I am a Spring and Summer kind of girl but some of the things I love about Fall is the leaves starting to turn vivid colors, the crisp smell of Fall and Tailgating.
Which is a bit odd since I grew up watching Futbol rather than Football but what is there not to love about Football and tailgating. Delicious food, great drinks and fantastic company. Not to mention Eddy and my little men are avid Dallas Cowboys fans in a sea of Giants, Jets and Patriots Connecticutians.
I was recently given the opportunity to interview designer and entertaining expert Mark Addison who you have probably seen on some of my favorites like the Today Show, Better TV, Fox News and is a regular contributor to Us Weekly.
He gave these fantastic tips on taking your tailgating experience to the next level.
- The Early Bird gets the premium tailgating spot! Arrive three to four hours ahead of time to claim your territory. Prime location is a hot commodity when tailgating
- Delegate responsibilities to your fellow tailgaters…who will be the grill master, bartender and clean up crew (AKA the party animals).
- Bringing two coolers is key to an organized Tailgate, one for your favorite beverages and one for your perishables.
With the holidays just around the corner I asked him some of my hostess questions.
Divina: “Whether you are hosting an intimate party of 10 or 50 people, what are some tips for making the event one of a kind?”
Mark Addison: “Crafting One-of-a-kind parties is as simple as incorporating elements that are special to you that you want to share as well as elements that are relevant to the people you are entertaining. For instance, serve your favorite foods and wines that you want to share with your guests so it makes the experience more authentic to you. To make it relevant for your guests, get to know some of their personal preferences, like a particular varietal of wine that they love, favorite foods and even music preferences. Making events unique is as simple as creating interactive bars and/or food stations to engage your guests. For example, if its’ a standard cocktail bar, have unique ingredients, mixers, and muddlers so guests can play at mixology to make their drink their own creation. I also love creating garnishing stations as a way for guests to customize their party experience. I’ll serve delicious, pre-mixed cocktails like Parrot Bay or Smirnoff Frozen Pouches and put fresh fruit out for my guests to personalize their own drink garnishes.”
Divina: “My biggest challenge when hosting is I have one oven and one stove top and so many dishes, so how do I keep all my food hot before serving?”
Mark: “The complicated answer is to use chafing dishes, which not a lot of people own, are familiar with, or use often enough to make them worth buying. The simple solution is to invest in a crock pot or a fondue pot, which is another helpful tool. The crock pot adds to your arsenal of cooking equipment and also keeps your food warm. You can cook in the oven and transfer to the crock pot to keep things warm. The fondue pot can also be used to keep a variety of foods warm- it’s not your grandmother’s fondue pot!”
Divina: “What are some of your cannot live without kitchen and hosting tools?”
Mark: “A good, complete set of knives is definitely one. Every knife type has its purpose and use, so getting to know those is helpful. Another tool I can’t live without is an immersion blender. Those are as helpful at the stovetop as they are at the bar. Another one is high quality glass mixing bowls that can also double as serving bowls. Finally, crock pots and fondue pots (see answer above!)”
For more tips and recipes on impressing your friends at your next shindig head over to http://markaddison.com/entertain/?p=5633
Thank you for Mark for sharing and happy hosting to all!
Disclosure: I was invited to a Mark Addison sponsored event and wanted to share this fantastic information. Mark Addison and Dancing Hotdogs asks that you please drink responsibly and above all else never drink and drive!