


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