Are you wondering what serving pieces are essential in your kitchen?
Maybe after the holidays and possibly the first time hosting a large dinner party you realized you don’t have what you need to serve dinner. That’s the worst – right?
Or you maybe you are setting up your home for the first time, getting married and have NO idea what to put on your registry.
Who wants to scramble last-minute digging through cabinets to find something that will work.
I am here to help!
This year I hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and I had exactly what I needed! You know why? Because my mom is the best hostess I’ve ever seen and trained me to be PREPARED for any type of entertaining large or small.
In my gratitude to her, I was thinking that not everyone has a mom that trained them to handle entertaining a crowd, so I wanted to share with you what she shared with me so long ago.
Dinner Party 101
To keep things simple, let’s think through the types of items that are typically served when you are having a dinner party (we won’t be talking drinks):
- Side Dish
- Main Course
You will need serving pieces for all of these items whether you are hosting a buffet or sit down dinner. It’s all the same 🙂 The items I am recommending I have similar versions of in my cabinets that have been used over and over – proven serving piece winners!
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Luckily, serving appetizers is easy and you only need a few simple pieces. It’s important to have serving pieces that can be multi-use for things like: dips, chips, cheeses, olives, crackers, and bread slices.
Cheese or Cutting Board
Serve crackers, grapes, and cheese on these simple boards. Buying an all-purpose board opens them up to more uses.
Spreader and Cheese Slicers
Take a step beyond toothpicks and move to fun cheese spreaders and slicers! I use the small spreaders for butter too. Each type of cheese you offer should be served with the correct cheese slicer and the set with the names makes it fool-proof!
Chip and Dip Server
Who doesn’t love dip with chips or crackers. This is a classic party favorite, so you will definitely need a go to option for serving. Think beyond just chips and dips and use this serving piece with fruit and veggies or marinated olives and red peppers.
Divided Condiment or Dip Tray
Use these to serve a trio of humus, cheese spread, and a mayo based dip or a variety of nuts or olives. You can even use these to serve multiple salad dressing options for your guests – much prettier than setting out bottles.
Having a large salad bowl is a must and can be used for any type of salad: lettuce, fruit, or pasta.
Tongs can be used for not only serving salads but also pasta, meat and fish too!
Ah the side dish. To me this one gets hard because most of the time you make these ahead of time and they need to stay warm. No one wants to serve cold mashed potatoes or vegetables.
Here are some solutions that keep those items warm while you are preparing the main course and look pretty too! I WISH I had the electric version, but the candles keep food surprisingly warm.
Basic Serving Dishes
These serving dishes are nice enough to put on the table and come in handy to both serve and to keep leftovers in the fridge.
Serving Spoons and Forks
Honestly, you can NEVER have too many serving spoons and forks. This is a great area to invest and a set that includes a gravy ladle and a slotted spoon is a life saver.
Main Course, Condiments, and Water
Platters are essential serving pieces because they have so many uses. Platters can be used to serve anything from turkey, ham and steaks to simpler items like sandwiches, crudités or cookies.
I collect platters and have a variety of sizes and shapes plus materials: Oval, Rectangular and Round. It seems I am partial to metal platters because they hold the temperature and don’t break 🙂 Many I received as wedding gifts and are really special.
It’s just as important to serve your salt & pepper, butter and gravy in a beautiful container as it is anything else. My philosophy is go for the crystal versions because they can be used in formal or informal settings. Have you heard of the trend “glam farmhouse”? This supports that look…
Keeping a pitcher of cold water handy to fill glasses is always a nice touch. When you have guests over for other occasions you can use the pitcher for lemonade, ice tea, or cocktails.
Who can forget about dessert? This is simple and I’ll recommend 3 key pieces: multi-purpose cake stand, pie plate, and mini dishes for serving just about anything! If you are trying to be budget conscious, the multi-use cake stand is great for appetizers, punch, dips, cup cakes, cookies, and cake. A pie plate can double for Quiche as well!
Cakes, Pies, Cupcakes and Pudding or Ice Cream
Cake and Pie Server
Have you ever tried to wrestle a piece of cake or pie onto a plate? These pieces make it a lot easier!
You are Now Ready to Entertain!
This group of essential serving items will have you prepared and ready to tackle any cocktail hour or dinner party small or large. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and can collect these items as your budget allows between now and your next entertaining event!
ADD TO PINTEREST FOR LATER…
To being the “hostess with the mostess” – cheers!