You Asked, Giada Answered: How Giada Throws the Perfect Party

By: Sarah De Heer

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We recently asked Food Network fans on Twitter to send their party-themed questions to an entertaining pro, Giada de Laurentiis. Just in time for New Year's Eve, Giada shares tips to ensure you enjoy your own party, as much as your guests do. Click the play button above to watch Giada answer fan questions and get some of her party recipes below.

How much of the food should be prepared before a party?

When I entertain I try and have as much of the food prepared in advance as possible, especially appetizers. Try and prep the salad and the remaining dishes that are room temperature.

What kind of dishes should be made during a party?

I always like to leave one dish that I have to make during the party because I want it to be nice and hot for everybody.

Besides the food, what sorts of DIY things do you like to do when you host a party?

I like to set up a cocktail table and come up with one themed drink. And I like people to assemble the drink themselves — it starts conversations.

Try this recipe: Ginger Apple Martini

How do you wrap up a party politely when guests linger a bit too long?

Before the party starts, Todd and I have a conversation about what time we want the party to end. Todd will take a look at his watch and he'll start doing the dishes — we hope our guests will see that and understand it's time to wrap up the party.

Do you have any tips for staying calm that allow you to enjoy the party, too?

I stay calm by planning as much as I can ahead of time. Not only the food, but the platters, setting the table, etc. Also, don't worry about asking for help because guests love to help.

How do you throw a large party when seating is limited?

Set up a little buffet. I tell people they can sit wherever they want — couches, the kitchen, etc. That way you can set your own ambiance.

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