When I say 'Holla,' you say 'Days!'

Kysha Harris | 10/12/2012, 4:29 p.m.
Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday...and here we are. You have barely recovered from this mayhem...
When I say 'Holla,' you say 'Days!'

For me, a successful dinner party has eight components: cheese/snacks/nibbly bits, first course (soup/salad/amuse bouche), main protein dish (poultry, seafood, meat), three sides (two that are a vegetable, a vegetarian can compose a full plate), plenty of good wine and/or signature cocktail, and dessert.

As the host, aside from dressing the table and making everyone comfortable, you will be responsible for the main protein dish--the star of the meal. It is like the turkey during Thanksgiving. It sets the tone for everything else that accompanies it.

You will notify your confirmed guests of your main course. Then, assign the other seven components based on your guests' strengths or let them duke it out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The single guy who doesn't cook but can eat and pick a great cheese knows his role; the wine lover and burgeoning pastry chef couple will bring their talents to the table; and the vegetarian turns everyone out with her meatless first course. If you are having more than eight guests, ask them to share the responsibilities. The components are not equitable, but y'all are grown. You will figure it out.

And when the plan comes together...booyah! A great time will be had by all. You will see how one dish can set the tone and be translated into all of the other elements of what I guarantee will be a unique holiday dinner party.

Happy Holla...(you say)! Enjoy, get cooking and thanks for reading!

Questions at dinnertime? Chat with me at AskSCHOP, Monday through Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! SCHOP! is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? E-mail kysha@iSCHOP.com.