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Menu Planning 101, Part I



Ok, so you've decided to host a dinner party. You open up your cookbooks when panic strikes. What on earth are you going to make at this dinner? What will the menu for the dinner consist of? Whether you've hosted a million dinner parties, or are thinking about hosting your first, menu planning can be a scary and worrisome task. Courses, themes, special dietary needs, wine pairings... there are so many aspects of choosing a menu it's important to take the appropriate amount of time to plan your meal. Don't wait until the night before your scheduled event to wander aimlessly through the supermarket wondering what you should make. Even if you are hosting a last minute impromptu dinner, you should take a quick 5 minutes to organize your meal. It may sound crazy, but I actually enjoy menu planning. You could too, if you keep a few pointers in mind. I'll be giving you a few menu planning tips all week so pay attention! For today's helpful hints on menu planning, read more

  • Think about all the different colors of foods. Colorful meals are more appealing. Likewise pay attention to how food looks on the plate. It should look good, delicious and attractive.
  • Consider the texture of each dish. Include foods that are crunchy, chewy, and velvety. Combine these different colors, textures and flavors. Smooth followed by chunky, sweet complemented by sour, or fish followed by meat will add dimension to the meal.
  • Don't forget the aroma of each food. Prepare foods that smell good. Baking bread, cooking with spices such as cinnamon, and sautéing onions are examples of aromas that will stimulate appetites.

Come back tomorrow for more of my menu planning strategies!

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