Ending Your Dinner Party On A High Note

Hosting a dinner party means figuring out whether you’re going to do all the meal preparation or if you’re going to host a potluck. Either way, dessert is a must, but the choices can be overwhelming. We can help.

Rather than resort to a big cake from the grocery store, consider creating your own dessert. Alternatively, you can skip foods altogether and top off the night with some coffee or tea.

Allow some customization
Mini fruit tarts can be prepared ahead of time, and rather than topping it off yourself with fruit, consider leaving the colorful add-ons to guests. After all, someone may prefer the sweetness of blueberries over the tart of raspberries. You can also feature lemon zest, clementine slices or bits of kiwi.

Strawberry shortcake may seem like an indulgence to avoid, but you can make it healthier by using low-fat biscuits instead of shortcake. Use a cookie cutter to cut each biscuit into small portions and don’t soak the strawberries in sugar water. Skip the whipped cream topping. Purchase ripened strawberries to ensure that they’ll satisfy even the biggest sweet tooths in the group.

Tea & Coffee
Chances are, everyone’s had their fill of food. Of course, there are always those who will have saved room for dessert, but let diners know ahead of time that you’ll be offering tea or coffee after dinner. This way, they’ll enjoy dinner, but won’t be disappointed when there’s no cake or ice cream.

Just because you’re not going to be slicing up cake doesn’t mean that your guests can’t enjoy the aroma or general taste. It’s no secret that artisan teas are growing in popularity, and dessert teas such as red velvet cake have popped up everywhere. Alternatively, you can end on a light note with good old peppermint tea.

Coffee will likely be a welcome option, especially for those who have a long drive home or worked a long day. Others may just want the flavor, so have caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties ready.

Go natural
There are no healthier sweets than those that Mother Nature provides us with. Fresh strawberries or blueberries will support healthy eating. Find out what fruits are in season and create a medley that adults will love.

For kids who may not be as excited by the prospect of fruit in favor of ice cream, purchase some nonfat yogurt and pull out the mixer to make smoothies that they’ll love sipping on. They can even select their own fruit.

Size does matter
Practice portion control by creating bite-sized desserts. Diners will be able to enjoy the same great tastes, but in healthier portions. Plus, you’ll be able to feature a wider variety of sweets when you’re working in such a small scale. Why have one big chocolate cake when you can feature lemon squares, brownie bites and miniature carrot cakes that’ll be sure to appeal to everybody’s taste buds?

You can do this simply by cutting normal-sized pieces into smaller ones. Alternatively, if you’re a gifted cook, you can try your hand at fancier offerings, such as these¬†lemon tartlets with meringue caps¬†from Martha Stewart.

If you have shot glasses, you can heighten the classy look of homemade mousse. From chocolate to lemon, there a whole array of flavors you can explore. These tiny sweets won’t just look good, they’ll taste great!

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