Frankel, a former event planner, stopped by “Good Morning America” today with the tips and tricks she uses to throw a party her guests will remember that doesn’t leave her stressed. The first step, says Frankel, is to pick a theme.
Next, according to Frankel, there are five mistakes every host should avoid making in order to make their party a success.
1) Don’t have more than three cocktails.
2) Don’t spend the whole time in the kitchen, or hover over the host in the kitchen – unless you’re helping the host.
3) Don’t bring guests without asking ahead of time.
4) Don’t flirt with the host’s husband.
5) Don’t forget to bring something.
Read below for four more of Frankel’s tips along with a great party recipe, all from her new book, “Skinnygirl Solutions,” a guide of practical and healthy living advice.
1) Get the Music Right
If you are 30 but your guests include 65-year-olds, they might not appreciate your favorite kind of music. You don’t have to hire a band or a DJ unless your party is a major event. Instead, make playlists on your iPad or iPhone and put it in a dock. You can customize the music for your whole party ahead of time. You can design a playlist to match your theme or the mood you’ve chosen. If you aren’t sure what will go over well, have some options and ask the guests if they like the music or if they want to hear something else. Every party has someone who wants to play DJ.
2) Get the Lighting Right
Nobody looks good with bright overhead fluorescent lights, and nothing flattens a party quicker than bright lights. Dim lights make everyone look better, and candlelight is sexy. You don’t have to rent lighting. Just put your lights on dimmers, add candles or use lamps instead of overhead lights.
3) Have Signature Cocktails
Match your signature cocktails to the theme or mood of the party. A few pitchers of signature cocktails are easier for people to serve themselves and they will feel as if they are participating in the party. Put out appropriate glasses, garnishes and buckets of ice. Cute cocktail napkins and interesting cocktail stirrers could be fun. Also put out pitchers of water with lemons and limes and water glasses. If the tap water is terrible, buy jugs of spring water.
4) Serve Easy, Impressive Food
Food has a significant influence on the feel of a party but you don’t have to make all the food you serve from scratch. Here are some of the things I do:
- Put premade food on nice platters or in good bowls that fit the theme.
- Add fresh chopped herbs to premade dips to brighten and doctor them.
- Make an interesting cheese platter.
- Create an antipasta by filling ramekins with olives, feta cheese, pitted olives, Parmesan, dried Italian meats, sundried tomatoes and Marcona almonds.
- A new trend is inexpensive but tasty American caviar.
- For a fancy dessert presentation, put bakery cookies on a platter or put out fancy little plates with individual items, like gourmet chocolates, petit fours or little brownies.
Bethenny Frankel’s Crab and Chive Deviled Eggs for a “Simple Elegance Party”
6 large eggs
¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp seafood seasoning
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup lump crabmeat (almost 2 oz.)
1 T chopped chives
1. Place the eggs in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and run under cold water to cool.
2. Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Transfer half the yolks to a small bowl and mash with the low-fat mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, seafood seasoning, and the salt and pepper. Fold in half the crab.
3. Spoon the crab mixture into the egg whites, top with the remaining crab and sprinkle with the chives.
Tip: Chop up your leftovers and put them on bread for a delicious and easy meal!