2011-12-08 / Features

Small Ways To Make Your Holiday Party A Big Success

Looking to make a big impression at your holiday party? Think small – as in small plates that allow you to showcase different colorful dishes and cuisines.

With small plates gaining popularity in wine bars and restaurants nationwide, many people are tapping into this trend in home entertaining by getting more creative with their holiday menus and decorations.

In short, small details and dishes can make a big impression.

Great for the host

A small plate party makes life easier for the host. You don’t have to fret over a sitdown dinner with an appetizer, main course and dessert, and guests can eat whenever they arrive.

When using small plates remember that you shouldn’t only prepare one-to-two bite hors d’oeuvres. Each dish should be thought of as a mini course on a small plate, featuring 4-6 bites of food for eating when sitting or standing.

Consider different cuisines and colors, like mozzarella and tomato with basil or Greek stuffed grape leaves and olives, arranged on small plates, such as the Libbey Just Tastings mini dinnerware collection. These days there are even trendy cookbooks devoted solely to miniature appetizers and desserts, such as those from author Robert Zollweg. Both the Just Tastings collection and cookbook line are available at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Get creative and serve-up Spanish, French or Asian dishes. Or go familiar with lollipop lamb chops or hamburger sliders. You can even use the same 4-inch plates for appetizers and desserts, supplementing them with small dessert bowls for little portions.

Mingling and sampling

This type of party literally allows you to go with the flow. Small plates allow guests to mingle and socialize with everyone, compared to sit-down dinners.

Small dishes are also great for guests who want to taste everything but don’t want to appear to be holiday gluttons. Such plates are also perfect for kids who have big eyes but small stomachs.

Great for presentation

When it comes to parties, the visual impact of your food is as important as its taste. This is where small plates shine, as little tastes can have a big impact with their colors, shapes and designs.

Small decorating details also matter. So add a little cranberry or holly to each plate as garnish. Or use wire ribbon throughout your party space on doorknobs, banisters, even to tie napkins.

Creating great tables truly welcomes guests. Make sure to coordinate tablecloths, napkins, candleholders and centerpieces. You can find a colorful assortment of each at www.bedbathandbeyond.com. Don’t be afraid to think creatively!

You can also add flair by using glasses in untraditional ways. A set of Libbey Mini Wine Tasting Glasses can double as d├ęcor when filled with candies, nuts and dried fruit. Or use shot glasses for shrimp cocktail.

Remember, bigger isn’t always better for holiday parties.

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