Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Sunday Dinner: Buffet or Family Style?

Easter Sunday is this weekend, and if your family is anything like my family, it’s usually celebrated with a large feast on a bright Sunday afternoon. 

This year, I am faced with a daunting decision: buffet or family style dinner?  I really enjoy family style because of the natural interaction with guests as they pass around the various dishes.  However, there are a few benefits to serving a buffet.  First, if you have limited space on your table, serving a buffet on the counter or separate table frees up a lot of room.  Second, as your guests move down the buffet, they won’t have to feel like they are insulting the host if they skip certain dishes they may not like.  I also think the set-up of a buffet is a bit easier than serving family style.

Since this year I’m feeling that easy = better, I’ll serve dinner buffet-style. 

Today, I want to share a few great tips I found online to help serve Easter dinner buffet-style:

1.     Set the table.  Even if you are serving your dinner as a buffet, you still need to create an aesthetically pleasing tablescape for your guests to enjoy.  They can simply grab their plates from the table and help themselves when dinner is served.
2.     Table Placement.  In order to avoid congestion on your buffet, separate your stations by salad, main dishes, drinks and dessert.  This will help with flow and avoid any back up of your guests.
3.     Serving Food. Keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold, and don't leave any food in the danger zone (between 41ºF and 140° F) for more than 2 hours.

What is your favorite style of serving dinner: buffet or family style?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

For more great entertaining tips and recipes, visit Campbell’s Kitchen.