How to Host a Mystery Menu Dinner

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A mystery menu can add some intrigue to the next dinner party you host, provided that you don't mind preparing and cooking multiple items for each course. You can make it easier on yourself if you come up with menu items that you can cook ahead and serve cold or heat easily. While guests will not know exactly what they are going to eat until it is served to them, they will, hopefully, enjoy the game of guessing your mystery menu offerings.

  • Divide your menu into three courses: appetizer, entree and dessert. You can add more courses if you are feeling ambitious, or divide your entree into proteins and sides to ensure that everyone gets a relatively balanced meal.

  • Decide what you are going to cook and serve for each stage of the meal, including a variety of choices for each. The more choices you have, the funnier the mystery menu and your guests' combinations will be.

  • Devise cryptic clues for each of your menu choices. The art of a good mystery menu is coming up with crossword-like clues to describe your menu items. For example, a Caesar's salad could appear on your menu as "Hail to the king of greens," a Cornish game hen could appear as "Sporty west country English chick," and mashed potatoes could be "Trample on Irish affections."

  • Make a menu for each guest and a checklist for making selections. Specify how many should be checked off for each course.

  • Seat your guests at the dining table and let the fun commence.

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